Mrs. Ewen Hay Cameron
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Julia Margaret Cameron took up photography in 1863 at the age of forty-eight, after her son and daughter-in-law gave her a camera, saying, “It may amuse you, Mother, to try photography.” Within a few years, Cameron mastered the tricky wet-collodion process and startled the world of Victorian photography with her tender portraits and unprecedented theatrical compositions, many inspired by literature. Her works prominently feature women and possess a translucent, soft-focus quality that confounded contemporary critics accustomed to more detailed, precise images. Today Cameron’s photographs are lauded for their alluring beauty and their ability to suggest the subjects’ interior experiences. Her daughter-in-law, Annie Chinery Cameron, seen here, was a frequent subject.