Mountain in Clouds with Mountain Ash, Jump-off Trail, Great Smoky Mountain National Park, Tennessee, October 11, 1967Eliot Porter taught himself how to photograph and make his own black-and-white prints during his early teenage years. In the mid-1930s, he became a master black-and-white printer and, in late 1938, started gaining widespread renown for his quiet, elegantly balanced landscapes. While he never fully gave up black and white after he took up color in 1939, he was focusing almost wholly on color by the mid-1950s. After experimenting with tri-color carbro printing, Porter taught himself Kodak's new wash-off relief process. He switched to the dye transfer process when it superseded wash-off relief printing in 1946. He remained committed to dye transfer printing for the rest of his life, appreciating the extensive color control that the process offered.

This Collection Guide samples Porter's photographs from throughout his career. It provides a numerical listing of his photographs in the collection; describes the dye transfer process, his printing method of choice; and samples his images from across the collection. The photographer generally organized his landscape photographs by location and his bird photographs by species. He kept his black-and-white photographs separate from his color prints. The photographs in the category "In Wildness Is the Preservation of the World" have been artificially separated from their original location categories because these images reflect the artist's first and most important book. The categories "Eastern United States" and "Western United States" represent groupings of photographs not covered in the other categories. The images within each category are presented largely in chronological order, and brief introductions open each section.

To avoid any vertical scrolling, this Collection Guide is best viewed at 1024x768 resolution. Screen resolution settings can be updated via the Display control panel (in Windows) or the Monitors and Sounds control panel (in MacOS).