Island of Mull Photographs Hannah Morris

Island of Mull Photographs Hannah Morris Photography
Hannah Morris Photography
Island of Mull Photographs by Hannah Morris
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Significant PEOPLE in the early history of Photography

ATGET, Eugene

b. 12 February 1857; d. 4 August 1927

Eugene Atget studied the art of acting and played with a theatre group in the suburbs of Paris, but had to abandon this in 1887 because of a recurrent throat infection. The following year he began to take photographs. Though he earned his living by taking photographs, he never described himself as a photographer, preferring "author-producer." He produced a documentary of the architecture and people of Paris, many of his pictures having been taken in areas shortly to be demolished.

During the thirty years he worked, developed an extensive filing system for his many negatives and prints, and his legacy amounts to several thousand images.

His street photographs were not very different from that of his contemporary Paul Martin, but he also revealed a remarkable capacity for "seeing" pictures. Whereas lesser mortals might take very similar photographs of well-known landmarks, one could picture Atget's attention being drawn by what they would regard as mundane situations. He would photograph the same subject from different viewpoints and at different times, demonstrating that two pictures of one subject can have very different meanings and appeal.

Eugene Atget was a largely unknown character round which a number of myths have emerged: he is pictured as a tramp-like character wandering around with his single camera, or a naive photographer who did not understand how much his work would command. He was certainly a very much underrated photographer, unknown during his lifetime, dying in total obscurity, but now acknowledged as one of the most outstanding of artists.

If he was not a surrealist himself, he certainly influenced this movement.


b.16 Mar 1799; d. 9 Jun 1871

Anna Atkins was a botanist, and one of the earliest woman photographers. In 1841 she came into contact with Fox Talbot, one of her father's friends. As a botanist, she quickly saw the potential of using photography to record specimens.

She chose the Cyanotype process for her work - an appropriate choice, because it was comparatively inexpensive and easy to work with, and its only disadvantage, a blue image, was immaterial. This process, though she was not to know it at the time, was far more permanent than other processes, and much of her work still survives now.

In October 1843 Anna Atkins became the first person to print and publish a book, photographically illustrated with 424 pictures. Called "British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions", this book which was issued in several parts over a period of ten years. Her book, therefore, even precedes Fox Talbot's "Pencil of Nature." Though she had a camera, she relied entirely on photograms (known, at the time, as Shadowgraphs).

A discovery of one of the very few copies of her book attracted considerable interest in June 1996, when it was put up for auction.


b. 1 Nov, 1879; d. 16 Jan, 1936

Born in Germany, Barnack was the designer of the first 35mm. miniature camera available commercially. He joined the Leitz optical company in 1911, and had actually developed a prototype of the Leica two years later, but development was seriously arrested by the first World War and its aftermath. The 35mm film was used (and is still laregly used) for movie film, and the standard 24 x 36mm format was created by simply doubling the size of the negative and holding it sideways relative to movie cameras.

Island of Mull Photographs Hannah Morris