Benjamin Brecknell Turner

(1815—1894) photographer

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(1815–94), English photographer. In 1849, Turner mastered the calotype and, using it throughout his career, made celebrated views of the English countryside. Although he operated a commercial portrait studio from atop the family tallow-chandling business in London's Haymarket, he is best known for his strikingly modern series of the Crystal Palace in 1851, and his large (30 × 40cm; 11 4/5 × 15 7/10in) landscapes in the British topographical tradition. Many of these were taken near London, and others in the Worcester–Hereford area, home to his wife Agnes (née Chamberlain) of the Worcester china family. The detail and precision of Turner's images is a trait he strove for, often to the extent of retouching his images. He became a master of the paper-negative process, even when many of his contemporaries had begun to use collodion on glass. By the mid-1850s, Turner was well known and widely collected, for he exhibited frequently at various societies, including the Society of Arts. Although he was widely rumoured to have helped Henry Talbot to produce images for The Pencil of Nature, there is no evidence to support this claim, which was never made by Turner himself.

From The Oxford Companion to the Photograph in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Photography and Photographs.

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