Cathedral Rock, Yosemite Valley, California

The old man will be home as soon as he can, and we will take a walk. That’s poor folk’s luxury.

That’s a quote from Carleton Watkins, an early American landscape photographer who hauled thousands of pounds of equipment around the American West. His photos of the Yosemite area appeared in The Yosemite Book that helped make it a protected area, and had a big influence in creating national parks. He was great with the lens, but not so good with money. Sad story of failing health, failing eyesight, then insanity. He lost his life’s work when the San Francisco earthquake struck and his studio burned.