Yosemite Valley from the "Best General View," No. 2, Carleton Watkins, 1866
The Valley, from the Mariposa Trail, No. 20, Charles L. Weed, 1864
Above are two images of the same scene, created by Carleton Watkins and Charles L. Weed. There are important differences between the two pictures. Weed positioned a man and a woman in the scene and showed the full length of the spindly pine. However, Bridalveil Fall was disturbed by a gust of wind. With infinite patience, Watkins waited for the exact moment to record Bridalveil Fall as a perfect ribbon of white. There are also some unanswered questions. Was Watkins the beneficiary of good luck, with nature taking the tree branch that obscured the Three Brothers in Weed's version, or did Watkins remove it himself? Did Watkins add clouds from a separate negative or capture them on the same negative? This pair is a study in how two pictures made at the same location can be different even when the cameras were in nearly the same position.