Early surveys

In class yesterday we were discussing early surveying photographers and their pioneering work. We were studying the Americas of the 19th century during the 60's. To illustrate this topic two artists were chosen. Carlton Watkins (of Yosemite-fame) and Timothy O'Sullivan.
Our professor told us O'Sullivan was a follower of catastrophism. I had hear this term before, but purely related to in a geological sense. I thought of the asteroid theory hitting earth during the Cretaceous period among other things.
In the religious sense it is seeing the hand of God in landscapes or resorting to the "God did it" argument. The great flood, what have you.

In O'Sullivan's case I thought it not even relevant to mention this, it is not even the essence of his works. Watkins did the same, and I believe both did so out of pleasure of exploration and experimentation rather than, in O'Sullivan's case, a religious belief or motivation. I have enjoyed reading up on this, there are some interesting lines of thought here. We were just looking at purely formal traits of the work. If we were to take King's theories into consideration we would venture out of the realm of the purpose of the lecture. Bit still, I think it is a good mind exercise to see if King would have had a significant impact on the work of O'Sullivan. Unfortunately we can only guess and cannot ask them if they could shed some light on the matter.

I did enjoy the lecture yesterday and an very glad to have armchair access to a plethora of pictures and information.

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