We remember Anna Atkins, the first photographer in history

We remember Anna Atkins, the first photographer for the history


Today the 216 anniversary of the birth of a botanical and photographer as special as unknown is met. A good time to tell the story behind their photographs.

On this day in 1799 was born a historical figure photography. The botany href=”http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_Atkins”> Anna Atkins wrote one of the most important pages of photography thanks to its innovative working methods


Born in an era rife with scientific developments, Atkins was the daughter of John Children , an eminent scholar who gave his daughter an extraordinary science education for your time. At 26 she married John Pelly Atkins, owner of large coffee plantations in Jamaica and the person who caused his interest in botany. Thus, throughout his life collected a large number of specimens and got part of the prestigious Botanical Society of London , one of the few who accepted women members.

Atkins’s interest in photography came unexpectedly through a friend of his father, the inventor of calotype, William Henry Fox Talbot . Cultivated different genres through six works within a decade The calotype was a photographic method based on exposure to light of a treaty with silver nitrate and gallic acid paper, which subsequently revealed and fixed with sodium thiosulphate . A revolutionary invention that impressed Children and daughter, when Talbot sent them several photographs. They decided to buy a camera and perform various tests, but finally opted for another system to photograph plants. The blueprint

Time after experimenting with the calotype, astronomer Sir introduced a new very striking photographic technique. blueprint called, the procedure consisting, in simplified form, coating the paper with a mixture of two ammonium compounds -citrato iron and potassium-ferrocyanide and exposed to sun, getting a striking result: a photograph of turquoise The new invention was simpler and cheaper than the calotype, so Atkins did not hesitate. apply his passion. Thereafter and for more than a decade, botany documented hundreds of botanical specimens through the blueprint and he published several books, most notably his masterpiece: British Algae: Cyanotype impresssions . The problem was that these books could not be reproduced in print, so Atkins had to make hundreds of copies of each photo to be distributed among all the books. Although we know that tried different genres through six major works, currently only 17 copies , some with more than 300,000 euros in the market value of art are preserved.

Anna Atkins deserves a Doodle

 Doodle commemorating the anniversary of his birth / Google

Doodle commemorating the anniversary of his birth / Google

In order to honor Anna Atkins, Google now offers a Doodle in his honor. Visible in countries like UK, USA, Chile and Argentina, among others, it is an illustration depicting one of his typical photographs blueprint.

Anna Atkins not made history by inventing a new photographic technique, but by being the first to take advantage in such disparate disciplines such as botany.

Source: english  
March 17, 2015