This author of “Rambles and Recollections” signed it with only initials, revealing few personal clues and no hint of his or her occupation. But H. W. was clearly a dedicated amateur photographer. Resident in London in 1853, H. W. was inspired by photographic exhibitions but could not afford to take lessons from Thomas Malone at the Polytechnic Institution and thus was self-taught from a handbook. The following year H. W. was in the country, with more time and enough money to buy the entire (then) nine-month run of the fledgling Photographic Journal. It was Robert Hunt’s Manual of Photography and his Researches on Light, however, that most inspired H.W., who favored Hunt’s chromatype process for copying engravings and Thomas Wood’s iron-based catalisotype for making paper negatives in the camera. About 1855, H.W. converted to collodion and was still active in photography two decades later.
Roger Taylor & Larry J. Schaaf Impressed by Light: British Photographs from Paper Negatives, 1840-1860 (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2007)
This biography is courtesy and copyright of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and is included here with permission.
Date last updated: 4 Nov 2012.
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