Fig. 36 Langton, Robert

This is a re-printing of the block originally published in The Photographic and Fine Art Journal in 1854

Photography applied to Engraving on Wood. "The current number of the Art Journal contains a proof that the important question, can photographs be produced on the wood block so as to be used by the engraver? has been solved in the affirmative. The engraving of the moon there given is most satisfactory; and we think our readers will be obliged to us for transferring to our columns the following letter from the Rev. St. Vincent Beechey, by whom this good service has been accomplished…The scale to which this map is reduced on the block of course rendered it impossible to engrave all these minutiae; but by this process the exact position of all the principal mountains and ridges has and requiring no other treatment than if it had been take the liberty of setting before them the difficulties both perfectly aware that certain rude attempts had been that they were of the roughest possible description.

[To this very important subject the attention of artists has been much directed; hitherto, however, with but partial success; it has been found impossible so to obtain an object direct upon the wood-block, as to render it fit for the hand of the engraver. Several attempts have been, from time to time, submitted to us, but in no one instance have we found an example capable of being engraved. The advantages of such an improvement are obvious; if the object can be placed immediately upon the wood, without the intervention of the draughtsman, considerable expense is saved, and much greater accuracy secured. The difficulty has arisen from the " imperfectness" of the object when placed on the wood by the influence of light alone; the engraver, however skilful, cannot engrave it so as to render the engraving effective. Hitherto, therefore, as we have said, all attempts that have come before us have been failures. For woodcuts, indeed, we have frequently received aid from photography, but it has been by merely making them (on paper) auxiliaries to the artist in drawing on the block, upon which his drawing is generally traced from the paper.