The Future is Analogue: The Oldest Photo Negative in Existence!


As we ponder how the future is full of all things analogue, let’s take all take a look back and view the oldest photography negative in existence, dating back to 1835!

Window in the South Gallery of Lacock Abbey made from the oldest photographic negative in existence – Henry Fox Talbot 1835

Louis Daguerre is probably the most famous name associated with the invention of photography with his daguerreotype process. But what most people do not know is that these images are unique and reproduction would involve re-daguerreotyping the original, which is labor intensive to say the least.

This is where William Henry Fox Talbot comes in, who was the competitor of Daguerre. They were both simultaneously working on their respective photographic experiments and processes. He was secretive so he kept to himself. That is until Daguerre unveiled his daguerreotype process. He immediately presented his pictures, which were five years older his bitter rival! Thus, the calotype or talbotype process was born. Calotypes created a negative image on the silver iodide from which positives could be printed (onto silver chloride paper). This made the calotype superior in one aspect to the daguerreotype which only made one positive image (whereby it was difficult to get multiple copies).

So as you pick up your developed negatives from the Photo Lab later, give a brief moment for Fox Talbot and all his contributions to Photography!

Want to learn more about the analogue future? Head to the Microsite, take part in our Shoot Your Prophecy Competition and download the Future is Analogue posters!

written by cruzron on 2011-03-25 #news #history #negative #analogue #future #oldest #talbot

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