About this artwork

Willie Liston was a fisherman from Newhaven on the shores of the River Forth, to the north of Edinburgh. The Newhaven fishermen were well known for their skill and courage. They fished for herring, haddock and cod from small open boats, both close to the land and some miles out and up the north-east coast. They also dredged for oysters in the Forth. Liston is here shown 'redding', or preparing the line. In the 1840s, when this photograph was taken, hardship was part of life, but it was possible to make a good living fishing all year round.

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David Octavius Hill

Robert Adamson

David Octavius Hill

A painter and a lithographer by training, David Octavius Hill is best remembered for the beauty of the calotypes he and Robert Adamson produced together. Hill was a sociable and kind-hearted man who did much to support the arts in Scotland and between 1830 and 1836 he was the unpaid Secretary of the newly established Royal Scottish Academy. After Adamson's death, Hill's attempt to start a new partnership with the photographer Alexander MacGlashan around 1860 failed. Hill is to this day revered as one of the first in the trade who transformed photography into an art form.

Robert Adamson