The birth of Photography: William Talbot

talbot-01William Henry Fox Talbot, English inventor of photographic processes, was bon on this day in 1800. A man of enormously versatile intelligence, he invented the “photogenic drawing” process in 1834. From 1841 on he patented his numerous processes for making negatives and positive prints, called calotypes and later talbotypes.

By 1835 Talbot had placed his photographic investigations on hold to pursue other interests. Not wanting to be outdone, however, Talbot announced his invention of the photogenic drawing in January 1839, two weeks after Louis-Jacques Mandé Daguerre’s daguerreotype process was introduced in France. Talbot’s negative/positive process, the calotype, was introduced in 1840. His invention, which shortened exposure times and allowed multiple prints to be made from a single negative, became the basis for photography as it is practiced today.







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