This photo comes from a time when photography was in its nascent stage. Those were not the times of point-and-shoot cameras. Photography used to be a very serious profession. Photography is still a very serious profession, art and science –but in those times –hardship of taking photos was much more.
In the year 1866, Glasgow City Improvement Trust decided to take photos of the slum areas of the city. The commission was given to Thomas Annan who excellently performed his job and produced the first photographic record of the situation of urban poor. Annan took 30-35 photographs over a period of three years (1868-1871). So, you can imagine how tricky it was to take photos in those times.
The presented photograph is part of that collection which was named as “The Old Closes and Streets of Glassgow”. This photograph was taken as “plate number 13” and it shows the Close Number 80 on High Street in Glasgow.
For more information on Thomas Annan’s work, check this out: http://special.lib.gla.ac.uk/exhibns/month/Mar2006.html