Documentary Photography

January 29, 2008

Albert Fernique1841-1898
Album de la construction de la Statue de la Liberté. (published 1883, Paris)

source: New York Public Library Digital Collection


Lewis Carrol

January 28, 2008

Photo of Alice Liddell by Lewis Carroll. (1858)

André-Adolphe-Eugène Disdéri (French, 1819–1889)
Prince Lobkowitz, 1858
Albumen silver print from glass negative; 7 7/8 x 9 1/8 in. (20 x 23.2 cm)
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André Adolphe-Eugène Disdéri
The Organ Grinder

c. 1853 ,
salt print 5 7/8 x 4 3/4 in.
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Multiple-shot camera invented by Desderi
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Pierre-Louis Pierson

January 28, 2008

Pierre-Louis Pierson, Countess of Castiglione, c.1860

Re-enactment of the October 16, 1846 ether operation; daguerrotype by Southworth & Hawes.
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David Octavius Hill

January 22, 2008

David Octavius Hill (1802–1870) and Robert Adamson (1821–1848)
Redding the Line (Portrait of James Linton), c. 1846
Scotish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh
image source:

David Octavius Hill (1802–1870) and Robert Adamson (1821–1848)
“Photograph from the frontispiece of an album dated 1848,
showing D O Hill sketching in Greyfriars Kirkyard, watched by the Misses Morris.
Other tableaux in the same setting included The Artist and The Gravedigger”

“Many of Hill’s portraits were made in the Edinburgh Greyfriars cemetery – nothing is more characteristic of this early period than the way his subjects were at home there. And indeed the cemetery itself, in one of Hill’s picture, looks like an interior, a separated closed-off space where the gravestones propped against gable walls rise up from the grass, hollowed out like chimney pieces, with inscriptions inside instead of flames. But this setting could never have been so effective if it had not been chosen on technical grounds. The low light-sensitivity of early plates made prolonged exposure outdoors a necessity. This in turn made it desirable to take the subject to some out-of-the-way spot where there was no obstacle to quiet concentration.”
Walter BenjaminA Small History of Photography

Julia Margaret Cameron

January 21, 2008

Julia Margaret Cameron (1815 – 1879)
J.F.W. Herschel