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Samuel Bourne

(1834—1912) photographer


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(1834–1912), English photographer, whose early career was spent as a banker in Nottingham. Bourne photographed in Nottinghamshire, the Lake District, Wales, and Scotland before he sailed to India, arriving in Calcutta in January 1863. He set up a studio in Simla with a Mr Howard. He was later joined by Charles Shepherd, establishing the firm of Bourne & Shepherd. Bourne remained in India for almost eight years, concentrating on landscape and architectural views. He made three expeditions into the lower Himalayas in 1863, 1864, and 1866 reaching a height of 5,673m (18,600ft). All three expeditions are described at length in the British Journal of Photography. In all, he produced c.2,000 glass negatives during this period. Bourne left India in November 1870, handing control of a flourishing business with studios in Simla, Calcutta, Bombay, and Delhi to Shepherd and, later, Colin Murray. Back in Nottingham he ran a lucrative cotton-doubling business, continuing to photograph and paint in his spare time. Bourne's work is outstanding not only for his technical mastery of the wet-plate process, but also for faultless artistic vision and understanding of picturesque landscape composition. His work is often presented as part of a 19th-century colonial discourse.

From The Oxford Companion to the Photograph in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Photography and Photographs.


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