Camera Man
Courtesy Loewentheil Family Collection, New York

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The first twelve chapters of Chasing Aurora connect the dots in Carleton Watkins' life until he reached the age of 21 in 1850. You can follow his youth and adolescence in Upstate New York, as well as his time living in Panama and Chile before arriving in California at the peak of the Gold Rush.

This story forms a background to the magnificent work he created between 1858 and 1890 that is shown in this book:

Carleton Watkins: The Complete Mammoth Photographs

Among the gaps in Watkins' biography are the years between 1850 and 1855. During this half-decade he spent at least ten thousand hours hours practicing photography. His training and talent catapulted him to world-class status. Stand by as research for the "lost years" develops.

1. Man Without a Face

2. Aurora Borealis

3. End of Innocence

4. Steamship Crescent City

5. "Canoa!-Canoa!"

6. The Living Present

7. Homo Faber--Man as Maker

8. Valparaíso, 1849

9. Valparaíso 1850--New Directions

10. Ho! For California!

11. A Delicate Balance

12. Daguerreian in the Mother Lode