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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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