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The invention of negative and positive by William Talbot

William Talbot (sometimes in Russian, his last name is written as Talbot) was obsessed with capturing the beauty of nature.

But this inventor did not know how to draw, so he tried to save the images with the help of a camera obscura.

But even for this apparatus it was necessary to have drawing skills, and Talbot wanted to invent a way in which there would be no need to resort to the help of an artist.

How did the negative and positive?
Already at that time (the first third of the 19th century), William was well aware that light has the ability to influence the characteristics of various materials. A brilliant idea occurred to him – to create a material that would be sensitive to light.

And very soon Tolbat managed to achieve a positive result. They invented paper, well influenced by light. Images that could be obtained with the help of such a photosensitive material were fixed with a solution that included ordinary salt and potassium iodide.

The first photos were photocopies (photograms). Further, in his experiments, Talbot, in addition to the camera obscura, decided to use a microscope. Thus, he managed to get a positive photographic impression from the negative.

Later he managed to capture a ray of sunshine. In this picture was an image of a window with a lattice in his own house. In this case, William took the paper and soaked it with silver chloride. Only 1 hour of exposure – and the world’s first negative appeared.
Next, the inventor tried to apply light-sensitive material, and he managed to get a positive imprint. Talbot called such a method of obtaining an image “calotyping” (which meant such a thing as “beauty”). Exactly from this time it became possible to replicate the images.

How was calotypy different from daguerreotype?
A few years later, William managed to make a report at a meeting of the Royal Society in London, where he showed the results of his works (1839). In his speech, he tried to convey to the audience the method of capturing images invented by him without the help of an artist.

Talbot feared that Daguerre was able to come to the same results as him. But his fears were in vain, since Daguerre had invented a completely different method. Since then, people have begun to operate with terms such as “positive” and “negative”.

Talbot invented calotypy, while the Daguerre method was called daguerreotype. There was a huge difference between these two ways. Dagger, using his method, managed to get an image on a silver plate, which was a mirror image of the prototype.

As for calotypes, a negative was first made, which could then be replicated in the required quantity. This fundamental difference made Talbot’s method as close as possible to what we call photography today. But on the other hand, the quality of images that appeared through daguerreotype was significantly higher.

Further experiments of W. Talbot
William Talbot continued to experiment, and in 1843 he managed to print an image with an increase. At the same time, the inventor opened a printing house, where he began to make his book using printed forms. This book, called the “Brushes of Nature”, was the first edition in which all the illustrations were photographs.

Talbot did not stop there. A little later, he received a patent for his invention, which allowed photographing by this method – the method of superimposing a “screen” on a photographic plate.

The invention of negative and positive by William Talbot
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