1843 - Hill and Adamson: pioneers of Scottish photography

The invention of the calotype in the 1830s is often seen as the birth of photography as we know it. In the decade following its invention, David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson were its most important practitioners in Scotland. Their partnership lasted from 1843 to 1847 and produced a remarkable body of work that had a tremendous influence on the development of Scottish photography.

Invented in the 1830s by Henry Fox Talbot as a simple process for creating photographic images using a box camera and drawing paper coated with chemicals, the technique of producing calotypes was introduced into Scotland in 1841. Shortly after establishing a photographic business in Edinburgh, Adamson (1821-48) was introduced to Hill (1802-70), secretary of the Royal Scottish Academy and a keen enthusiast for the new medium. Hill's experience as an artist, and Adamson's mastery of the new technology, resulted in a series of high-quality images of exceptional realism and dynamism. The calotypes assembled in this volume provide a fascinating insight into life in Victorian Scotland, and highlight one of the most famous and successful collaborations in the history of early photography.

D. O. Hill and R. Adamson. [Album of photographs by D. O. Hill and Robert Adamson, with drawings and watercolours by several other artists], [1843-1863]. RB.m.32

Hill & Adamson: Pioneers of Scottish Photography


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