Dawn of the Photograph: Fox Talbot at The Science Museum

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It frequently happens moreover – and this is one of the charms of photography – that the operator himself discovers on examination, perhaps long afterwards, that he has depicted many things he had no notion of at the time.

-William Henry Fox Talbot, ‘The Pencil of Nature‘, 1844

Until two weeks ago I had never heard of William Henry Fox Talbot.  But as a fan of picture taking, from the humble smartphone selfie to the supped-up DSLR snap, I owe him my thanks.

A Sunday trip to the Science Museum placed me face to portrait with one of the forefathers of modern day photography.

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Alec Soth: Gathered Leaves

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‘Misty’ from Soth’s Niagara collection.  Photo credit: Alec Soth

So impressed was I by my Friday night visit to the Science Museum that I headed back over to South Kensington the following day to catch another exhibition that is finishing soon, Gathered Leaves by American photographer, Alec Soth.

Again, this is another beautifully curated exhibition – poles apart from the Cosmonauts I had seen the day before – but no less impressive.  The photographs are grouped by room chronicling the everyday in different locations across the United States.

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