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SCIENTIFIC VISIONS: THE PHOTOGRAPHIC ART OF WLLIAM HENRY FOX TALBOT, JOHN DILLWYN LLEWELYN AND CALVERT RICHARD JONES by IWAN MEICAL JONES, B.Sc.* William Henry Fox Talbot was the inventor of the positive- negative photographic method, from which most of photography has developed. John Dillwyn Llewelyn and Calvert Richard Jones were the first Welsh photographers. Today a photograph is often seen as something less than an original work of art. Photography is regarded as something mechanical or automatic; as an artistic medium it may appear to be somehow less expressive or 'artistic' than a medium that relies purely on skills of eye and hand. These three photographers would not have agreed with that assessment. To them there was nothing inferior about a picture made in a camera. By using light, an element of nature, to depict nature itself, they could form images that Calvert Jones described as 'wonderfully perfect and beautiful' Henry Talbot called photography 'The Pencil of Nature'.2 'Who will accept the work of men's hands' asked John Dillwyn Llewelyn, 'when they can have the work of the sun's rays?" Photography formed a picture that was absolutely true and correct, not subject to the skill, mood or mistakes of an artist. An expanded version of a lecture given to the Society at the British Academy, 6 March 1990. Chairman: Dr. David Thomas, former Keeper of the Department of Physical Sciences, The Science Museum. 1 Calvert Jones to Henry Talbot, 9 June 1846. Lacock Abbey Correspon- dence, Fox Talbot Museum, Lacock. LA 46-76. William Henry Fox Talbot, The Pencil of Nature (London: Longman, Brown, Green and Longmans, 1844). 3 John Llewelyn to Henry Talbot, 14 November 1858. LA 58-105, quoted in Richard Morris, John Dillwyn Llewelyn, 1810-1882 the first photographer in Wales (Cardiff: Welsh Arts Council, 1980), 15.