The pencil of light

Inspired by the British pioneers, particularly William Fox Talbot & his astronomer friend Sir John Hershel.

I can just imagine them both having tea in Talbot’s back yard garden, exposing their new inventions to the sun.  Amongst many other things Herschel’s main claim to fame was his discovery of sodium thiosulphate as an effective means of fixing a photographic image on paper. Funny enough Herschel’s Cyanotype printing method did not need any fixing, it can be done just with water.  The very first book in the history of photography was Mrs. Anna Atkinson,  illustrating with the Cyanotype process her collection of algae & other plants. The second book in the history of photography, just a few months later was Talbot’s pencil of light. On a could January afternoon on my balcony with the virtual company of Herschel & Talbot I have exposed to the sun, some of my Nuraghe 10 by 8 negatives. The average exposure time was about 30 minutes into the sun. I worked until the very last ray of sunshine. This gave me a sense of respect, along with a natural rhythm, in harmony with the elements.

Nuraghi Cyanotype prints drawn by the sun.