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Anna Atkins was a botanist and a pioneer in the field of photographing plants. Anna Atkins was born in Tonebridge, Kent, England in the year 1799. Her mother never recovered from her birth and passed away in 1800.

Atkins spent much of her time as a child with her father who helped to give an outstanding education in science.

Atkins is thought by many to be the first female photograper. Atkins is said to have access to cameras beginning in 1841.

Her own addition to the process of creating a work of art was to lay the dried plants directly on the cyanotype paper. Her first subject was seaweed.

Atkins created a very small edition book of her first prints called The Photographs of British Algae.This book is very rare and only 17 copies are known to exist. The last sold at auction for nearly $310,000.

Atkins is credited with printing the first book that including photographs.

In this clip we put on our plastic gloves and explore one of her books:

Anna Atkins passed away in 1871.

Price range information: Photograms that come up for sale usually are given an auction estimate around: $10,000.

From a design standpoint, its easy to imagine just transferring a cyanotype image to a beach or hand towel. What a great style to view that was invented nearly 200 years ago!