Alvin Langdon Coburn made this striking image of two soaring silhouetted palm trees at a mission in the Californian desert. A consummate romantic, he captured the scene at dusk, when the setting sun mellows hard edges and a monochromatic haze settles in. His introduction of dark verticals into an otherwise tonally flat landscape was a virtuoso accomplishment. Coburn admired the simplicity of Japanese art and understood the crucial relationship between the syntax of image-making and the choice of process that would give life to the picture. Here, his use of platinum allowed him to achieve remarkable strength in the mid-tones.