William Henry Fox Talbot

<p><b>Wiiliam Henry Fox Talbot</b>, <i>Nelson's Column under Construction, Trafalgar Square</i>, April 1844.</p>
<p><b>Wiiliam Henry Fox Talbot</b>, <i>Buckler Fern</i>, 1839.</p>
<p><b>Wiiliam Henry Fox Talbot</b>, <i>Lace, Plate XX</i>, 1844.</p>
<p><b>Wiiliam Henry Fox Talbot</b>, <i>Insect Wings</i>, circa 1840.</p>
<p><b>Wiiliam Henry Fox Talbot</b>, <i>The Oriel Window, South Gallery, Lacock Abbey</i>, circa 1835.</p>
<p><b>Wiiliam Henry Fox Talbot</b>, <i>The Open Door</i>, before May 1844.</p>
<p><b>Wiiliam Henry Fox Talbot</b>, <i>The Haystack</i>, April 1844.</p>
<p><b>Wiiliam Henry Fox Talbot</b>, <i>Cloisters, Lacock Abbey; Rev. Calvert Jones seated</i>, 1843-50.</p>
<p><b>Wiiliam Henry Fox Talbot</b>, <i>Miss Horatia Feilding, half-sister of Talbot, playing the harp</i>, circa 1842.</p>
<p><b>Wiiliam Henry Fox Talbot</b>, <i>The Tomb of Sir Walter Scott, Dryburgh Abbey</i>, 1844.</p>
<p><b>Wiiliam Henry Fox Talbot</b>, <i>A Scene in York: York Minster from Lop Lane</i>, 1845.</p
<p><b>Wiiliam Henry Fox Talbot</b>, <i>Oak Tree in Winter</i>, circa 1842-1843.</p>
<p><b>Wiiliam Henry Fox Talbot</b>, <i>High Street, Oxford</i>, 1842.</p>
<p><b>Wiiliam Henry Fox Talbot</b>, <i>SS Great Britain fitting out alongside Gasworks quay in Bristol Floating Harbour (not Cumberland Basin)</i>, April 1844.</p>
<p><b>Wiiliam Henry Fox Talbot</b>, <i>The Fruit Sellers, Lacock Abbey,</i>, circa 1845.</p>
<p><b>Wiiliam Henry Fox Talbot</b>, <i>Dandelion Seeds</i>, 1852.</p>
1799 , d. 1876

British dude with lots of Britishy names - think of a little red fox with a camera running away from an English fox hunt with the hounds and red coats and horses and trumpets and all that. One of the primary inventors of photography. First produced "photogenic drawings" (photograms), and small, long exposure images with little "mousetrap" cameras around 1834-35. Went on to do other polymath-type things, then in 1839, at the news of Louis Daguerre's photographic process, he got back at it and came up with the calotype process in 1840, a method that created a negative image (a negative) from which any number of positive images could be made (unlike Daguerre's process, which created highly detailed but fragile and non-reproducible images). Took a few nice pictures while he was at it. Collaborated with Sir John Herschel, who provided the means to make the images permanent, and also with Anna Atkins.

The story goes that newly-married William (Henry) FOX Talbot was on his honeymoon in Italy in 1834, by the shores of beautiful Lake Como, trying to sketch the scenery using a camera lucida, a little prism that superimposed an image the the landscape (or whatever) on the sketchpad, which could then be traced. And, well, he sucked at it - his drawings looked almost as bad as yours do when you try and trace something. So he thought, "Hey, wouldn't it be great if there was some way that light itself could create the drawing - I should invent that." The real truth, however, is that he wasn't trying to sketch Lake Como - he only had eyes for his beautiful new wife Constance. So Constance is sitting patiently on the lakeshore and William (Henry) FOX Talbot is doing his best to capture her beauty, aaaand - when he looked at what he'd drawn, he saw an ugly monkey in a wrinkled sack. No! The future flashed before his eyes - Constance coming over to look, gazing in horror at what he'd drawn, saying, "Is that how you really think I look?", whacking him with her parasol and then stomping off, leaving him once again in nerdy polymath loneliness. (I have it on good authority Constance called him "Foxy T" - he knew he would never get so lucky in love again). So he realized that, crap, he needed to invent photography and fast or it was all over (and necessity is the mother of invention).

p.s. - He "accidentally" let the sketch page of Constance Ugly Monkeywoman blow into the lake, never to be seen again.

time well spent

closeup view Jack Troy cup, links to Jack Troy artist page

time to explore

link to newest page of ceramic artist links, including link to Scott Parady, pictured

time flies

Link to monthly image blog