About a year ago I made a month long canoe trip with an 8x20 and 11x14. Everything was downstream so to speak (and in the stream sometimes). All told not too bad and a lot of fun. Yesterday at the State Library of Victoria (Australia) I had the privilege of examining around 20 original prints by Carleton Watkins. The terrain was rugged, the wet plate collodian must have been incredibly taxing to work with but the images were (in my opinion) worth the bother he must have made. Yeah, they were mostly soft on the corners (18x22 inches) and the foreground was often not too well in focus but the man saw well. The photographs went past pure historical interest and reminded me that we stand in an ever-changing stream of photographic progress. The timeless quality of the man discovering under the darkcloth remains when you see the work today - not much different than what we can do now. These prints were given to the library in 1871 and are still in pretty amazing condition. I wonder how many of today's images will survive as well, like inkjet posters for example.