The Collodionist, 49 Mercer Street, Hamilton, NJ, 08690

Landscape masters - Carleton Watkins

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Carleton Watkins was one of the most influential photographers of the 19th century, known for his stunning landscape photographs of the American West. Born in New York in 1829, Watkins began his career as a photographer in the 1850s, and spent much of his life traveling and documenting the natural beauty of the West. Watkins is perhaps best known for his photographs of Yosemite, which he began documenting in the 1860s. His images of Yosemite's towering cliffs and waterfalls were some of the first to reveal the breathtaking beauty of this region to the wider world, and his photographs helped to establish Yosemite as a premier destination for tourists and adventurers.

In addition to his work in Yosemite, Watkins also photographed other natural wonders of the West, including the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, the Mono Lake, and the geysers of Yellowstone. His images of these landscapes helped to bring these places to the attention of the wider world and played a role in the creation of the National Park Service and the protection of these natural wonders for future generations. Watkins was also known for his innovative approach to photography. He was one of the first photographers to use large-format cameras, which allowed him to capture detailed, high-resolution images of the landscape. He also experimented with various printing techniques, including albumen prints, which helped to bring his photographs to a wider audience.

Throughout his career, Watkins remained dedicated to his craft and his commitment to documenting the beauty of the natural world. His photographs continue to inspire and captivate audiences to this day, and his contributions to the field of landscape photography are still recognized and celebrated.

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