The practical photographer
Photographic pioneer William Henry Fox Talbot’s established a method by which photographs could be produced on paper and, soon after, a process that greatly shortened the exposure time required to take a practical photograph. Taken together, these inventions have him credited with bringing photography into widespread public use.
In 1835 Talbot published his method for creating light-fast images on ‘salted-paper’ – paper bathed in a salt solution, then brushed on one side with silver nitrate to create a silver chloride coating. Photographs created with this method required long exposure – typically several hours.
Five years later Talbot introduced the ‘Calotype’ process in which a translucent negative could be created with an exposure of only a few minutes, and then to develop multiple positive copies of this latent images. This process became the basis for most film-based photography used up to the present day.