LANDSCAPE photography

From the earliest days of photography, landscape work was popular, even though it often involved considerable trial and inconvenience, particularly when the collodion process was used.

An interesting catalogue of landscape photography is to be found in a somewhat poetically-delivered lecture by James Mudd, to the Manchester Photographic Society in 1858: "Landscape photography! How pleasantly the words fall upon the ear of the enthusiastic photographer. What agreeable association are connected with our excursions into the country. How often have we wandered along the rough sea-shore or climbed the breezy hill-side, or descended the shady valley, or toiled along the rock bed of some mountain stream, forgetting, in the excitement of our pursuit, the burdens we carried, or the roughness of the path we trod. What delightful hours we passed in wandering through the quiet ruins of some venerable abbey, impressing, with wondrous truth, upon the delicate tablets we carried, the marvellous beauty of Gothic window, of broken column, and ivy wreathed arch. How pleasant our visits to moss-green old churches and picturesque cottages and stately castles and a thousand pretty nooks, in the shady wood, by the river side, or in the hedgerow, where the wild convolvulus, the bramble and luxuriant fern have arrested us in our wanderings...."

Among the leading landscape photographers of this period were Roger Fenton, P.H. Delamotte, and Francis Bedford.

© Robert Leggat, 1999.