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10 Incredible Old Nature Photography

Early American wilderness photographers were snapping gorgeous vignettes of mountain peaks and sunrises before Instagram’s “1977” filter was even a thing. But, aside from their timeless appeal, the true value of these nineteenth-century photographs is derived from their role in the American conservation movement.

Since the 1860s, photography has played an important but little-known part in the field of nature conservation. A handful of pioneering artists intentionally used their photographs to promote conservation and instill in viewers a tangible connection to America’s last wild places. Embedded in these images is a deep empathy for the natural world and the power to bring about positive change.

Check out these stunning nineteenth-century nature photographs…

Watkins, Carleton. (1867) Cape Horn, Columbia River, Oregon. Los Angeles, CA


Watkins, Carleton. (1884-1885) Minerva Terraces, Mammoth Hot Springs National Park. Los Angeles, CA


Watkins, Carleton. (1861) Tutucanula – El Capitan 3600 ft. Yo Semite. Los Angeles, CA


Watkins, Carleton. (1866) First View of the Valley. Los Angeles, CA


Watkins, Carleton. (1880s). Big Tree Felton (Redwood), Santa Cruz. Los Angeles, CA


Jackson, William Henry. (1883) Grand Canyon of the Colorado River. Los Angeles, CA


Jackson, William Henry. (1870) Old Faithful. Los Angeles, CA


Jackson, William Henry. (1899) Marshall Pass, Colorado. Los Angeles, CA


Watkins, Carleton. (1873-1874) The Devil’s Slide, Utah. Los Angeles, CA


Watkins, Carleton. (1880) The Domes from Moran Point. Los Angeles, CA


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