Washington Column, 2052 ft., Yosemite by Carleton Watkins (c. 1872)

The photograph titled “Washington Column, 2052 ft., Yosemite” is an artwork by Carleton Watkins, dating back to around 1872. The image captures the grandeur of Yosemite’s natural landscape, specifically focusing on the towering Washington Column.

In the photograph, the majestic Washington Column rises prominently into the sky, its sheer face a testament to the geological wonders of Yosemite National Park. The column’s impressive stature is mirrored in the calm waters of the river that weaves through the tranquil landscape. Towering conifer trees lead the eye toward the rock formation, enhancing the sense of scale and wilderness. The composition is framed by the trees on the sides and complemented by a fallen log in the foreground that points toward the column, directing the viewer’s gaze while adding depth to the scene. The play of light and shadow across the scenery suggests the photograph was taken at a time when the sun illuminated the rock face, creating a contrast of highlights and dark areas within the canyon. The photograph is monochromatic, which was typical of the time, providing a timeless quality to the captured moment of natural beauty.

Other Photographs from Carleton Watkins

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