Sketch by Fox Talbot, English, early 19th century.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
This pencil drawing, from a sketchbook by Fox Talbot, depicts a sycamore leaf. William Henry Fox Talbot (1800-1877) was an English physicist and pioneer of photography. In 1839 he announced his invention of 'photogenic drawing' in the same year as the invention of the daguerrotype by Louis Daguerre (1789-1851). The sketch was drawn during his honeymoon in Italy, using a camera lucida. His disatisfaction with images such as this urged him to pursue his photographic experiments.