First female photographer Anna Atkins gets her beautiful cyanotypes republished 180 years later

Anna Atkins Botanical Blueprints
(Image credit: Anna Atkins / TASCHEN)

English botanical artist and photographer Anna Atkins (1799 – 1871) is historically famous for being the first person ever to publish a book that had been illustrated with photographic images. This book, Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions (1843) is being reprinted for the first time in full, in a new edition merging together her other album on Cyanotypes of British and Foreign Ferns (1853).

A 19th-century female photography pioneer, some speculate that Atkins may have been the first woman ever to create a photograph, although it is unclear if Constance Fox Talbot actually claimed this title first. Atkins was, however, the first woman to use the fledgling medium of photography for scientific purposes. 

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Beth Nicholls
Staff Writer

A staff writer for Digital Camera World, Beth has an extensive background in various elements of technology with five years of experience working as a tester and sales assistant for CeX. After completing a degree in Music Journalism, followed by obtaining a Master's degree in Photography awarded by the University of Brighton, she spends her time outside of DCW as a freelance photographer specialising in live music events and band press shots under the alias 'bethshootsbands'.