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Friday, June 8th, 1860.
By CAPTAIN DONNELLY, R.E. Inspector for Science, Science and Art
Department, South Kensington. My lecture this afternoon, as you are aware, is on the subject of photography, and its application to military purposes. I would wish to guard against the supposition that might arise from the title, that I proposed to bring forward any new or remarkable application of photography to military art. I do not come before you as an inventor. I am not going to propose to defeat armies, destroy fleets, or take fortresses by the aid of nitrate of silver and the camera obscura; but I will endeavour, in the hour which is allowed me, and beyond which I hope I shall not draw on your patience, to explain as clearly as I can the general principles of photography, an art which is every day rapidly extending, and the aid of which may, I believe, be usefully enlisted in many sccondary military operations.
In speaking of photography as an art, it must be understood that I do not wish to tread on the delicate ground of its status as a fine art, but I am 'employing the term art in its wide general signification, viz. the execution of works of all kinds. Our power of executing a photograph, or indeed any work, depends on our taking advantage of certain powers in nature which produce certain effects. The relation between these powers or causes and their effects, it is the province of science to investigate to deduce and establish the fact of a certain sequence of events, or what we term the laws of nature; and then the same truth, which is a principle in science, becomes a rule in art.