Janet Laing at around 16 years of age c. 1914. Source: Getty
At the turn of the 20th century, photography was on the cusp of major transformation. The French Lumière brothers introduced the Autochrome process in 1907, and as the below images show, Etheldreda Laing was one of its early masters.
Laing had a strong attraction to photography, and having been enthralled by the hobby since the late 1890s. When Laing and her husband Major Charles Miskin Laing moved to Bury Knowle House in the Oxford district of Headington in 1899, she had a darkroom added to the property so she could develop her own images.
Upon the Lumières’ introduction of the Autochrome color process in 1907, Laing showed an immediate and avid interest. Beginning in 1908 and nearing her 40s, Laing took scores of pictures of her daughters Janet and Iris–primarily in the lush and colorful gardens of their Oxford home. The images may have been taken just after the Victorian age ended, but they elicit all the delicate grace of the era.