Thursday, September 03, 2009

Swansea Moon

Talking of things lunar, some of the earliest ever photographic shots of the moon were taken at the Penllergare estate in Swansea. It was here that John Dillwyn Llewelyn (1810-82) lived. He was at the centre of what has since become known as the Swansea Circle - a group of landed gentry from Glamorgan who were pioneers of photography.

Dillwyn Llewelyn was also related by marriage to William Henry Fox Talbot, the so-called inventor of photography. And it was through this familial link that he first developed an enthusiasm for the practice. A keen botanist, Dillwyn Llewelyn, brought an experimental ethos to his photographic work. After dabbling with daguerreotypes he progressed to calotype and wet collodian negatves. In 1856 he began using his own oxymel process.

He took his pictures of the moon from the Penllegare observatory in about 1857. You can see more of John Dillwyn Llewelyn's pioneering work here.