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Arthur James Melhuish (1824-95)

Thames Street, Windsor 1854-56

RCIN 2100349

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Thames Street must have been alive with traffic and pedestrians when this photograph was taken, yet we are presented with an unnaturally empty scene. This was one of the problems encountered when using the relatively insensitive waxed paper process which required lengthy exposure times. Moving objects were not still long enough to be imprinted on the negative and, therefore, became invisible. This created one of the paradoxes of early photography: images appeared to be accurate in terms of their detail, however, the technology used undermined the truth of the representation.