The Pencil of Nature

Two of my favourite photographs in the Centre for Research Collections come from The University of Edinburghs copy of William Henry Fox Talbot’s “The Pencil of Nature“. Shelfmark Df.3.85 .The book also contains an exceptional capital letter T complete with small dragon like creature with a vine like tongue. As can be seen below.


The two images that impress from the book are minimal images that to me feel very modern but have a profound sense of the time they were created through the use of the calotype technique. However i think these images create a wonderful time portal and makes us think of now as well as one hundred and seventy years ago when they were created. I have included whole and detailed views of both of the photographs. Further images from the book can be found here.

Malcolm Brown, Deputy photographer.


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