Previous
Tutucanula - El Capitan 3600 ft. Yo Semite
Enlarge (18MB) Zoom in
This image is available for download, without charge, under the Getty's Open Content Program.

Carleton E. Watkins
American, Yosemite, California, 1861
Albumen silver print
dome-topped
85.XM.361.8

Add to Getty Bookmarks

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.