Scenery of Loch Katrine, October 1844
William Henry Fox Talbot
salted paper print
9.3 x 11.6 cm; image: 8.4 x 10.7 cm
National Gallery of Canada (no. 43120)
During the autumn of 1844, William Henry Fox Talbot travelled to Scotland, where he planned to photograph various sites connected to the work of Sir Walter Scott (a hugely popular figure in Scotland at the time) for a publication he was preparing. "Scenery of Loch Katrine" shows a more nostalgic and intimate side of Talbot's work than we see in his better known masterpieces such as "The Haystack" or "The Open Door". The density, rich tones, and sharper contrasts of this image reveal the extent to which print quality affects photographic expression. The strong diagonal pattern of the shieling's wooden doorway or the lumpy protuberances of the rocks that are stacked upon each other are articulated through the contrast between strong sunlight and deep shadow.