(b Fife, 1809; d St Andrews, Fife, 1870).
Scottish photographer. He studied medicine in Edinburgh (1829) and Paris, but returned to St Andrews in the 1830s. A member of the St Andrews Literary and Philosophical Society, he associated with the circle interested in photographic experimentation and theory. Adamson experimented with Talbot’s calotype process, introduced to Scotland by Sir David Brewster (1781–1868), and made the first calotype portrait in Scotland, of Miss Melville Adamson (c. 1842; Edinburgh, Royal Mus. Scotland; see Morrison-Low, p. 20). He taught several of the early Scottish photographers, including his younger brother, Robert (see Hill and Adamson), and Thomas Rodger (1833–83) of St Andrews. Most of Adamson’s surviving work is in the Royal Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, and St Andrews University Library.A. D. Morrison-Low: ‘Dr John and Robert Adamson: An Early Partnership in Scottish Photography’, Phot. Col, 4/2 (1983), pp. 198–214
Hill and Adamson...