William uses an old technique to take a new look at plants

After using his daily walks to comb through the fields of Cornwall, one lecturer at Truro and Penwith College has managed to transform autumn’s debris into works of art worthy of global recognition thanks to his brilliant Victorian style photography work.

William Arnold, who is a Photography Technician and Lecturer for a number of the Outstanding College’s Photography courses including their Higher Education and Part-time courses provision, recently spent his spare time collecting plant specimens around Truro to create beautiful pieces of art that have even been featured by the New Scientist magazine, who commended Will for his use of an old fashioned Victorian technique to photograph his plant specimens. 


Originating in 1871, William used a gelatin emulsion technique where the photographer prints photographs onto a specially coated paper covered in gelatin and then exposes them to a negative light. Through this method William was able to capture highly detailed photographs of his plant specimens, which effectively highlighted the incredibly delicate details of the plants. 

The recent national feature of his work is not a one of a kind experience for William, whose work has also been featured in the Guardian and is currently on display at the Newlyn Art Gallery, a location recognised for its prominent art history. Will was also recently working with the Eden Project, based in St. Austell, on a project titled Radical Botany that encouraged the general public to collect plant specimens local to them to build a picture of local flora.

Common honeysuckle (Lonicera periclymenum) and cut-leaved cranesbill (Geranium dissectum)

You can see more of William's work in his recently published book Suburban Herbarium here.  

His work was also presented recently in the Guardian which you can find here