Carleton Watkins photographed the landscape of the American West. He often worked on commission and took this closely framed photograph of a crate full of peaches on assignment. Watkins was tasked with taking pictures of landholdings in Kern County, California, to attract prospective buyers to the region. Among the qualities he was asked to emphasize were the fertility of the land and its ready access to water, both of which are evoked in this photograph of plump peaches. To support this photograph’s function as evidence, Watkins affixed to its mount a certificate vouching for the authenticity of its content.
Additional text from Seeing Through Photographs online course, Coursera, 2016