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[Yosemite Valley from the Best General View] (Post Con.- Main View)

Carleton Watkins

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

Carleton Watkins had the ability to photograph a subject from the viewpoint that allowed the most information to be revealed about its contents. In this image, he captured what he considered the best features of Yosemite Valley: Bridalveil Falls, Cathedral Rock, Half Dome, and El Capitan. By positioning the camera so that the base of the slender tree appears to grow from the bottom edge of the picture, Watkins composed the photograph so that the canyon rim and the open space beyond it seem to intersect. Although he sacrificed the top of the tree, he was able to place the miniaturized Yosemite Falls at the visual center of the picture. To alleviate the monotony of an empty sky, he added the clouds from a second negative. This image was taken while Watkins was working for the California Geological Survey. His two thousand pounds of equipment for the expedition, which included enough glass for over a hundred negatives, required a train of six mules.

Details

  • Title: [Yosemite Valley from the Best General View] (Post Con.- Main View)
  • Creator: Carleton Watkins
  • Date Created: 1866
  • Location Created: Yosemite, California, United States
  • Physical Dimensions: 41 × 52.2 cm (16 1/8 × 20 9/16 in.)
  • Type: Print
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Albumen silver print
  • Terms of Use: Open Content
  • Number: 85.XM.11.3
  • Culture: American
  • Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Creator Display Name: Carleton Watkins (American, 1829 - 1916)
  • Classification: Photographs (Visual Works)

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