View and zoom into this image on our new collection website
Willie Liston, 'Redding [cleaning or preparing] the line'; Newhaven fisherman

Reference URL

See also

Willie Liston, 'Redding [cleaning or preparing] the line'; Newhaven fisherman 1843 - 1847

Not on display

  • Scottish Art
This is one of about 120 calotypes by Hill and Adamson that document the life and work of the fishermen and fishwives of Newhaven, a fishing village to the north of Edinburgh. This dramatic portrait shows Willie Liston, a fisherman, at work ‘redding’, or preparing, the fishing line. This lengthy and painstaking job involved cleaning hundreds of hooks on the line and baiting them with mussels. The careful positioning of Liston in the sunlight has created a dark shadow across his face, which helps to focus attention on his working hands.

Glossary Open


The first effective version of photography, using drawing or writing paper for both the negative and the positive. The paper was sensitised with potassium iodide and silver nitrate, exposed and developed in gallic acid and silver nitrate.



  • Acc. No. PGP HA 300
  • Medium Calotype print
  • Size 20.80 x 15.70 cm
  • Credit Provenance unknown