Lacock Abbey, Wiltshire: the home of William Henry Fox Talbot, the inventor, among other things, of the photographic negative process.
The window above the doorway is the very one that Fox Talbot photographed (from within the room), when making his first successful paper negative. The photograph, entitled "Latticed window in Lacock Abbey in 1835" by Talbot is a print from the oldest photographic negative in existence. Talbot said he engaged in his photographic experiments beginning in early 1834, well before 1839, when Louis Daguerre exhibited his pictures taken by the sun. After Daguerre's discovery was announced (without details), Talbot showed his five-year-old pictures at the Royal Institution on 25 January 1839. Within a fortnight, he freely communicated the technical details of his photogenic drawing process to the Royal Society. Daguerre would not reveal the manipulatory details of his process until August. In 1841, Talbot announced his discovery of the calotype, or talbotype, process. This process reflected the work of many predecessors, most notably John Herschel and Thomas Wedgwood. In August 1841, Talbot licensed Henry Collen, the miniature painter (1798–1879) as the first professional calotypist. Talbot's original contributions included the concept of a negative from which many positive prints can be made (although the terms negative and positive were coined by Herschel), and the use of gallic acid for developing the latent image. In 1842, for his photographic discoveries detailed in his The Pencil of Nature (1844), he received the Rumford Medal of the Royal Society.
As I can't add a hyperlink, I've added a copy of Fox Talbot's groundbreaking photograph as a Workshop.
My humble effort uses the black and white negative film that is a direct descendant of Fox Talbot's pioneering work. The neg was scanned on a Nikon film scanner @ 3200 dpi; sepia effect in Photoshop, in order to remind viewers of the heritage. I imagine Fox Talbot would have been intrigued...
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trevormoffiet (927) 2012-06-07 3:56
I found the history in your note to be very interesting.
The sepia treatment on the positive of your scanned image does make it look like an image from much earlier times. The image adds substantially to the history given in your note.
alpi1500 (1376) 2012-06-07 7:20
Nice POV and good note.
Have a nice day.
tyro (13585) 2012-06-07 8:53
A very interesting note and a fine photograph of Fox Talbot's window in Lacock Abbey, the place where photographic history was indeed made in England.
Your scan has worked very well and we can see this beautiful oriel window in all its glory and, of course, compare it with Fox Talbot's picture from the inside which you have added as a workshop. The tones and contrasts are excellent and the sepia treatment (which is very subtle unlike many rather brash sepia tones I have seen on TE) gives a fine air of age to your photograph.
P.S. You might be interested in this photograph which was uploaded about five years ago by a friend of mine who used to be very active on TE. It has been taken from a different angle but he, like yourself, has also used the pathway as a "lead-n" to the picture.