Skip to content

Let It Snow! Pikes Peak, circa 1899

November 5, 2010

Snow on Pikes Peak From Colorado Springs
USGS ~ Circa 1899
Photographer Unknown

Can I confess to shameless adoration of nineteenth-century photographers? My favorite outdoor photographs are the stained black and white anonymous shots I find in garage sales or at flea markets. When I think about the incredible effort it took to capture a single image, I am awestruck.

The process of capturing scenic photographs was daunting and the impact sensational. To take a photograph in the late 1800’s required an amazing level of stamina and commitment. Equipment was expensive and bulky and transportation was dangerous and grueling. The wet-plate collodian process required considerable dexterity, split-second timing, a tent and access to fresh water. The fact that this was achievable at all in field conditions was astonishing. The necessary equipment for a day’s shoot weighed over 100 pounds. Early photographers died young from exposure to hazardous chemicals and weather.

I’ve had a copy of this image hanging on my wall for years. One of the reasons I moved back to Colorado was to be able to try to duplicate this shot ~ only I’m lucky enough to be doing it with a digital camera and without a mule train.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: