Research point- The Pencil of Nature.

‘The Pencil of Nature, published in six instalments between 1844 and 1846, was the “first photographically illustrated book to be commercially published” or “the first commercially published book illustrated with photographs” It was wholly executed by the new art of Photogenic Drawing, without any aid whatever from the artist’s pencil and regarded as an important and influential work.  Written by William Henry Fox Talbot, the book detailed Talbot’s development of the calotype process and included 24 calotype prints, each one pasted in by hand, illustrating some of the possible applications of the new technology. Since photography was still very much a novelty and many people remained unfamiliar with the concept, Talbot felt compelled to insert the following notice into his book:

‘The plates of the present work are impressed by the agency of Light alone, without any aid whatever from the artist’s pencil. They are the sun-pictures themselves, and not, as some persons have imagined, engravings in imitation.’


Adapted from –– accessed 23rd February 2017.

I already feel bad for not having ever heard of this before. I never touched on it for my HNC and I feel rotten now. I feel even worse having looked at this;

‘The Calotype, or ‘Talbotype’, was a refinement of the process of photogenic drawing, offering a much more sensitive medium through its use of the latent image phenomenon. It was invented by Fox Talbot in September 1840 and patented on the 8th of February 1841. While it was never remotely competitive in the commercial sphere (although Talbot and Nicolaas Henneman (1813-1898) used it as the basis of their photographic business at Reading), it was offered as the chief alternative to the Daguerreotype and was more attractive to amateurs, artists, and scientists, who adopted it widely’

Adapted from –– accessed 23rd February 2017.

The Talbotype! What have I been doing all these years? Reading more into this new world I have never heard of, I am very excited by it and intrigued.








Accessed from-Glasgow University Special Collections Library-– 6th February 2017.

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