About this artwork

Hill and Adamson took this calotype in the fishing village of Newhaven, to the north of Edinburgh. According to its title, the photograph shows a ‘Newhaven pilot’ who is posing with his top hat in hand and his left arm resting on a boat. A pilot’s task was to guide the fishing boats through the shallow and dangerous coastal waters between the shore and the open sea, using his detailed knowledge of the tides, currents and depths of the area. A calotype of this title was exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy in 1845. However, this particular photograph was printed from the original negative in 1916 and was published by Andrew Elliot as part of a set of 49 photographs by Hill and Adamson.

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David Octavius Hill

David Octavius Hill