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Calotype photographs by Scottish pioneers David Octavius Hill (1802-1870), and Robert Adamson (1821-1848).
Hill and Adamson photographed a wide range of subject matter: portraits of well-known characters of the time, ordinary working people, local landscapes and urban scenes. The prints in our collection exemplify their innovative and sensitive approach to composition and demonstrate how Hill brought his own experience as an artist to bear on the new medium of photography. The calotype process was invented by William Henry Fox Talbot in 1839, and Hill and Adamson were perhaps its greatest exponents. During their four-year partnership they made over 3000 photographs including portraits, landscapes and architectural studies. Their study of Newhaven fishwives and men is among the earliest example of social documentary photography.