Robert MacPherson (1811-1872)
Of Scots descent, MacPherson lived and worked in Rome. He took up photography
in the 1850s and became a leading photographer of Roman
art and antiquities. MacPherson is also known for his Guide Book
to the Sculpture in the Vatican published in 1863 and as an inventor
of photographic lithography.
Paul Martin (1864-1942)
The son of a French farmer who migrated to England, Paul Martin was one
of the first 'candid camera' photographers. Martin was a very gifted amateur
photographer who loved gadgets and took his most striking photographs
unobserved, by concealing his camera in a suitcase. His photographs of
working class life in London and at the seaside are completely natural
and un-posed. Later, Martin took photographs of stage productions and
of London by night.
John Jabez Edwin Mayall (1810-1901)
An American daguerreotype portrait photographer who is thought to have
been born in Birmingham, Mayall lived in America for some time and returned
to England in 1847. Mayall established a chain of highly successful photographic
studios in London and the provinces and, turning away from daguerreotypes,
produced carte-de-visite and cabinet photographs. In 1853, he patented
a device for 'vignetting' (the deliberate fading of the edges of prints
to give a soft effect). Mayall was Mayor of Brighton from 1877-78.
Samuel Morse (1791-1872)
Born in Charleston, Mass., Morse is best known as the inventor of the
electric telegraph and the Morse code. Morse was, however, also a famous
pioneer photographer. He took his first daguerreotype in 1839 and opened
a studio in 1840. Although Morse soon gave up active photography, he continued
to take an interest in the art, teaching, among others, Mathew Brady and
James Mudd (1821-96)
Once a textile designer, Mudd became a professional photographer specializing
in portraits. Active in Manchester from 1854-1870, Mudd is famous, not
only for his carte-de-visite portraits, but also for his brilliant landscape
Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904)
Muybridge was born Edward Muggeridge in London, and was the inventor of
instantaneous photography. His best known work is his 'Animal Locomotion',
a series of photographs showing the movement of animals and humans, produced
between 1872 and 1885, and published by the University of Philadelphia
in 1887. The series is said to have originated as the result of a bet
made by Leyland Stanford, the railway millionaire. Stanford was sure that
a running horse had all four hooves in the air, wagered 25,000 dollars
and enlisted the aid of Muybridge to help him prove his point. Using twelve
separate cameras spaced at intervals of twenty-seven inches, each camera
having a shutter speed of 1/1000 second worked by a black thread stretched
across the track, Muybridge was able to produce twelve photographs, each
one showing a different stage of the horse's movement as it broke the
thread, and proved Stanford right. In 1881, Muybridge experimented with
an early type of motion picture projector, the 'zoopraxiscope'.
Nadar (pseudonym for Gaspard
Felix Tournachon) (1820-1910)
Once a cartoonist, Nadar had the reputation of being France's finest portrait
photographer. It was written of his portraits: 'They are too true to nature
to please the sitters, even the most beautiful.' Nadar did not lionize
his sitters, unlike Julia Margaret Cameron, and he rarely photographed
women. One of the few women he did photograph was George Sand, the mistress
of Chopin. In 1858, Nadar became internationally famous when he took the
first photograph from a balloon and later, during the siege of Paris,
commanded a balloon observation corps. In i860, using magnesium flares,
Nadar photographed the catacombs of Paris.
Charles Negre (1820-1879)
Negre opened a portrait studio in Paris in 1850. He is noted not only
for his calotype portraits and genre scenes, but also for his architectural
photographs. Negre invented in 1854 a photogalvano-graphic process for
the photomechanical reproduction of images. He was a founder member of
the Societe Francaise de Photographie.
Joseph Nicephore Niepce (1765-1833)
Niepce was the inventor of the 'fixed image' and in 1826, after an exposure
time of over eight hours, took the earliest known photograph from nature,
a view from the upstairs window of his home near Gras in France. He called
the process 'heliography'. Apart from his experiments with heliographs,
Niepce also improved the camera, being the first to use bellows and an
iris diaphragm in cameras he made himself.
William Notman (1826-1891)
Born in Britain, Notman went to Canada and from the mid 1850s took photographs
of that country. Notman also photographed famous personalities of the
period, including Buffalo Bill and Sitting Bull. His work forms a valuable
record of Canada's life, people and customs during the second half of
the nineteenth century.
Timothy O"Sullivan (1840-1882)
A member of a team of photographers who photographed the American Civil
War, O'Sullivan worked with Gardner and contributed photographs to the
Photographic Sketch Book of the War. After the war he worked as
a photographer for the Government, taking splendidly dispassionate photographs
of the newly opened territories of the west.
Carlo Ponti (1823-93)
Inventor of the 'megalethoscope', a panoramic photograph viewer, Ponti
was one of Italy's leading photographers, specializing in genre scenes
and topographical views. Ponti published during the 1860s several albums
of his photographs under the title Ricordo di Venezia.
William Lake Price (1810-1896)
Although Price produced photographs for eight years only, during that
period his work was varied and considerable. Price's output ranged from
cartes-de-visite and photographs of art objects to large combination prints,
produced by cutting and pasting a number of positives together to form
a single print. Combination prints were a photographic process that Price
was among the first to popularize. In 1858, he published his Manual
of Photographic Manipulation, which was an attempt to put forward
his aesthetic ideas on photography.
Oscar Gustave Rejlander (1813-1875)
Of Swedish extraction, Rejlander was, with the possible exception of Peach
Robinson, the best known exponent of 'Pictorial Photography'. In 1857
he produced his chef d'oeuvre 'The Two Ways of Life', a moralistic
study of virtue and vice, which included what were, for the time, some
rather daring nude studies. 'The Two Ways of Life', concocted from over
30 negatives, was bought by Queen Victoria for Prince Albert, who hung
it in his study! Encouraged by this success, Rejlander produced many other
combination prints and continued as a professional photographer until
his death in 1875.
James Robertson (active 1852-1865)
Robertson started life as a designer of medals, which he exhibited at
the Royal Academy
in London. During the 1850s, Robertson published views of Malta, Constantinople,
and Athens. He is, however, best known as a photographer of the Crimean
War. Later he photographed scenes in Palestine and Syria, and scenes in
India after the Mutiny of 1857/58.
Henry Peach Robinson (1830-1901)
An exponent of the 'Pictorial Photography' style, Robinson achieved overnight
success at the age of 28 with his photograph 'Fading Away', a combination
print made from five negatives. Robinson influenced photographic composition
for almost half a century; but although he was a first rate technician,
the artificiality of his method, the use of photomontage, paste, and scissors,
to produce what appeared to be a single print, was later derided by the
Olivier Francois Xavier Sarony (1820-1879)
Born in Canada but domiciled in England, Sarony was the most successful
of the provincial photographers. He had a studio in Scarborough. In the
1870s he developed a new enlarging technique.
Camille Silvy (active 1857-1869)
Silvy was a French landscape and portrait photographer who worked in London.
His most famous landscape photograph, a river scene (c.1860), was produced
from two negatives, one of the river and one of the sky. Silvy was later
noted for the elegance of his society portraits and was one of the best
carte-de-visite photographers of the 1850s and 60s, even providing props
or backgrounds relating to the sitter, if famous.
Samuel Smith (1802-1892)
Samuel Smith settled in Wisbech in 1847; he took up photography in 1852
and made hundreds of calotypes of local buildings and ships in the harbour.
His photographs, which are among the last to be made by that process,
are of interest not only as fine examples of calotypes, but also as a
record of the changing appearance of the town and port of Wisbech in the
Charles Soulier (1840-76)
A French landscape and alpine photographer, who was active during the
second half of the 19th century, Soulier is best known for his photographs
of the ruins of Paris after the Commune of 1871, taken in partnership
Albert Sands Southworth (1811-1894);
Josiah John Hawes (1808-1901)
Southworth and Hawes were partners in Boston from 1844. Daguerreotypists,
they made portraits of many famous Americans, including Harriet Beecher
Stowe, Longfellow and Daniel Webster. Southworth and Hawes were among
the first American photographers to show scenes of real life in Boston.
Carl Ferdinand Stelzner (1806-1894)
Stelzner opened a photographic portrait studio in Hamburg in 1842 in partnership
with Hermann Biow. He is credited with taking the world's first press
photographs: the ruins of the Alster district of Hamburg after the great
fire of 1842.
The leading pioneer of American art photography at the turn of the century,
he was a founder member of the breakaway Photo-Secession, and co-founder
with Edward Steichen
(1879-1973) of the Little Galleries of the Photo-Secession. He edited
and published the journal Camera Work (1902-17).
Sir Benjamin Stone (1838-1914)
A rich man, Sir Benjamin Stone regarded photography as an ideal method
of recording changing or vanishing customs and ceremonial events in Britain.
Stone produced the first ever coronation photographs taken inside Westminster
Abbey. In 1905 he published a two volume book Sir Benjamin Stone's
Pictures. He gave the bulk of his personal collection of photographs
to the Birmingham Reference Library.
William Henry Fox Talbot (1800-1877)
The inventor of photography on paper, Talbot produced in 1835 what is
thought to be the earliest photograph, a view of a window of his home
at Lacock Abbey, Wiltshire. Independently of Daguerre in France, Talbot
had discovered a different photographic process, to which he gave the
name 'calotypy'. While working at his photographic establishment in Reading,
Talbot produced, in 1844-1846, the world's first books to be illustrated
with photographs, The Pencil of Nature and Sun Pictures in Scotland.
Later, in 1847, he made 66 calotypes of Spanish art objects for Sir W.S.Maxwell's
Annals of the artists of Spain. In 1852, Talbot experimented with photoglyphic
engraving, developing it into a photogravure process. He also produced
a large number of calotypes. An acclaimed pioneer of graphic
art, Talbot died at Lacock Abbey in 1877, having lived to see the
introduction of the dry plate process and thus the beginnings of photography
as it is practised today.
John Thomson (1837-1921)
As well as being a photographer, John Thomson was a keen explorer and
published, usually in book form, landscape and ethnographical photographs
of China, Cambodia, and the Straits of Malacca. In England, Thomson produced,
in 1877, documentary photographs of London street life.
Walter Bentley Woodbury (1834-1885)
Best known as the inventor of the 'woodburytype', a photographic printing
process, Woodbury was born in Manchester and at the age of fifteen emigrated
to Australia. In 1855, he became a professional photographer, and in 1859
visited Java and produced many topographical photographs of that island.
Woodbury settled in England in 1863 and devoted the rest of his working
life to photographic invention.
David Wilkie Wynfield (1837-1887)
Wynfield was an artist and amateur photographer, who specialized in close-up
portrait photographs of famous Victorians. He produced many fine studies,
which were much admired by Julia Margaret Cameron, whom he directly influenced
and whose style is very similar to his.
For biographical details of other fine
artists, see the following resources:
Visual Artists (up to 1850)
Modern Artists (1850-present)
Greatest Architects (c.1400-2000)