4470Lecture_2

4470Lecture_2 - Professor: Darius A. Spieth Art History...

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Unformatted text preview: Professor: Darius A. Spieth Art History Program LSU School of Art William Henry Fox Talbot, Latticed Window Taken with the Camera Obscura, August 1835 , photogenic drawing negative, mounted on blackened paper After 1839, Daguerreotypes were on the wane; the reason for this was a new photographic technique pioneered by British photographer Henry Fox Talbot Fox Talbot’s photographic process would point the direction in which photography was to further develop Fox Talbot was a wealthy landowner, scholar, sometime member of parliament, and a scientist dabbling in mathematics, linguistics, classical studies, chemistry and botany; he was also a frustrated artist In the context of the discussions of his new techniques, the word photography was used for the first time He started out with altered camera obscura devices by adding lenses so as to make “photogenic drawings”; he also experimented with a mixture of silver nitrate and salt solution on paper to make contact prints By the end of the 1840s, Talbot had invented a developer to expose images captured on paper and a method of positive- negative photography He called these photographs “calotypes,” after the Greek word for beauty (“kalos”), later known as Talbottypes Principle of developing a latent image captured on sensitized paper is basic to most subsequent photographic processes A relatively weak light signal is amplified enormously by development; exposure time is radically shortened William Henry Fox Talbot, Botanical Specimen, (Branch of Flowering Appletree), ca. 1839, photogenic drawing negative Fox Talbot was aware of Thomas Wedgwood’s (1771-1805, son of pottery manufacturer Josiah Wedgwood) unsuccessful experiments with light- sensitive paper from 1802, but claimed to have never heard about Daguerre and his method Near-simultaneous announcement of two competing photographic processes: Daguerreotypes and Calotypes When he did hear about François Arago’s (French scientist, politician and sponsor of the public buy-out of Daguerre’s patent) lecture on the Daguerreotype to the French Academy, he was taken by surprise: “I was placed in a very unusual dilemma (scarcely paralleled in the annals of science), for I was threatened with the loss of all my labors , in case M. Daguerre’s process proved to be identical with mine” William Henry Fox Talbot, Botanical Specimen, Leaves, ca. 1839, photogenic drawing negative To establish priority, he rushed samples of his work to The Royal Institute in London, where on the evening of Jan. 25, 1839, they were shown to members: These samples consisted of: “flowers and leaves; pattern of laces; figures taken from painted glass; a view of Venice copied from an engraving; some images formed by the Solar Microscope [and] various pictures representing the architecture of my house in the country … made with the camera obscura in the summer of 1835 [see Latticed Window Taken with the Camera Obscura, August 1835 ]” William Henry Fox Talbot,...
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course ART 4470 taught by Professor Dariusa.spieth during the Spring '08 term at LSU.

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4470Lecture_2 - Professor: Darius A. Spieth Art History...

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