Frederick Evans is best known for his exquisite photographs of English cathedrals but his first experiments with the camera around 1883 were photomicrographs and landscapes. The British bookseller won an award for his microscopic studies of shells in 1887 and earned soaring praise from critics when he exhibited his cathedral series in 1890. The details of his architectural studies were softened by ethereal light, an effect accentuated by his use of Cristoid film and masterful platinum printing.
He was an advocate of "pure" photography, printing his negatives without manipulation. At the opening of his exhibition at the Royal Photographic Society in 1900, he explained that "Our cathedrals are rich enough in broad and subtle effects of light and shade, atmosphere, grandeur of line and mass, to be content with pure photography at its best; nothing need be added from the artist's inner consciousness to make it more impressive or beautiful."
Evans joined the Linked Ring Brotherhood in 1900, and published photographs in Camera Work in 1903 and 1904. His work was exhibited at the Little Galleries of the Photo-Secession and included in the 1910 Albright Art Gallery exhibition in Buffalo. In addition to making fine architectural studies, landscapes, and portraits, he was an active contributor to leading photographic journals. He published articles in American Photographer and The Photographic Journal, and accepted commercial assignments for Country Life magazine. Evans gave up photography in 1914 when the war had made platinum scarce and prohibitively expensive, but he remained a highly regarded artist and was elected an honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society in 1928.