Prior to the invention of photography, drawing offered the most precise and immediate way for artists to visualize their ideas and document their experiences. In 1821 Sir John Herschel, a highly-accomplished British scientist, made a grand tour of Europe and recorded his observations of geographical and geological formations with the aid of a drawing tool called the camera lucida. Herschel looked at nature through this optical device and drew with his pencil in close-valued shades of graphite gray that anticipated photographs in composition and tonal scale. He rendered the mountains near Geneva, Switzerland with the same attention to detail that he gave to a tree in the foreground. By doing so, he achieved a uniform field of focus that is closer to photographic vision than it is to the selective focus of the unaided eye.Adapted from getty.edu, Interpretive Content Department, 2008; and Weston Naef, The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Photographs Collection (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1995), 4, © 1995 The J. Paul Getty Museum.