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Carleton E. Watkins
American, California, 1860
Salt print
13 1/16 x 16 1/4 in.
84.XM.171.34

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This image reveals Carleton Watkins's skill for choosing the right spot to place his camera. Taking the picture on a winter day with the bright sun low in the sky allowed him to expose the image in a short time--possibly a twenty-fifth of a second. The speed captured only one individual moving his head and leg, on the far left; the five men on and inside the stagecoach and all but one of the twelve men standing nearby remained perfectly still for the brief period of the exposure. Watkins made the photograph to document John C. Frémont's departure from Bear Valley for Europe. Frémont is the second man from the right, on top of the stagecoach.