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Negative of a leaf, c 1839.

Talbot, William Henry Fox

Negative of a leaf, c 1839.
4 0 c m
actual image size: 25cm x 32cm


Photogenic drawing negative by English pioneer of photography William Henry Fox Talbot (1800-1877). Photogenic drawing was Talbot's name for the results of his first cameraless photographic process. Talbot invented the first negative/positive process for producing photographs between 1835 and 1839. For the first time, any number of prints could be made of the same image by transferring the negative image on to special paper to make a positive print. This process became known as the calotype process. To produce photogenic drawings, Talbot placed objects or leaves on sensitised paper. Areas where sunlight fell darkened, whereas covered areas remained light, resulting in a printed out negative image.

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© National Museum of Science & Media / Science & Society Picture Library

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