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HomeContentsThemes > Salt prints


Information requests
697.01   Improving content on photographic techniques
697.02   Henry Fox Talbot: The Pencil of Nature (1844-1846)
697.03   Hill & Adamson: Newhaven
697.04   Painted salt prints
697.05   Salt prints: Exteriors
697.06   Salt prints: Portraits
697.07   Salt prints: Occupations and roles
697.08   Salt prints: Military
697.09   Salt prints: Objects
697.10   Salt prints: Still life
697.11   Blanquart-Evrard process prints
This theme includes example sections and will be revised and added to as we proceed. Suggestions for additions, improvements and the correction of factual errors are always appreciated.
Information requests 
697.01   Process and product >  Improving content on photographic techniques 
We are seeking to expand the themes covering photographic techniques and processes. These sections will include:
  • Invention of the process
  • Any related patents
  • Trade literature
  • Contemporary advertisements and announcements of the innovation
  • A description of the process and its variants
  • Historical examples and details of where examples can be located in public collections
  • Contemporary examples by photographers using the exact process.
Conservation will not initially be included but may be in the future if required.
697.02   Process and product >  Henry Fox Talbot: The Pencil of Nature (1844-1846) 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
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Whilst the announcement of the daguerreotype in 1839 was a stimulus to the work of Henry Fox Talbot[1] it was he who fully appreciated to range of possibilities and there was no other photographer or innovator who expressed it as well. His book The Pencil of Nature was visionary in so many ways - Talbot appreciated the advantage of a negative / positive process and provided exemplars of how photography could be used for distinct purposes. Nothing says it clearer than his own words:
The Pencil of Nature
Introductory Remarks
The little work now presented to the Public is the first attempt to publish a series of plates or pictures wholly executed by the new art of Photogenic Drawing, without any aid whatever from the artist's pencil.
The term “Photography” is now so well known, that an explanation of it is perhaps superfluous; yet, as some persons may still be unacquainted with the art, even by name, its discovery being still of very recent date, a few words may be looked for of general explanation.
It may suffice, then, to say, that the plates of this work have been obtained by the mere action of Light upon sensitive paper. They have been formed or depicted by optical and chemical means alone, and without the aid of any one acquainted with the art of drawing. It is needless, therefore, to say that they differ in all respects, and as widely us possible, in their origin, from plates of the ordinary kind, which owe their existence to the united skill of the Artist and the Engraver.
They are impressed by Nature's hand; and what they want as yet of delicacy and finish of execution arises chiefly from our want of sufficient knowledge of her laws. When we have learnt more, by experience, respecting the formation of such pictures, they will doubtless be brought much nearer to perfection; and though we may not be able to conjecture with any certainty what rank they may hereafter attain to as pictorial productions, they will surely find their own sphere of utility, both for completeness of detail and correctness of perspective.
The Author of the present work having been so fortunate as to discover, about ten years ago, the principles and practice of Photogenic Drawing, is desirous that the first specimen of an Art, likely in all probability to be much employed in future, should be published in the country where it was first discovered. And he makes no doubt that his countrymen will deem such an intention sufficiently laudable to induce them to excuse the imperfections necessarily incident to a first attempt to exhibit an Art of so great singularity, which employs processes entirely new, and having no analogy to any thing in use before. That such imperfections will occur in a first essay, must indeed be expected. At present the Art can hardly be said to have advanced beyond its infancy—at any rate, it is yet in a very early stage—and its practice is often impeded by doubts and difficulties, which, with increasing knowledge, will diminish and disappear. Its progress will be more rapid when more minds are devoted to its improvement, and when more of skilful manual assistance is employed in the manipulation of its delicate processes; the paucity of which skilled assistance at the present moment the Author finds one of the chief difficulties in his way.[2]
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697.03   Process and product >  Hill & Adamson: Newhaven 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
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The short partnership of David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson starting in 1843 and ending with Adamson's early death in January 1848 was remarkable in many ways. It started with the creation of calotypes for the painting commemorating the Disruption of the Church of Scotland[3] and quickly moved into other collaborative projects.  
In the nineteenth century Newhaven was a fishing village two miles two miles north of the city center of Edinburgh in Scotland. The lower floors of houses stored nets and fishing equipment and the 'forstair' led up to the living accommodation and houses like this are still there today.[4]
Hill & Adamson took numerous portraits of fishermen, their wives and children involved in their work during the 1840s. These remain as an outstanding documentary project of occupational portraits taken outside at a time when most portraits where taken in a studio.[5] 
   1 Hill Adamson Newhaven 
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697.04   Process and product >  Painted salt prints 
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697.05   Process and product >  Salt prints: Exteriors 
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697.06   Process and product >  Salt prints: Portraits 
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697.07   Process and product >  Salt prints: Occupations and roles 
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It may well be a generalization that will require further analysis but there does appear to be a difference between daguerreotypes and salt print occupationals. Although some salt print occupationals were taken in photographic studios they were also taken outside in informal situations. Hill & Adamson: Newhaven The series by Hill & Adamson taken at Newhaven in Scotland[6] is an outstanding example of this. 
697.08   Process and product >  Salt prints: Military 
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697.09   Process and product >  Salt prints: Objects 
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697.10   Process and product >  Salt prints: Still life 
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697.11   Process and product >  Blanquart-Evrard process prints 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
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  1. Λ Henry Fox Talbot, 1839, Some Account of the Art of Photogenic Drawing or the Process by Which Natural Objects May be Made to Delineate Themselves Without the Aid of the Artist’s Pencil, (London: London: R. and J. E. Taylor); Henry Fox Talbot, 1839, 9 February, ‘Photogenic Drawing. Some Account of the Art of Photogenic Drawing, or the Process by which Natural Objects may be made to delineate themselves without the aid of the Artist's Pencil‘, The Athenaeum, no. 589, pp. 114-117 
  2. Λ H. Fox Talbot, 1844, The Pencil of Nature, (London: Longman, Brown, Green and Longmans), Introductory remarks 
  3. Λ David Octavius Hill, 1866, "The First General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland - Signing the Act of Separation and the Deed of Demission at Tanfield, Edinburgh, May 1843", Oil painting, 5 foot x 11 foot 4 inches (1.53m x 3.45m), Free Church of Scotland [This photograph was taken by Rev George T. Thomson LRPS and is provided with the permission of the Free Church of Scotland.] 
  4. Λ Newhaven, Edinburgh - Wikipedia
    (Accessed: 20 August 2013),_Edinburgh 
  5. Λ Sara Stevenson, 1990, Hill and Adamson's The Fishermen and Women of the Firth of Forth, (Edinburgh: National Galleries of Scotland) 
  6. Λ Sara Stevenson, 1990, Hill and Adamson's The Fishermen and Women of the Firth of Forth, (Edinburgh: National Galleries of Scotland)


HomeContents > Further research

General reading 
Gernsheim, Helmut & Gernsheim, Alison, 1982, The Origins of Photography. Vol. 1 of The History of Photography, (New York: Thames and Hudson) [Δ
Reilly, James M., 2012, The Albumen and Salted Paper Book, (RIT Press) isbn-13: 978-1933360782 [Δ
Stulik, Dusan & Kaplan, Art, 2013, The Atlas of Analytical Signatures of Photographic Processes: Salt print, (Los Angeles: The Getty Conservation Institute) [Δ
Taylor, Roger; with Larry J. Schaaf, 2007, Impressed by Light: British Photographs from Paper Negatives, 1840–1860, (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art) [Δ
Readings on, or by, individual photographers 
Claude-Marie Ferrier 
Cameron, John B. & Schimmelman, Janice G., 2012, The Early Paper Stereoviews of Claude-Marie Ferrier, 1852-1858, (The Collodion Press - Privately printed - Blurb / 3400181) [Δ
Gustave Le Gray 
Barro, Lisa & Kennedy, Nora W., 2005, ‘Gustave Le Gray's Salted Paper Prints‘, in 2005, Pre-Prints of the 14th Triennial Meeting Amsterdam, ICOM Committee for Conservation, pp. 533–540 [Δ
If you feel this list is missing a significant book or article please let me know - Alan - 

HomeContentsPhotographers > Photographers worth investigating

Édouard Baldus  (1813-1889) • Giacomo Caneva  (1813-1865) • Eugène Constant  (check) • Vittorio della Rovere • Maxime Du Camp  (1822-1894) • Claude-Marie Ferrier  (1811-1889) • Frederick Fiebig • Comte Frédéric Flachéron  (1813-1883) • Hill & Adamson • Silas A. Holmes  (1820-1886) • Calvert Richard Jones  (1804-1877) • Gustave Le Gray  (1820-1884) • Henri Le Secq  (1818-1882) • John McCosh  (check) • Luigi Pesce •  Aimé Rochas • Nevil Story-Maskelyne  (1823-1911) • Henry Fox Talbot  (1800-1877) • Félix Teynard  (1817-1892) • Jean Walther  (1806-1866)
HomeTechniquesProcess and product > Salt prints 
A wider gazeRelated topics 
Imprimerie photographique Blanquart-Evrard 

HomeContentsOnline exhibitions > Salt prints

Please submit suggestions for Online Exhibitions that will enhance this theme.
Alan -

ThumbnailSalt paper prints - Exterior views (1839-1855) 
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Released (October 24, 2010) A preliminary reference set.
Currently seeking higher quality scans and further examples.
ThumbnailSalt prints 
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Released (July 15, 2006)

HomeVisual indexes > Salt prints

Please submit suggestions for Visual Indexes to enhance this theme.
Alan -

ThumbnailHill & Adamson: Edinburgh Castle 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
ThumbnailHill & Adamson: James Linton at Newhaven 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
ThumbnailHill & Adamson: Newhaven 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
ThumbnailSilas A. Holmes (attributed): New York ca. 1855) 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
ThumbnailSalt prints: Painted 
ThumbnailSalt prints: Themes: Erotica 
ThumbnailSalt prints: Themes: Exteriors 
ThumbnailSalt prints: Themes: Military 
ThumbnailSalt prints: Themes: Objects 
ThumbnailSalt prints: Themes: Occupationals 
ThumbnailSalt prints: Themes: Photographica 
ThumbnailSalt prints: Themes: Photomontage 
ThumbnailSalt prints: Themes: Places 
ThumbnailSalt prints: Themes: Portraits 
ThumbnailSalt prints: Themes: Post-mortem 
ThumbnailSalt prints: Themes: Sports and pastimes 
ThumbnailSalt prints: Themes: Still life 
Refreshed: 27 September 2014, 06:29
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