Pikes Peak Library District
Regional History series titles
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.