Impressed by Light British Photographs from Paper Negatives, 1840-1860 Roger Taylor, Larry J. Schaaf

Metropolitan Museum of Art
Publication date:
28 Sep 2007
450 pages: 302 x 292 x 45mm
245 b&w illustrations and 142 colour images

When photography appeared shortly before 1840, the metal-plate daguerreotype, invented in France, was first to achieve popularity. But the process simultaneously developed in England for capturing an image on a paper negative--from which many positives could be printed--provided the foundation on which photography would build for the next 150 years. This beautiful book presents more than 120 photographs printed from paper negatives, or calotypes, most never before published. The entire course of the paper negative's "golden age" is described, from its laborious invention by William Henry Fox Talbot to competition with French photographers and commercial practitioners. Aesthetically ambitious, these richly textured calotypes were created by photographers both eminent and virtually unknown. Also included is an invaluable biographical dictionary of more than 500 British calotypists.

Roger Taylor is Professor of Photographic History at De Montfort University, Leicester, and former Senior Curator of Photographs and Head of Research Development at the National Media Museum, Bradford, England. Larry J. Schaaf is Senior Research Fellow and Honorary Professor, University of the Arts, London.

'Roger Taylor, in Impressed by Light: British Photographs from Paper Negatives, 1840 - 1860 captures the impact of surprise that the first photographs made.' - Christopher Howse, The Spectator

'Professor Taylor's beautiful book sets Talbot's discovery not just against cross-Channel jealousies but against the thirst for knowledge that characterised the early Victorian era.' - Robin Muir, World of Interiors