William Talbot was born on 11th of February 1800 in a place called Melbury abbey in Dorset England. He was from a very well educated and well off family; his farther was the Earl of Ilchester who was brought up at Lacock Abbey. Talbot's whole family was very well educated, William was awarded with top student for two years running at his first school, he then moved to a private school named The Harrow School, in Yorkshire, England. .

Talbot's mother was tutor and specialized in foreign languages, which shows how later as a photographer Talbot was good at philological and translation work. He later went on to attend Cambridge in 1817, and became a scholar in 1819. .

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The reasons that Henry became interested in photography were because of his interest in the function and invention of the camera. He spent many weekends at a holiday home in Scotland with his Mom, step Dad and three older sisters. All three of his sisters were very artistic and always drew pictures of the scenery and wildlife they saw. William became frustrated at his lack of drawing skills and became fascinated with whole idea of capturing a picture, without using a pencil.

One of Talbot's first creations was a picture called a Sciagraphs or a (Drawing of Shadow). He would sprinkle table salt and a silver nitrate over a regular piece of writing paper and place an object like a leaf on top, where the light could not affect the paper a silhouette of the leaf created a photographic image on the paper. Talbot continued his studies of photography after school and created the artistic technique known as ClichA(C)-verre. .

He researched into the chemical process of photography spending most of his time looking at potassium iodide a process we now use for fixing. In his life time William Talbot was a Philosopher, classicist, Egyptologist, mathematician, philologist, transcriber and translator of Syrian and Chaldean cuneiform texts, physicist, and photographer.