Distant View of the Domes, Yosemite Valley, California, c. 1866

Albumen printexpand_more

Gift of Walter R. McCarthyexpand_more  91.125

Not on Viewexpand_more

Carleton Watkins spent considerable time in Yosemite Valley in the late 1800s, photographing its natural wonders. He worked both from the floor of the valley and from its peaks, producing breathtaking, large-scale images such as this one. Based in San Francisco, he focused largely on landscapes, and his artistry far exceeded the capabilities of most landscape photographers. In this image, he expertly created strong contrast between the silky-smooth water in the foreground and the heavily textured shore of pebbles directly beyond it. The reflections of the trees in the water add depth to the picture and introduce a hint of symmetry. Watkins effectively used atmospheric perspective to delineate a soft background of massive mountains, including Half Dome on the right. His immense wooden camera helped him produce a finished print graced with meticulous detail and a wide range of rich tones.

Distant View of the Domes, Yosemite Valley, California
Artist Life
Accession Number
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

Does something look wrong with this image? Let us know

Zoom in on the left to the detail you'd like to save. Click 'Save detail' and wait until the image updates. Right click the image to 'save image as' or copy link, or click the image to open in a new tab.