Anna Atkins Essay

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Anna Atkins, the first women photographer, had many talents and I chose her book covers “Cyanotypes of British and Foreign Ferns” because I thought it was the best example that both spoke about what she did for photography as well as science. Her work was not just art but it itself was groundbreaking for other women photographers and scientist alike. This process, of documenting ferns, allowed people to understand what they looked like, size and scale, giving proof to science and the botanist community on their existence and important documentary need. Her images allowed for women, in her time, to see that there was more to photography then just a portrait shot - also giving women a real stand alone place in a field, science and photography, …show more content…
In, “A history of women photographers” writes on the status of women in photography and speaks about how Atkins was different from most others, “Most frequently, a women would help her spouse in a photography business and then take it over after her death, but [Atkins as well] a number did enter the profession independently.” (Rosenblum 42) Unlike most of the women who were independently working in photography, Atkins did not favour portrait, the field that was most commonly for women photographers, instead she was interested in the science and documentation that photography had to offer. I feel that the fact Atkins used Cyanotype, or “blueprints” to make her scientific documentation of ferns and the likes, perfectly fitting because science is detailed blueprint of an item. She created her images through placing the ferns on a light sensitized paper, cyanotype, and exposing it to the sun in order to produce an image and a photogenic drawing of the plant. Atkins wasn 't a follower of trends she set out on her own path to prove, whether intentional or not, that women did not have to take the back seat to art or

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