Photography Masters

Biography: 19th Century photographer Albert Southworth

Biography: 19th Century photographer Albert Southworth

Albert Southworth (1811–1894) operated Southworth & Hawes daguerreotype studio with Josiah Johnson Hawes (1808–1901) from 1843 to 1863. Southworth was a student of Samuel F.B. Morse, who, in addition to his other more famous pursuits, was an avid daguerreotypist. The partnership’s studio, located on the top floor of a Boston building, had enormous skylights to allow in copious amounts of…
Biography: 19th Century photographer George Shadbolt

Biography: 19th Century photographer George Shadbolt

George Shadbolt (1817–1901) was a British writer, editor, student of optics and photographer with a strong interest in innovative techniques, who was active during the 1850s-1860s. Reported to have made the first microphotograph, he was also an early advocate of photographic enlargement, as well as compound and combination printing. Shadbolt’s dislike of the glare of albumen printing paper led him…
Biography: human rights photographer Alice Seeley Harris

Biography: human rights photographer Alice Seeley Harris

Alice Seeley Harris (1870–1970) was an English missionary and an early documentary photographer. Her photography helped to expose the human rights abuses in the Congo Free State under the regime of Leopold II, King of the Belgians. In 1889, aged 19 yrs, Alice entered the Civil Service and was later appointed to the Accountant General’s office in GPO London. Alice…
Biography: 19th Century photographer Emma Schenson

Biography: 19th Century photographer Emma Schenson

Emma Schenson (1827–1913) was a Swedish photographer and painter. She was one of the earliest professional female photographers in Sweden. Schenson was the daughter of the academy treasurer John Schenson and the school administrator Maria Magdalena Hahr. There are no records of her education or of how she became familiar with photography. By the 1860s, she had opened a studio…
Biography: 19th Century Portrait photographer Walery Rzewuski

Biography: 19th Century Portrait photographer Walery Rzewuski

Walery Rzewuski (1837 – 1888) was an early Polish photographer. He is considered one of Poland’s most important 19th-century photographers. He was the author of many portraits of leading lights in the world of culture and science of his time. He also took pictures of the nobility, entrepreneurs and members of government. The State Museum of the History of Photography…
Biography: 19th Century photographer Henry Peach Robinson

Biography: 19th Century photographer Henry Peach Robinson

Henry Peach Robinson (1830 – 1901) was an English pictorialist photographer best known for his pioneering combination printing – joining multiple negatives or prints to form a single image; an early example of photomontage. In 1852 he exhibited an oil painting, On the Teme Near Ludlow, at the Royal Academy. That same year he began taking photographs, and five years…
Biography: 19th Century Portrait photographer Ernest Pogorelc

Biography: 19th Century Portrait photographer Ernest Pogorelc

Ernest Pogorelc (1838 – 1892) was the first professional photographer from Ljubljana and of Gottschee German descent from the Lower Carniola Region, now recognized as parts of Slovenia and Italy. He was a prolific studio photographer during the 19th century. His work appears in the trade registry in 1859. Expanding in 1864, he acquired an additional studio maintaining one on…
Biography: 19th Century inventor of photography Nicéphore Niépce

Biography: 19th Century inventor of photography Nicéphore Niépce

Nicéphore Niépce (1765 – 1833) was a French inventor of photography and a pioneer in that field. The date of Niépce’s first photographic experiments is uncertain. He was led to them by his interest in the new art of lithography, for which he realized he lacked the necessary skill and artistic ability, and by his acquaintance with the camera obscura,…
Biography: 19th Century Portrait photographer Stanisław Julian Ostroróg

Biography: 19th Century Portrait photographer Stanisław Julian Ostroróg

Count Stanisław Julian Ostroróg (1830 – 1890) was an early Polish professional portrait photographer. As a nine-year-old boy in Paris, Ostroróg is said to have met the distinguished physicist, astronomer and politician, François Arago (1786-1853), of the French Academie des Sciences who not only fired up his interest in optics and the new possibilities of photography, but whose request to…
Biography: 19th Century photographer Geraldine Moodie

Biography: 19th Century photographer Geraldine Moodie

Geraldine Moodie (1854 – 1945) was a pioneering Canadian photographer. She married John Douglas Moodie in England in 1878 and they had six children. They returned to Canada and briefly farmed in Manitoba, then moved to Ottawa, and in 1885 her husband received a commission with the North-West Mounted Police. She is best known for her work with Aboriginal peoples…
Biography: 19th Century photographer Farnham Maxwell-Lyte

Biography: 19th Century photographer Farnham Maxwell-Lyte

Farnham Maxwell-Lyte (1828 – 1906) was an English chemist and the pioneer of a number of techniques in photographic processing. As a photographer he is known for his views of the French Pyrenees. In 1853, he travelled to Luz-Saint-Sauveur in the Pyrenees on account of his bad health and in 1856 his family joined him. He settled in Pau, and…
Biography: 19th Century photographer John Dillwyn Llewelyn

Biography: 19th Century photographer John Dillwyn Llewelyn

John Dillwyn Llewelyn (1810 – 1882) was a botanist and pioneer photographer. In January 1839, following the announcements of photographic processes by both William Henry Fox Talbot and Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre, Llewelyn, with the encouragement of Henry Talbot, began to experiment himself. He tried all the processes available. His earliest daguerreotype is dated 1840. A few of his early…
Biography: 19th Century Architecture photographer Albert Lévy

Biography: 19th Century Architecture photographer Albert Lévy

Albert Levy (1844 – 1907) was a French photographer active in Europe and the United States. Most active in the 1880s and 1890s, he was a pioneer of architectural photography. There are indications that Albert Levy was a photographer who also worked variously as bookseller, editor and manufacturer. He was also working in France in 1876 and in the United…
Biography: 19th Century photographer Sergey Lvovich Levitsky

Biography: 19th Century photographer Sergey Lvovich Levitsky

Sergei Lvovich Levitsky (1819 – 1898), is considered one of the patriarchs of Russian photography and one of Europe’s most important early photographic pioneers, inventors and innovators. His ability to speak several languages allowed him to participate in a government commission to study the composition and therapeutic properties of mineral waters in the Caucasus. On his mission there in 1843,…
Biography: 19th Century photographer Gustave Le Gray

Biography: 19th Century photographer Gustave Le Gray

Gustave Le Gray (1820 – 1884) has been called “the most important French photographer of the nineteenth century” because of his technical innovations in the still new medium of photography, his role as the teacher of other noted photographers, and “the extraordinary imagination he brought to picture making.” He was an early pioneer of High-Dynamic range photography and contributed to…
Biography: 19th Century photographer Heinrich Kühn

Biography: 19th Century photographer Heinrich Kühn

Heinrich Kühn (1866 – 1944) was an Austrian–German photographer and photography pioneer. Kühn is regarded one of the forefathers of fine art photography, the movement that helped photography to establish itself as an art on its own. His photographs closely resemble impressionist paintings, with their frequent use of soft lighting and focus. Kühn was part of the pictorialist photographic movement.…
Biography: 19th Century photographer Hugues Krafft

Biography: 19th Century photographer Hugues Krafft

Hugues Krafft (1853 – 1935) was a born in Paris. He travelled around the world, and visited Japan in 1882–1883. He left numerous quality photographs of the period. He was among the first to use instantaneous photography in Japan (he used a Zeiss camera with gelatine-silver bromide plates, a process which became widely available in 1880), which allowed him to…
Biography: 19th Century photographer Benjamin W. Kilburn

Biography: 19th Century photographer Benjamin W. Kilburn

Benjamin Kilburn (1827 – 1909) was an American photographer and stereoscopic view publisher famous for his landscape images of the nascent American and Canadian state, provincial, and national parks and his visual record of the great migrations at the end of the nineteenth century. Kilburn Brothers stereoviews date from about 1865. Published sources attribute their stereographs before 1876 solely to…
Biography: 19th Century daguerreotypist Jules Itier

Biography: 19th Century daguerreotypist Jules Itier

Jules Alphonse Eugène Itier (1802–1877) French customs inspector and amateur daguerreotypist. Between 1842 and 1843 he traveled to Senegal, Guadeloupe and India, where he took a number of early daguerreotypes. In December 1843, Itier was sent to accompany Théodore de Lagrené on his journey to China, where he been dispatched by Louis Philippe to conclude a commercial treaty. In China,…
Biography: 19th Century photographer Lai Afong

Biography: 19th Century photographer Lai Afong

Lai Afong (1839 – 1890) was a Chinese photographer who established Afong Studio, one of the early photographic studios in Hong Kong. His studio was active from 1859 to around the 1940s. The business was probably taken over by his son in the 1890s. Subject matters ranged from portraits and social life pictures to cityscapes and landscapes. Lai’s work and…