Thursday, 11 February 2010

Early Yosemite image found in University of Glasgow Special Collections

An early photographic image of the Half Dome Mountain at Yosemite National Park, California, taken by the pioneering American landscape photographer Carleton Watkins (1829-1916) in about 1860, has been found in the University of Glasgow's Special Collections Department. To see the image visit Early photograph of the “Wild West” discovered in Special Collections.

Yosemite is of course famous for its association with Scottish born naturalist John Muir (see, and in 1999 I filmed his story there as part of documentary series for Scottish Television (and RTE/S4C) called Celtic America. This is our ponsey crew shot! That's me third from right acting like I own the place, but I was only a mere mortal assistant producer - the guvnor was the guy on my left!

Bizarrely, when we arrived there it was about a month after a serial killer had apparently been on the loose, decapitating people and burying their remains in the hills in the park. Gives the phrase "having a head for heights" a new meaning really...

Anyway, more to the point, that's the Half Dome behind us on the left of frame! If you ever want to recognise how little we really are in a big wide world, I recommend standing under it for a bit. Life changing...!

Scotland's Greatest Story

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