Cyanotype of British fern, 1853.

Cyanotype of British fern, 1853.

Atkins, Anna

© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

image details

Taken from an album of ferns published in 1853 for presentation to CSA by Anna Atkins, a pioneering figure in photography, and her friend, Anne Dixon (1799- 1864). Atkins is credited with having produced the first book to use photographic illustrations. The 'blueprint' proces used to make the image employs ferric salts to produce a light sensitive solution coated onto a sheet of paper. After exposure it is permanently fixed by washing in plain water. The image is white on a blue background, and is highly durable and stable.
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