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The Pioneer Photographer

is the story of William Henry Jackson’s love

for the outdoors and of his adventurous life

photographing the Rocky Mountain West

during the late 1860s and 1870s.

   His meticulous descriptions of the rugged

and treacherous landscapes, and the efforts

required for capturing the images on glass

plates, edify the reader about the enormous

challenges presented by early photographic

technology. Imagine hauling the 120 pounds

of photography equipment into the rugged

peaks of western wilderness.  Pack mules hauled

the cameras, lenses, and glass plates used to

expose the pictures, as well as the chemicals

required for sensitizing and developing the

plates on the spot, not to mention the

makeshift darkroom needed to perform the entire miracle. 

   Most of Jackson’s photographs made during the U.S. geological surveys, led by

Dr. Ferdinand V. Hayden in the 1870s, document the anglo American “discovery” of

the Rocky Mountain West.  The familiar picturesque scenes that we know today must

have been awe-inspiring to these explorers of the West, although, of course, the

American Indians of the region were well acquainted with its timeless beauty. 

   In descriptions of the sublime natural world he encountered, Jackson recalls the

day-to-day uncertainties,  adversities and disappointments experienced on his photo

documentary adventures. His language conveys excitement for his discoveries,

as well as the frustration felt when weather was bad or work was lost. 

   This book is a facsimile reprinting of the edition first published in 1929.

The pages are reproductions of the original--all typos and errors are reproduced

here as they first appeared.

$19.95.  paperback, 314p., including inmdex. published 2011.

ISBN 9781567353426