“Pilgrimage” is a short film by phographer Sam Cornwell documenting his journey to Lacock Abbey in Witshire to re-trace the footsteps of William Henry Fox Talbot, one of the pioneers of photography.
If you can recall, Talbot invented the calotype process, one of the foundations of the modern photographic process. His photo of the lattice windows in his home, taken in 1835, is known to be the oldest surviving photographic negative.
In Pilgrimage, Cornwell travels to Talbot’s home in Lacock Abbey, bringing along his mobile darkroom, and with the aim of recreating Talbot’s historic photograph via the wetplate process.
“During my first visit, I recall first seeing the lattice windows and being overwhelmed by the strong sunlight pouring through on to my skin. […] I spoke to a steward on staff at the time of my excitement and he told me that the majority of tourists would walk past the windows not realising their importance, whereas every now and again a photographer would be seen paying homage to them. He referred to the windows as “A Photographer’s Mecca” and indeed it was.” – Sam Cornwell