William Henry Fox Talbot
The father of modern photography, William Henry Fox Talbot invented the negative-positive process, which allows multiple prints to be made from one negative. Despite his scientific background, Talbot immediately recognized the artistic possibilities of photography, as this photograph made on a trip to France indicates. Instead of presenting the entire cathedral, Talbot climbed to the top of one of its towers and took advantage of the camera's ability to frame a detail that was expressive of the larger whole. The photograph merges the delicate stone tracery with the softness characteristic of a salted paper print.