This Autochrome screen plate was taken by Fred Payne Clatworthy (1875-1953) in Mazatlan in the Mexican state of Sinaloa in circa 1929. The image depicts a view looking southwest at Mazatlan Bay from western Mazatlan. A rocky cliff is visible in the foreground on the right side of the image. Three levels of stone or concrete terraces have been built into the face of the cliff. The terraces are bounded by low balustrades. A lone figure stands at edge of the lowest terrace. Below the cliff, the Pacific Ocean crashes against small rock formations that jut out of the the water. On the horizon line, Creston Island is visible. A lighthouse known as El Faro tops the summit of the hill on Creston Island. The lower half of the lighthouse appears near the upper edge of the image.
In 1929 and 1930, Clatworthy made two trips sponsored by the South Pacific Transportation Company to the western coast of Mexico. Over the course of the two trips Clatworthy photographed Compostela, Cuernavaca, Maztalan, Guadalajara, Tonala, San Juan Teotihuacán,Tlaxcala, Tepotzotlan, Tepoztlán, Lake Chahalla, Mexico City, and Zapopan. Thirteen Autochromes from Clatwothy's 1929 trip appeared in the July 1930 edition of National Geographic Magazine.
Fred Payne Clatworthy was a photographer and public lecturer who worked mostly out of Estes Park, Colorado during the first half of the twentieth century. Clatworthy was known for his mastery of the Autochrome screen plate, an early color photography format. In exchange for image use rights to Clatworthy's Autochromes, railways and transportation companies often sent him on all-expenses-paid photo assignments to various locations. In addition, approximately 100 of Clatworthy's Autochromes appeared in the pages of National Geographic Magazine between 1923 and 1934. From 1917 to 1934, Clatworthy regularly toured the United States, presenting Autochromes to the public in slide lectures. Some of his most notable venues included the Smithsonian Institution, the Field Museum, the American Museum of Natural History, and Carnegie Museum. Between Clatworthy’s lectures and published images, his work was seen by over ten million people in over 160 countries. Clatworthy also served as the official photographer for the Stanley Hotel, Covenant Heights, and the Rocky Mountain Young Men's Christian Association during the early half of the twentieth century. In addition to his photography work, Clatworthy also had several business interests in the Estes Park area including "Ye Littel Shop,," a curio store that sold furniture, produce, Kodak cameras, film, and Clatworthy’s own images of the area. This image is part of the Fred Payne Clatworthy collection (Ph.00560). This image is a digital surrogate; the appearance of the original object may vary.