Nelson's Column under construction among old photographs exhibited by British Library
The picture was taken by William Fox Talbot, who helped to develop the newborn practice with his discovery, in 1840, of the calotype process which creates negative images.
The famous study of Trafalgar Square also shows St Martin-in-the-Field and Morley’s Hotel, later South Africa House, in the background.
The picture is one of 250 daguerreotypes, calotypes, negatives, X-ray and spirit photographs exhibited in Points of View, the British Library's first ever major photographic exhibition.
The pictures are drawn from its extensive collection of some 300,000 images and shows how the practice developed from its invention in 1839 by Frenchman Louis Daguerre to gentleman's pursuit then the primary means of visual expression in the modern age.
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