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Looking Down Yosemite Valley by Carleton Watkins
Looking Down Yosemite Valley by Carleton Watkins

Looking Down Yosemite Valley, 1872

Carleton Watkins

The majestic granite walls and soaring clouds above Yosemite Valley are doubled by their reflection in a mirror-like pond. Even the intricate detail of the pine trees’ branches is perfectly reproduced in this image, taken in the early days of photography with a large-format camera. The photographer’s high vantage point helped him capture the full panorama, and his compositional choices, like the fallen brush and cliff in the right foreground, the pair of trees in the middle distance, and the faraway peaks beyond, create a sense of depth. As this spectacular photograph shows, Watkins knew exactly where to place his camera for maximum visual effect.

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Getty Open Content Program
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