Photoglyphic engraving from a copper plate made by William Henry Fox Talbot of a fern 'Adiantum capillus-veneris'
Talbot was the English inventor of photography. Spurred on by frustration at his inability to draw accurately, he saw the potential for using new photographic processes to capture botanical detail. He developed a technique called photoglyphic engraving, intended to overcome the fact that some of his early experimental photographs faded. Photoglyphs used sensitised gelatine to fix the image to the surface of a metal plate that could then be etched, inked and printed onto paper. He tried using a range of English flora.