The beginning of photography

Some amazing stuff at the Royal Society for the latest Objectivity video.

It all started with this old paper/letter from a guy called William Henry Fox Talbot in 1839.

Love the title...

Some Account of the Art of Photogenic Drawing or, the process by which natural objects may be made to delineate themselves, without the aid of the artist's pencil.

So basically, photos!

He goes on to explain...

I proposed to spread on a sheet of paper a sufficient quantity of the nitrate of silver; & then to set the paper in the sunshine, having first placed before it some object casting a well defined shadow.

And so the letter continues - an amazing glimpse into the earliest days of photography.

It is little surprise this amazing document has been valued at £800,000, or about $1.2 million.

Keith Moore (head librarian at the Royal Society) also showed us an extraordinary collection of very early photos (some are posted below).

See more about them in our video.

TEASER: One is worth more than the others. In fact it has been valued at £500,000 ($720,000).