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CalotypeAnother loser in the race to democratize photography

The calotype is one of a handful of early photographic methods that were invented around the same time. Calotypes were sometimes called 'talbotypes' after their inventor, William Henry Fox Talbot, who developed the process in 1841 by coating paper with silver iodide—though Talbot may have preferred the more poetic term, from the Greek καλός (kalos), "beautiful", and τύπος (tupos), "impression." Calotypes take a long time to create, usually requiring an exposure of over an hour, which is probably why most calotype images are almost like still lives, more likely to feature plants or objects than faces. After a bloom of popularity, calotypes were unable to beat out their competition, the daguerreotype, most likely because Talbot copyrighted his invention, and Louis Daguerre did not, allowing his technology to spread more quickly.

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Buckler Fern

William Henry Fox Talbot, 1839

The Oriel Window, South Gallery, Lacock Abbey

William Henry Fox Talbot, 1835-1839

The Bertoloni Album

William Henry Fox Talbot, 1839

Detail of the Cloisters at Lacock Abbey

William Henry Fox Talbot, 1840

Bust of Patroclus

William Henry Fox Talbot, 1843

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