Tutucanula - El Capitan 3600 ft. Yo Semite
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Carleton E. Watkins
American, Yosemite, California, 1861
Albumen silver print

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While the monumental facade of El Capitan looms in the background, a thin decaying trunk in the foreground demands the viewer's attention. In nature, where changes can occur in seconds or centuries, Carleton Watkins found the perfect subjects to convey a theme of transience versus permanence. The same decaying tree appears in this image and its pendant, River View--Down the Valley, which was taken in the same location with the camera directed about thirty degrees to the east.