Sphinx, Lacock Abbey, Wiltshire, 1840.

Talbot, William Henry Fox

Sphinx, Lacock Abbey, Wiltshire, 1840.
3 5 c m
40cm
actual image size: 32cm x 27cm

Description

Salted paper print from a photogenic drawing negative by William Henry Fox Talbot (1800-1877). Photogenic drawing was Fox Talbot's name for the results of his first, cameraless photographic process and derived from experiments he began in 1834 but did not announce until 1839. To produce a photogenic drawing Fox Talbot placed objects or leaves on sensitized paper. The areas where sunlight fell became darkened, while covered areas remained light. This resulted in a printed out negative image. Talbot invented the negative/positive process for producing photographs between 1835 and 1839, and for this is widely recognised as the inventor of modern photography. Any number of prints could be made from the same shot by transferring the negative image on to special paper to make a positive print.

© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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