Read the full story from Forbes.
Nearly eight decades before Man Ray led photography in a radical new direction with his cameraless Rayographs, a British naturalist named Anna Atkins created hundreds of images enlisting similar techniques. Made by arranging plants on photosensitive cyanotype paper, her vivid compositions are as aesthetically beguiling as Rayography at its best, and their blue-and-white palette is more visually intense. But it would be shortsighted to view Atkins as Man Ray avant la lettre. Her magnum opus, British Algae, was the first book ever to be illustrated with photography, and the images within it were the first photographs ever used for scientific illustration.