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William Henry Jackson

William Henry Jackson

Famous for his images of the American West, Jackson (1843–1942) was an American painter, Civil War veteran, and geological photographer. Although painting was his passion from a young age, the adventure of photography thrilled him. Photography in nature at this time was a challenge, requiring lugging around a 75 pound large-format camera, along with hundreds of pounds of glass and chemicals to remote locations. The new chemical techniques required developing photographs on the spot, in a tent that served as a mobile darkroom. Amidst these challenging conditions, Jackson created stunning photographs. In 1870 he accompanied an expedition across the Midwest into the Yellowstone Lake area, taking some of the first published photographs of Yellowstone. Partly on the strength of his photographs, the Yellowstone area became America's first national park.