On one of my many trips to England I visited the home of Henry Fox Talbot at Lacock Abbey. Some consider him the ‘father of photography’. He invented a way to make a paper negative, in 1835, that could be reproduced. You don’t hear as much about him as you do Daguerre and Niepce. Talbot’s mistake might have been that he didn’t introduce his idea to the world until 1839 or apply for a patent as early as he should have. he thought no one else would beat him.
I visited Lacock Abbey with my Hasselblad 500CM film camera. I walked around the abbey and made images in the same places that Talbot did. I then came home and learned how to make salt paper prints in the same way Talbot did. An improvement over his process is that I could use a UV light box for the contact print instead of putting the paper out into the sun for days. That was his invention: salt could fix the negative. Here are two prints I made:
I also learned to make platinum prints.
This one is not from lack Abbey but of the Clifton bridge in Bristol. This was an engineering marvel for its time. Engineered by Brunel. There is a new Brunel museum in Bristol and really worth a visit. I was just there in May of this year.
I kind of dropped the ball on my alternative printing, but now with my UV light box made, chemicals and paper bought, and several contact frames I am ready to go. After the holidays I plan to concentrate on this process as I make a book about a series I have been working on over the past 5 years. Stay tuned.
(FYI: I learned alternative printing from master printer and teacher, Ray Bidegain, in Portland, Oregon. Check him out on the web for more information) Thanks for reading