This is part of the London Festival of Photography.
Discover the treasures of early photography from the Talbot Collection in the company of the Curator.
John Falconer will deliver an intimate and exclusive presentation to 12 very lucky people in the British Library print room on Britain's most important photographer, Henry Fox Talbot.
Credited as "the pioneer of photography" when he invented the Calotype process, the precursor to most photographic processes of the 19th and 20th centuries, Talbot's archive is now housed at the British Library. Discover firsthand the birth of modern day photography when you join the British Library's Lead Curator of Photographs in a rare and detailed discussion and presentation of Talbot's original prints and notebooks.
William Henry Fox Talbot (11 Feb 1800 to 17 Sep 1877) was a British inventor and photography pioneer who invented the calotype process, a precursor to photographic processes of the 19th and 20th centuries. Talbot was also a noted photographer who made major contributions to the development of photography as an artistic medium. Additionally, he made some important early photographs of Oxford, Paris, Reading, and York.
William Henry Fox Talbot's calotype process, the first practical negative-positive photographic process, was patented by him in 1841. A sheet of good quality paper was first treated with light-sensitive silver compounds before exposure in the camera. The 'latent' image thus produced was then developed in gallo-nitrate of silver and fixed. This concept of negative-positive photography, allowing the production of an unlimited number of prints from a single negative, has formed the basis of photographic practice up to the present day, and is only now being challenged by digital imagery.
John Falconer is Lead Curator, Visual Arts and Curator of Photographs at the British Library. He specialises in 19th-century photography in Asia and is the author and editor of numerous works in this field. The Royal Photographic Society awarded him its Colin Ford Medal in 2010.