David Octavius Hill, the son of a Perth bookseller, was born in 1802. He became interested in railways as a young man and produced a set of engravings of the Garnkirk & Glasgow Railway in 1831. It was the first time an artist had attempted to record the mechanical devices with meticulous precision.
In 1843 Hill was commissioned to take photographs of the founders of the Free Church of Scotland. His picture of the Linlithgow Railway is believed to be the first ever photograph of a railway scene.
Hill continued to paint and in 1848 his friend, the railway enginner, John Miller, suggested he painted the viaduct he had built at Ballochmyle. Hill painted three pictures of the viaduct and also took numerous photographs of the Glasgow, Dumfries & Carlisle Railway.
After Miller's retirement in 1850, Hill appeared to lose interest in the railways. David Octavius Hill died in 1870.