Monday’s Photography Inspiration – George Shadbolt

George Shadbolt was a British writer, editor, student of optics and photographer with a strong interest in innovative techniques, who was active during the 1850s-1860s. He was reported to have made the first microphotograph, he was also an early advocate of photographic enlargement, as well as compound and combination printing.

Shadbolt’s dislike of the glare of albumen printing paper led him to forsake it for salted paper. His technical interests probably motivated his praise of Henry Peach Robinson, whose combination prints were highly controversial.

A photograph by George Shadbolt, entitled Country Lane, likely to have been taken in the area of Hornsey, North London.
Country Lane by George Shadbolt, likely to have been taken in the area of Hornsey, North London.

High Street & New River, 1860
High Street & New River, 1860 by George Shadbolt

For seven years Shadbolt was editor of the publication that later became the British Journal of Photography. One of his sons, Cecil V. S. Shadbolt, is remembered as a contributor to balloon photography.

After 1864, Shadbolt’s success as a mahogany dealer prompted him to retire from photography, although he maintained his professional affiliations. One of the founders of the Photographic Society of London (later the Royal Photographic Society), he also was active in the Amateur Photographic Association and the Photographic Exchange Club.


I am a photographer currently living in London. Most of my work is in black and white because which I've found to be the best outlet to express myself. With patience a rather unique way of seeing the beauty around me, I enjoy creating a world that is unique to me.

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