Timothy O'Sullivan's Landscapes of the Western Border

When we picture of the 'wild west' in America, we flashback to the silver-gelatin images that Ansel Adams had taken, but someone else actually had come in first. It was American photographer Timothy O'Sullivan, and his landscapes date way back to the 19th century.

Little is known about O'Sullivan's personal life and history, as his birthplace is even debated to this day, whether he came from Ireland of New York. O'Sullivan was a first lieutenant in the Union Army when he was a teenager, but there is no record of him sent to the battlegrounds. He most likely did civilian work such as surveying while taking photographs.

Afterward he joined Alexander Gardner's studio where he made his first 44 photographs publish for the Civil War collection, Gardner's Photographic Sketch Book of the War, and it was in July 1863 when he produced his most famous image, "The Harvest of Death". From 1867 to 1869, he worked as the official photographer of the U.S. Geological Exploration of the Fortieth Parallel, beginning his journey from Nevada, photographing the mines, to the east. It was here when he became the pioneer of geophotography as he was the first to record the landscapes of America.

Images are from the public domain.

2018-07-18 #culture #landscape-photography #timothy-o-sullivan #geophotography

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