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  1. #1

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    Carleton Watkins

    Your opinion about one of the most interesting pioneer in photography.
    Not so much cited by ULF photographers, why?
    He was without doubt one of the father of US photography.

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    I posted about Carleton Watkins on the old APUG site after visiting the exhibit at the Getty. He was a very talented photographer who produced truly incredible landscapes! He routinely hauled 1 - 2000 pound wet plate ULF photography kits into the back country during the second half of the 19th century.
    Tom Hoskinson
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    Everything is analog - even digital :D

  3. #3
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    I've posted about Watkins, I think over on the LF forum after seeing the Watkins exhibit at the Met in New York. Indeed impressive for hauling around those big glass plates, and also for establishing a photographic tradition with others like O'Sullivan that would lay the groundwork for Adams in the 20th Century.

  4. #4

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    Dear Tom and David,
    I'm unable to find your previous posts about C. Watkins.
    Could you be so gentle to give me the indications to find them.
    Many thanks
    Daniele

  5. #5
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    I have one post in this thread:

    http://largeformatphotography.info/l...ic/138688.html

    and probably a few others. Here are a whole series of threads on the LF forum that mention Watkins--

    http://www.google.com/custom?hl=en&l...otography.info

    You could google them as easily as I could.

  6. #6
    jimgalli's Avatar
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    2 Astonishing exhibits in the last month. Carleton Watkins!

    How did he do it!

    I have been lucky to see both the Columbia River Gorge pictures at the Portland Art Museum, and the Huge intallation currently running at the Getty. Both were full of astounding 18X22 Mammoth Plate photographs done by this man. They truly humble me. They would easily humble Ansel's best work 70 years later.

    My question is whether anyone knows what lens he used to accomplish these magnificent pieces. OK, turn the clock backwards to 1865 before you start throwing your guesses. That limits him to Petzval's and Landscape meniscii. Yet his pictures are sharp all they way into the corners and near forgrounds within a few feet of the camera are sharp as are infinity. Now he also had to contend with wet plates and ASA of less than 1? If he stopped down to f64 it would take all day for an exposure right?

    Was he a VERY early (first year) adopter of the Rapid Rectilinear? The 1867 photos in Portland could have been done with one of Mr. Dallmeyer's RR's? But the earlier photos exhibit the same character.

    If you can get to either show, GO! The Getty is displaying a mammoth plate studio camera with an enormous lens. It is fully twice the size of my Century 8 11X14.
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep..to gain that which he cannot lose. Jim Elliot, 1949

    http://tonopahpictures.0catch.com

  7. #7
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    I was down in SoCal (down by San Diego) for the Thanksgiving week -- and had planned on going to the Getty with my mother (who is 86). But my mom had problems with her feet and had to stay off of them more than a visit to the Getty would allow. I should have gone on my own, but I drove 1000 miles to get there and hated the idea of getting back in the car and drive across all of LA.

    So me and my boys hit the beach instead and I got a bunch of body-surfing in (which is difficult to do here in the northwest)...which is as good for my soul as looking at Watkins prints (plus I have two prints from mammoth plates on my wall to look at whenever I want to). I did catch some of his work at the Oakland Museum some years ago. I do wish I could have fitted it in with my schedule, though.

    Vaughn
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

  8. #8
    jimgalli's Avatar
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    I think one of the most astonishing pictures at least for me was the one of the San Fernando Mission. A place I grew up with. In the 1860's it was completely derelict and used for feed storage and shade for his animals by the local farmer. That's a view I would have never seen, only imagined except for Carleton Watkins.
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep..to gain that which he cannot lose. Jim Elliot, 1949

    http://tonopahpictures.0catch.com

  9. #9
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    I get the same feeling from his Columbia River Gorge photos -- seeing what the Gorge was like before all the dams. Vaughn
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

  10. #10

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    One of my beloved photographer of every time. Jim you are in the right place in the right time even if your surname belong to my country :-). I really envy you for this live view of Carleton Watkins mammoth plates. IMO he used Landscape meniscus, but his technical skills are unbelivable for the tools of that period. I think he changed lenses after 1870 or around and he took photos with RR. Landscape lenses of the period could gave very sharp and dettailed images, but what puzzle me is the coverage he needs to cover these big plates and their "slowness". About your consideration: "They would easily humble Ansel's best work 70 years later" I completely agree with you even if this could be "dangerous" for many Apugers.

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