Your web browser is out of date. Update your browser for more security, speed and the best experience on this site.
Find out more
A Summer's Evening, Penllergare
CREDIT: Purchased as the Gift of Diana and Mallory Walker, National Gallery of Art Washington DC

Learning stuff from history

From astronomers to Welsh photographers

I have been studying the work of Willam and Caroline Herschel as their telescope constructions can inform my work on my moon camera. But through these readings I was struck by the connections that informed work even in those days.

Their nephew John Herschel was a photographic pioneer, leading to the photography of Anna Atkins. In turn they were connected to Fox Talbot, another photography pioneer.

Some time ago I had been studying the work of early Welsh photographers and I was struck by the same message. Mary Dillwyn, a distant relative of Fox Talbot who was credited with being the first female photographer in Wales. Unfortunately I could not find of her images available for use but you can find the one I saw on my Washington DC trip here.

John Dillwyn Llewelyn featured in the same exhibition and is once more connected with Fox Talbot. This 1854 albumen print had a real impression of calm. Looking closely you can even spot another camera to the centre of the frame!

These connections, and the stuff we can learn from each other is what the RPS is about.