Rocks Carved by Drifting Sand, Arizona by Timothy O’Sullivan (1871)

The photograph “Rocks Carved by Drifting Sand, Arizona” was created by the artist Timothy O’Sullivan in the year 1871. It captures a landscape scene where the main subjects are prominently eroded rocks, showcasing the natural sculpting effects of wind-driven sand over time.

In the photograph, there is a collection of large rocks in the foreground with clearly visible striations, illustrating the carving action of sand and wind. These striations run across the rocks’ surfaces, indicating the direction of the erosive forces. The composition is barren and desolate, suggesting an arid environment typical of parts of Arizona. The background features a flat, seemingly empty plain that leads to a range of low-lying hills or mountains in the distance. The sky is overcast, and there is no vegetation in close proximity to the rocks, contributing to the image’s stark, desolate atmosphere. The photograph exhibits the characteristics of the albumen print technique popular during the time it was taken, contributing to its historical aesthetic.

Other Photographs from Timothy O'Sullivan

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