Benjamin Brecknell Turner (1815-1894)
'Lyndale, North Devon'
Albumen Print from paper negative
Museum no. PH.4-1982
One of the most illusive features of nature for photographers was water. As in many photographs of the time, due to the long exposure, the water in this image has turned into a veil wrapped around the forms of the rocks. In 1857 one critic noted: 'Water our art altogether misses, turning it either into congealed mud or to mere chaos or nonentity'. Turner's river image is a good instance of purely photographic effect here used to good aesthetic effect. Perhaps he acknowledged and enjoyed this peculiar photographic phenomenon for its own qualities.