Anna Atkins

Anna Atkins

150 Years since the death of this trail blazing Botanist and Photographer

Anna Atkins was an English botanist and photographer. She is often considered the first person to publish a book illustrated with photographic images. Some sources say that she was the first woman to create a photograph.

Anna was born in Tonbridge Kent in 1799 to Hester and John Children. Her father was a renowned chemist and zoologist and Anna received an unusually scientific education for her time and gender.

In 1825 she married John Pelly Atkins. Both her husband and father where friends with William Henry Fox Talbot the pioneer of photography. Anna learnt from Talbot his photographic technique.

Anna later applied the technique of cyanotype to seaweed the resulting images she published in 1843.

Her book Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions is the first ever book to be illustrated with photographic images.

To see a selection of her incredible later work click here.

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