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PHOTOGRAPHY IN VICTORIAN INDIA Author(s): RAY DESMOND Source: Journal of the Royal Society of Arts, Vol. 134, No.

5353 (DECEMBER 1985), pp. 48-61 Published by: Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41374078 . Accessed: 19/06/2013 14:07
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PHOTOGRAPHY IN VICTORIAN INDIA I

The Sir George Birdwood Memorial Lecture I by I RAY DESMOND

India Office and Records , Library to theSociety delivered on Tuesday 14th May 1985, with GilesEyre and , ofEyre Hobhouse, in theChair

THE chairman: As a picture dealerI early interest tome. second book wasVictorian India Ray's that hadto an astonishing inFocus recognized introduced metoW. W. Hooper, a photography , which affected the other 1also brilliant visual arts since 1850. amateur degree whose military photography nearly inRayDesmond a fellow who had finished his career whenhe was reprimanded in recognized spirit almost tumbled intophotography. I say 'almost' Parliament andbythe for excessive realism. Viceroy because twelve atKewwere not without Hehad set camera toget of certain years spent uphis photographs access toFoxTalbot's botanical and other Burmese convicts at theprecise moment that specimens they natural The push came when were struck the bullets that were toexecute I history photographs. them, by to theIndiaOffice and think in1886. Histhird with anintroduction Ray transferred book, Library by Librarian andDeputy PaulTheroux, wasRailways Records, becoming Deputy ofthe Raj. Ofall the He willtellus howmany he British itseems tomethat Keeper. photographs legacies they significantly inwhat found must bethe and varied most col- remain, and allover the subcontinent. largest huffing puffing lection of Indian in theworld. 'Un- Curiously, I find that the train from Kalka isstill the photographs I think, ishow hewould have described it best In Pakistan, disturbed', wayto getto Simla. nearly forty atthe but would bea more years rules for include time; on,the perhaps 'unexplored' passengers timelessly term. What healso his headings like 'Awakening at night', discovered, diplomatic despite passengers devotion tobooks and that was certain alone' and'Servants insole records, photo- 'Ladies travelling charge arecapable of communication with an im- ofchildren'. aredeliciously dated. Butfor me graphs They and such ascannot beimparted the the most evocative inthat book was of the mediacy impact by photograph written word. fortified station atLahore, built after railway shortly first written with PatBarr, the which was socomplicated inits defensive book, RayDesmond's Mutiny, was Simla inBritish I suppose India. I layout that asADC tothe then Governor ofthe Pun, A HillStation hadbeen for itwithout I jabI once ever since failed tomeet the Chief ontime, an waiting knowing Justice hadlived in Simla at Barnes Court I wasan enormity when which finished career. very my nearly ADC in thefinal oftheRaj.Apart from the Ray I am tosay, has a career which is Desmond, years glad in that bookthere were nomeans finished. Heispresently toKew photographs lithographs, by returning sketches and allof intense and towork for the Linnean Both are watercolours, nostalgicand Society. lucky. The lecture wasillustrated, , which following was then delivered.

48

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PHOTOGRAPHY INVICTORIAN INDIA COULD be said that thecamera obscura education. It comesas no surprise, therefore, marked thevery of photographythat ata meeting heldinCalcutta on2ndOctober beginning IT in India.It was a box ofvariable a 1839he'gavesome sizewith details ofphotographic drawlenswhich an image ofwhat ofwhich the produced appeared ing,by meansofthesun's light, infront ofitonaninclined inturn principle mirror which from that differs ofEurope. . . wholly itontothin reflected onthebaseor Professor a soluuses,itseems, paper placed O'Shaughnessy oftheimage tionofgold,and produces various glasstopofthebox. The outlines tints, many could betraced onthepaper andusedas thebasis from a light down rose colour to through purple for a more finished The topographical deepblack, a drawing. and,whatis moreextraordinary, Thomasand William but tantalizingly brief artists, Danieli,working green'.This intriguing inIndiainthelateeighteenth couldnot accountcomes fromthe AsiaticJournal for century haveachieved their without itsaid. January/April 1840. Was O'Shaughnessy's high output The camera obscura wasalsousedbyW. H. Fox worka variation of Fox Talbot's photogenic who withlight-sensitive Talbot, experimented drawings? to preserve Modernphotography, its that is theproduction paperin the1830sin an attempt can ofa negative from which fugitive image. multiple positives AboutthesametimetheFrenchman, Fox Talbot's experiLouis be made, evolvedfrom ina camera, in recording He exposed succeeded a picture on ments. sensitized Daguerre, paper it then and treated with of washed silvered sensitized with iodine silver, gallo-nitrate copper plates itwith The negative wasbrought bromine. as itwascalled, andfixed hypo. daguerreotype, Every ina that hadbeensoaked contact with tomake wasunique;itwasnotpossible paper multiple into coated with timecould rangefrom salt solutionand subsequently copies.The exposure to light and silver nitrate. ammonia an hour. minutes as half several toas much Exposure to thesalt the on the in transferred was 1839, invention, negative image Daguerre's patented in theBombay paper,whichwas thenfixedwithhypoand thesubject ofthree longarticles in his invention in December1839. There is reasonto washed.Fox Talbot patented Times theGreek root it 'Calotype' from camera 1841,calling believe thatat leastone daguerreotype as TalboIt wasalsoknown beautiful. as 1840.In 1844a meaning wasinuseinCalcutta as early F. M. Montairo, announced to the type. Monsieur the close of1848a MrF. Schanzhofer Towards totake ofCalcutta that hewas'prepared citizens in Calcuttaas a calotype In a business started the likenesses process'. by Daguerreotype had been 1868when Calotypecameraswere soon superseded photographer. daguerreotypes and used in Indiaby bothprofessional andcollodion inEurope processes, widely calotype bythe whodidnotneedtobe F. W. Baker wasstill listed ofCalcutta photographers, being by amateur as a 'Daguerreo- reminded PostOffice Thacker's of thePhotographic by theJournal Directory 'Indian in that London the Most of photographers Society surviving daguerreotypes typis. attention to oftheir more a woulddo welltoturn as happened but occasionally, are portraits, andcerwhich is so simple inthe thecalotype few process landscape appears ago,therare years on some tainin itseffects'.1 The delicate sale rooms. hand-tinting was one of thedisminia- The longtime-exposure of the work was sometimes daguerreotypes of thecalotype had advantages livelihood whosetraditional turepainters process- it could landminutes for three andseven between This range ofphotography. theadvent beenlostwith Native the 1st of achieved was usually Mitchell, Jesse Adjutant by applying scapes. hand-tinting ofthe 'tooka goodnegative it Veteran andfixing brush a fine with coloured Battalion, powder 3 between in nineminutes, Cathedral Catholic totheplatewith gumarabic. about beenexcited theEast and4 pm;thepaperhaving whojoined William O'Shaughnessy, ... inthe camera toexposure anhour in 1833, half as an assistant IndiaCompany previous surgeon the detailin Not onlywas Thereweresomedeep shadows, a polymath. was unquestionably trees also theCassarina rendered: is fairly in India which service ofthetelegraph he thefounder had well been have would he his thirty but during tolerably represented, it yearsin thatcountry Until thecolat thetime.'2 hard electric notblown as batteries, as diverse wrote onsubjects very instantaneous becameavailable rods, chemistry, motors,lightning physics, lodionprocess successful. wasnot and medical photography always philology botany, pharmacology, 49

DECEMBER 1985

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OFARTS SOCIETY OFTHEROYAL JOURNAL

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Fever under construction at Calcutta. 1850s. Allphotographs this lecture hospital ByF. Fiebig. Early illustrating the India andRecords. arereproduced Library by permission of Office

litters a shed under at Tsagain Burma. 1855 Royal Myo, ByLinnaeus Tripe. 50

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DECEMBER 1985

PHOTOGRAPHY INVICTORIAN INDIA

atLucknow. 1858 Ruins Beato, Residency ByFelice of to theworld SamuelBourne revealed The collodion exmadehisfirst camera, photographic timeforland- pedition theexposure in 1851, reduced in theHimalayas in 1863 he needed The glass thirty as 30 to 120seconds. toas little to carryall his photographic scapes porters than equipment detailed weremuchmorefinely andprovisions. negatives A glass with or wascoated I showyou theequipment forcollodion negatives. plate calotype that Wood Colonel and justbefore wet-plate a solution of iodizedcollodion Henry photography nitrate. used in India:camera, ofsilver ina solution sensitized lenses, tripod, carrying exposure And anda miniature darkroom. im- cases, and fixed chemicals As theplatehad to be developed onone'sbackif would be stacked was this afterexposure,a darkroom perilously mediately it. tohavetocarry unfortunate an onewere it was usually Out in the field enough obligatory. the that not It is Fenton used such as enclosed therefore, despite surprising, Roger waggon offered which technical tent warora portable theCrimean improvements by collodion, during inIndiawhopreferred were Samuel Bourne took with him on his there photographers butlesscumbersome inIndia.Onephotographertheslower process. calotype photographic forays ofthecollodion thelaunching after minutes Two years him four tofive that itonly boasted took ina Manchester andallhischemicals togethistent erected optician, J.B. Dancer, ready process, and in 1854 the camera thebinocular was vented for use. The collodion photographer to was formed of equip- LondonStereoscopic amount burdened Company by the enormous the With thesaleofstereophotographs. him onhistravels: with hehadtotake ment por- promote of views chemicals aidofa cheaphand boxesofglassplates, viewer, table stereoscopic darkroom, the some of other of countries and forsensitizing, pleasures and, provided developing fixing of In 1857members travel. foreign course, camera, lenses and tripod. When ofvicarious 51

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OFTHEROYAL SOCIETY OFARTS PROCEEDINGS JOURNAL theMadrasPhotographic told how were Society toadaptan ordinary camera totake stereoscopic views.3 The Londonpublisher, had J.Hogarth, setsofstereoscopic viewsofIndiafor sale.Linnaeus Tripe's Stereographs of Madura and and Other , Tanjore Stereographs of Trichinopoly Placesin Their ' bothpublished Neighbourhood in MadrasPresidency in 1858,were the among earliest books on India illustratedwith stereophotographs. In hisintroduction toRobert Gill'sOneHundred Illustrations Architecture and Stereoscopic of in India (London, 1864) the NaturalHistory architectural comhistorian, James Fergusson, mended thephotographs. own They'telltheir far more than form of words story clearly any that couldbe devised, andevenwithout thetext form themost andsatisfactory they byfar perfect illustration oftheancient architecture ofIndia which hasyet beenpresented tothepublic'. Five --: " HI ihis mind:'stereo- aurais!* yearslaterhe had changed 'Lowana women': The Oriental Races andTribes: andthose oflessdimensions, scopes though very Residents and Visitors of A Series of Bombay. beautiful arenotsuited for scientific It purposes. William 1863 Photographs, by Johnson. London, is hardly ever to make out the details of possible architecture insmall with sufficient in Hogarth's in December 1857 photographs played Gallery distinctness toreason ina satisfactory and subsequently uponthem publishedas Photographic manner.'4 Views inAgraand Its Vicinity (London,1858) Fox Talbot'sinsistence on theobservance of and werealso availableas separate In prints. hispatent tothecalotype andthe 1859 Hogarth another selection of rights process published feeshe charged for itscommercial use Murray's workunderthe titleof Picturesque punitive theexpansion ofphotographyViews in theNorth-Western Provinces effectively delayed ofIndia inthis When he in failed the celebrated and advertised that henowhada large collection country. caseofTalbotversus in 1854toextend ofphotographs Laroche andstereoscopic views ofIndia his monopoly to Archer's collodion he in stock. process withdrew his application to renew hiscalotype With thespread ofphotography intheIndian andphotography inthe United subcontinent it was inevitable thatenthusiasts patent Kingdom at lastbecameavailable to anyone who could should todiscuss anddisplay their gettogether afford theequipment. Commercial Thefirst such was the photography photographs. group Bombay boomed. Travel photography was especially Photographic in October established Society, theGovernor, LordElphinstone, popularand FrancisFrithwithhis viewsof 1854with as andtheHolyLandwasitsmost successful Patron. With commendable the first issue Egypt speed The public demand for of of itsJournal thefollowing exponent. photographs appeared year.A exotic andpeople the Reverend meeting at theTown Hall in Calcutta places on 2nd prompted Mullinsto expatiate on thecharms of January 1856resolved toform thePhotographic Joseph India.'Indiapresents tous perhaps as fine a field Society of Bengaland, emulating it Bombay, as any intheworld. Itcontains . . . also produced a Journal. single country who Lady Canning, all the varieties of Oriental a similar Life, of Oriental was itsPatroness, function performed Oriental Nationsand Oriental Man- forthe Photographic of Madras,also Scenery, Society anditis opentous toexplore these ners, in 1856. The membership of the peculi- established arities tothe last while a perfectlyPhotographic ofBengal, which degree numbered enjoying Society Thereis a deepandgrowing 88,including four in 1857, European hadreached security. women, 5 nearly interest nowfelt inEurope ineverything Indian.' 250by1863.Thismomentum inmemberofJohn were dis- shipwas notmaintained and thePhotographic Thirty Murray's photographs 52

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INDIA INVICTORIAN PHOTOGRAPHY

At itsmanipulation oftheir studies'.8 a portion their on 26th November 1856, meeting monthly 'a ofBengal examined thePhotographic Society on theline of the seriesof sevenviewstaken andtuntheheavy near cuttings Railway chiefly of Monghyr. nellingin the neighbourhood Assistant These were takenby Mr Stewart, . . . They oftheRailway Engineer Company. ofthe offered themost accurate pictures possible natureof the soil and massiverockthrough as wellas arebeing which these carried, cuttings and oftheengineering ofevery machinery part ofthe madeuseofintheprosecution appliances The photographers work.'9 by the employed often seconded were PublicWorks Department native assistants. with trained personnel army oftheEastIndiaComThe Court ofDirectors in 1854to the recommended panyhad already of 'theencouragement ofBombay Government inany art ofphotography ofthis useful thestudy under institutions oreducational ofthescientific of yourGovernment or influence the control A portrait a collection the tofurnish be prepared andweshall ofthe of photographs from youwith India inthe EastBengal Library. requisite Office to peoples of if you findit necessary apparatus 1860s Early It was inthiscountry'.10 themfrom procure andschools atcolleges trained Indians that that tended Newsfor13thOctober1876 announced in the find would the increased andincome members unless employment subsequently Society or Revenue Public Works,Trigonometrical wouldhaveto be dissolved. orinsome uses Survey official before oftime a matter Itwasonly aspea ofarchaeDepartments work. recomand were for ological being explored photography the ofsomedaguerreotypes The taking in the a surgeon mended.NormanChevers, during earliest the is 1846-8 War of Mexican that 'before probably thought many years BengalArmy, ofmilitary be employed instance McCosh, haveelapsed John photography. would] [photography oftheBengalEstablishon thestaff a surgeon India as a means of identifying throughout from oftheEast IndiaCompany's ofrapid ment thedisfigurement army bodies,anticipating fellow his of some took Civil the and the and 1831, portraits calotype Magistrate enabling decay, theSecondSikhWarin 1848-9. detail officers intheir toexamine during offices, every Surgeon He also first when it as appeared ofbloodshed, equipofa scene military captured photographed withthe 5th The Reverend to thepolice'.6 disclosed Joseph mentat Rangoonwhileserving in theSecondBurma uses forthe Battery, Mullinsalso saw manypotential Bengal Artillery, ofa couldbe photo- Warin 1852.McCoshwas theforerunner for camera. instance, Criminals, ranks whose soldier of school new roads Before forpolicerecords. photographers graphed as practitioners and canals were built photographic surveys includedsuch distinguished of the President are CaptainH. J. Barr(thefirst oftheground thenature 'wouldexhibit they andtheinventor can be Bombay in which thegradients to traverse, Society Photographic they T. Biggs, dark a of in the lie Major that difficulties andthe Captain portable tent), way'.7 made, L. Tripe E. D. Lyon,Captain to public R. Gill,Captain of photography The application The East IndiaCombeenappreciated hadalready works by and Major R. C. Tytler. projects in the included 1855 from photography Colonel Fabers, Chief Engineerof Public pany at at its cadets of curriculum it is 'how Seminary in 1855: Military at Works Madras, probable the 1856 From near Addiscombe form will Royal ere Croydon. apparatus that, long, photographic in tuition also received at Chatham ofthe ofallofficers ofthe Depart- Engineers equipment part of 1858 for the with andtheir Among despatches ofPublic ment photography. Works, acquaintance 53

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PROCEEDINGS SOCIETY OFARTS OFTHEROYAL JOURNAL oftheIndiaOffice theMilitary is latein 1858to take in order to Department up photography 'the construction at thepublic helphiswife one approving in herpanoramic ofthe painting ofa doolie[i.e. a palanquin] atDelhi.Although still a novice expense byMajor RedFort Tytler N. O. Lennox commanding 23rd Company exhibited ofplaces connected with photographs in for the of the the at 1859 of a the meeting Engineers conveyance Mutiny May Royal for received use in the Bengal which photographic apparatus Photographic Society unreservedly tobe 'thefinest ofsixbearers tocarry pronounced them that hadever andtheemployment field, the doolie in question'.11 The need for six beenlaidbefore theSociety'. some ideaofthebulk andweight of JohnBurke,a professional gives porters photographer, in thosedays. The with atPeshawar studios andMurree, wasinvited photographic equipment TheEnglishman ofIndiain March1879to Calcutta , in repor- bytheGovernment newspaper, of theBengalPhotographic jointhe Peshawar FieldForce as anofficial tingan exhibition Valley in 1874,specially mentioned thephoto- photographer. Otherphotographers from the Society submitted ofBourne andShepherd which firm were alsocovering graphs Engineers bytheRoyal on theinstruction 'reflect credit to the campaign, but it is Burke'sphotographs great given themilitary which the who are from record of the sent photographers provide mostgraphic toall parts oftheworld'. Chatham Second War. Afghan Felice Beato and his brother-in-law, oftheduties ofsurveyors oftheEastIndia James Part inphotography were inthe Company wastorecord ancient monuments Robertson, engaged any eastern Mediterranean when thesepoys encountered their In 1855the rebelled they work. during inIndiain 1857.In February 1858Beatolanded Company recommended to thePresidencies in to record at Calcutta someofthescenes ofthe Indiathat cease to draughtsmen they 'employing conflict. his celebrated andmake use instead of Amongst photographs,copyIndian antiquities executed with a clinical aretheshattered photography, 'withthe advantages of perfect clarity, atCawnpore barracks heldbyGeneral small oftime andmoderate Wheeler, accuracy, expenditure theKashmir GateatDelhistormed to forward the bythe101st cash ... We shallbe prepared theResidency andth Secundra fortheuse of anyof our Fusiliers, Bagh necessary apparatus atLucknow. the Governments whichmaymakeapplication for 2,000sepoys Nearly defending and walled gardenof the Secundra them'.12 building CaptainRobertGill, who had been on 16th from November 1857 seconded inthe hisduties in Madras Baghwere slaughtered Army the inthe murals took by Britishforcescommanded by Sir Colin 1846tocopy Caves, Ajanta there in stereoscopic viewsofthecavesand theneighCampbell.By thetimeBeatoarrived or 1858 the bodies had been A bourhood. removed selection ofthem waspublished in April May or buried.Sir GeorgeCampbell, in 1864:OneHundred theJudicial London IllusStereoscopic in Lucknow,recalledin his trations Commissioner and NaturalHistory in ofArchitecture memoirs that Beatohadinsisted onhaving some Western Indiaand The Rock-cut India. Temples of oftheremains uncovered before LondonNews reminded its photographing The Illustrated the SecundraBagh. One of his best known readers in 1852that Madrashadan abundance is ofthehanging ofsomesepoys. ofnative architecture andarchaeological remains: photographs account Beato 'there no quarter oftheglobethat Accordingto an eyewitness is, perhaps, steadied theswaying bodies before sucha fine field for T albotype the asthe photo- presents calmly thescene. Therewasnopublic Linnaeus graphing protest MadrasPresidency'. Captain Tripe, aboutthemorality oftaking suchphotographs whohad served as official to the photographer whentheProvost W. W. Hooper, British totheCourt Mission ofAvainBurma in Marshal, yet theexecution of three wasappointed Burmese 1855, Madras photographed photographer bythe in 1886, dacoits hisaction in Government in 1856. His briefwas to take provoked questions the condemnation of the Viceroy photographs in the Presidency Parliament, and to teach and a publicreprimand ofinquiry, photography attheMadrasSchoolofIndustrial by a court which ColonelHooper's 'most callous Arts. deplored andindecorous behaviour'. BothGeneral Alexander who Cunningham, Dr. JohnMurray,who photographed the became in 1861andthe Archaeological Surveyor ofthe aftermath atDelhiandCawnpore, Governor-General, LordCanning, sawthe camera Mutiny instructed when hedecided as an essential toolin archaeological MajorRobert field work Tytler 54

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PHOTOGRAPHY INVICTORIAN INDIA

Caves. Gill. andNatural OneHundred Illustrations ofArchitecture Ajanta ByRobert Stereoscopic History inWestern R. Gill and 1864 India, London, J.Fergusson. by andso didJames theeminent archi- LondonInternational Exhibition thefollowing Fergusson, tectural historian. andFergusson year.'Each Local Government to is expected Cunningham on theIllustration contributed to a Report such photographic of collectintoone collection Archaic Architecture India which wassubmitted likenesses its of the racesand classeswithin of in 1869 by JohnForbes borders to the India Office a very andfurnish brief as itmay obtain theDirector oftheIndiaMuseumin notice whocontributed ofeach.'Dr . Simpson, Watson, was to this International London.This report Exhibition, recognized subsequently 'photography ofthe inanofficial a truthful of engaged as a means ofaffording delineation survey photographic inE. T. Dalton's ofBengal. structures ofevery andofimparting people Lithographs description, an accurate of theirarchitectural impression in Indiawere features'. becoming Archaeologists a ofthecamera. aware oftheutility Burke, John H. H. accompanied photographer, professional oftheArchaeological Cole,theSuperintendent on his for the North-West Provinces, Survey in It became 1868. of Kashmir customary survey oftheArchaeological thepublished for reports At with tobe embellished photographs. Survey leasttwenty-eight professional photographers, for the areknown tohaveworked andamateur, Archaeological Surveyduringits formative years. the The enthnic of India attracted diversity as itspalaces, as much ofphotographers attention PhotoAmateur's TheIndian andtemples. forts edited Album by (Bombay,1856-8), graphic conandWilliam William Henderson, Johnson tains some oftheearliest photographs published ofstudio ofitspeople.A series by photographs Races inhisOriental William Johnson appeared and Visitors : Residents and Tribes of Bombay (London,1863-6). ofIndia, ofIndiamemorandum Toda : ThePeople women In 1861a Government J.Forbes by 8 Vol. W. and Sir Watson the for London, 1875, native of Kaye. John people photographs requested 55

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Houses onthe River at Srinagar. Bourne. 1864 Jhelum BySamuel I wonder that more amateurs don'tgo in Descriptive ofBengal Ethnology (Calcutta, 1872) sitters werebasedon someofhisphotographs. for andstudies'.13 His experience genre pictures One of the earliestmajor ethnographical was notalways shared photographers, byother works to exploit was ThePeople in remote photographs of whofound areas, villagers, especially India and uneasy , editedby J. ForbesWatsonand J. K. suspicious before thecamera. One exclaimed:'Only Kaye and published by theIndia Museumin exasperated photographer London.Its eight between point a camera at a native, andnotwithstanding volumes, published 1868and 1875,contain 468 photographs oflimb, andeasy repre- hisnatural grace, suppleness the work ofatleast fifteen andbearing when taken from senting unawares, photographers, carriage selected from a largecollection ofprints in the fear ofbeing orconverted into some uncouth shot, IndiaMuseum. animal ofnecromancy, hebecomes on bymeans The Andaman Islandsand theprimitive life seeingyou, as rigidas the camera-stand, or of their inhabitants attracted some notable movesawayaltogether, or neither movesnor Oscar Mallitte,the French stays.'14 Even the persuasive Samuel Bourne photographers: in 1857;Edward wasthere Horace found that no amount of andacting photographer, 'by talking Man arrived in 1869,retiring in 1901asDeputy couldI get them tostand orsitinaneasy, natural Their ideaofgiving life toa picture was Superintendent. During the 1890s, M. V. attitude. Extra Assistant at tostand bolt with their arms down stiff Portman, Superintendent upright, PortBlair,photographed theAndamanese 'in as pokers, their chins turned were up as ifthey all their different andmodes oflife' standing tohavetheir throats cut.'15 occupations for the British Museum. He shot hissingle figures Samuel Bourne,a capable amateur photoa screen ofchequered a disembarked in against squares, device grapherfromNottingham, also used in W. E. Marshall's A Phrenologist Calcutta in January 1863 in search ofthepictheTodas(London,1873). intheIndian Overthenext Among turesque landscape. ItwasPortman whofound natives 'suchgood four with a retinue ofporters tocarry his years, 56

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INVICTORIAN INDIA PHOTOGRAPHY

of perspective, thefortuitous exploit geometry and ofreflections in water of shadows pattern likesolitary, and makeuse of devices pensive in thelandscape to provide bothscale figures anda feeling ofreverie. When the Photographic Societyof Bengal to in 1856Indians wereappointed was formed Indians and Treasurer. thepostsof Secretary the techniquesof photoquicklymastered on 29th At a meeting of the Society graphy. Lewin reported October 1856 a Lieutenant in thecity ofLucknow 'there was a native that on likenesses whotookexcellent photographic glass, which were not howeverquite clear The nativewas to paper'.16 whentransferred AhmadAli Khan, of whomthe Chaplainat theReverend Lucknow, Polehampton, Henry inApril1857said'heis a tohisbrother writing and man,a Mahommedan, verygentlemanly forhis mostliberal.He won'ttakeanything as you as many He givesyoufreely likenesses. atSriRangam near The Great Trichinopoly. Temple I have no and takesno end of trouble. want, Mid-1 860s ByE. D. Lyon. doubthis chemicals etc.,mustcosthimmore The India attheleast.'17 than he and 100 perannum, provisions, equipment photographic offaded albums two He Office into the madethree possesses Library Himalayas. expeditions in LuckoftheEuropeanresidents where saltprints feet crossed theManirung Passat 18,600 before now takenby AhmadAli Khan during1856 he managed to takethree photographs hadbeen which 1857.Thesealbums, theview - thenthehighest andearly cloudsobscured had been acquired by W. H. Russell, the celebrated at whichany photograph altitude ofLuckafter therelief intopartnership Times taken. About1864he entered correspondent, record ofthemanyEuroBourne now are a poignant andbythetime Charles with Shepherd, ofBourne peans who lost theirlives duringthe siege. in 1869thefirm returned toEngland had becomethepremier and Shepherd photo- Ahmad Ali Khan became one of the rebel under butwas subsequently in India. His technical leaders establishment pardoned graphic theGovernor-General's wasadmired amnesty. byhiscontemporaries: proficiency were availableat in hisprints Courses in photography thelackofblemishes in particular and technical some and andtheir colleges by themid 1850s sharpness depth. clarity, skilledto set in therewere Indianssufficiently exhibition A report on a photographic that 'few photo- themselves Madras in 1857 regretted up in businessin Calcuttaand to someofthesimplest Bombay.Readers of the British Journalof graphers payattention wereassuredthat'the wealthier is thatthey Photography rulesofArt,and theconsequence as a . . . havetakenalmost inhabitants and native someofthebestsubjects passbyorneglect But their of to the willmakea picture'. body what areat a lossto know study photography'.18 did not ofphotography be madeofSamuel enthusiastic couldnever This criticism acceptance who T. N. art the how to He knew critic, Mukharji, Bourne. impress compose instinctively on their 'do notbestow Indians that of theMadrasPhoto- maintained At a meeting a picture. andcare. ofpatience amount thenecessary 1860thespeaker work in December graphic Society native a As audience. his to therefore, advice on some productions, consequence, composition gave sucha do notpossess fewexceptions or a with to a figure to giveimportance 'Ifyouwant very outbyEuropean turned as those of goodreputation viewit from below,withplenty landscape, out by a turned The bestphotographs to setitoff.' photo- firms. By themid1860smost sky executed views Indian the are India of native of rules basic with the familiar were by graphers Indor.'19 Din of Lala the and could Dayal compelling manipulate composition 57

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SOCIETY OFARTS OFTHEROYAL JOURNAL

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Burke a collodion TheGraphic, 12th 25 1879, John preparing plate. July

58

with an escort Prisoners tkhs 2nd War Burke of45th Rattray's , 1878-80. during Afghan ByJohn

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DECEMBER 1985

INVICTORIAN INDIA PHOTOGRAPHY

1882 Deoat Urcha. Mausoleum Dayal. ByLalaDeen Birsing of oftheDepart- coloursthat oftencompletely Lala Deen Dayal,an employee concealedthe in original interested becameseriously ment ofWorks, photograph. India In 1865 in Victorian hewasabout when In assessing thirty. photographs photography for theproballowances make to theNizam oneshould he wasmadecourt always photographer inthose wasouthe lems thecentury andbefore ofHyderabad pioneering besetting photographers tothe those andespecially Indoreand days, had his own studiosin Bombay, tropics. peculiar inHyderabad The time studio ofIndian His zenana Secunderabad. when themention photographs is gone andwhitewash ofsoot masses the suggested of Mrs Kenny-Levick, was in thecharge by. and black the nolonger crude, Here Wehave foliage, chalky of the Deccan Times. wifeof theeditor orpictures white and white water; buildings, sky, inpurdah couldbe photographedwhite women Indian and harsh with of lights glinting temples magnificent andthe thegazeoftheprofane 'from protected the ordetail, without black shadows, delicacy heavy but a shrewd with Deen Dayalrecorded stern'. inthe architecture andrare beautiful carving tracery of princely being splendour eyethefeudal sympathetic believed It wasat onetime half lost. among India. decomtothe that rapid owing partly photographers as a position inDelhiseized Artists tothe andpartly uponphotography ofthechemicals ofsome A intensely miniatures. cut to producing short andcloudless skies, portrait anything light glaring oftropical inphotographs ona sheet like traced andharmony be carefully would delicacy photograph wasalmost with climates touched impossible. of ivory, up and thencoloured hadbeensolved Val Prinsep, The artist, bynew watercolours. dismayed Manyoftheproblems statement that when materials and traditional of this witness to skills, techniques perversion on21stMay News inthePhotographic 'from theirworking photo- appeared deplored strongly difficulties the One of 1869. nature'. from chance besetting calotypes never and by any graphs, Contime often were themselves required. they The photographs painted, wasthelongexposure were thetimeof thedaywhenthey not withthe delicatewashesof colourthat sequently when critical. be could taken his to morning, Early Frederick photoapplied Fiebigusually the rising sun, was butwith inthe 1850s, strong opaque therewas no glarefrom early graphs 59

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SOCIETY PROCEEDINGS OFTHEROYAL OFARTS JOURNAL inthemorning in a temperature considered 8 o'clock best. About of 90 Fahrenheit, and frethewindusually thebranches quently howuncertain it becomes from gotup, stirring dayto and leavesof treesand shrubs and making it dayas regards thelength ofexposure to required whether to photograph themwiththeslow takea picture, or landscape. impossible portrait reviewof Many kindsof collodion cameras.An appreciative whichare found to calotype at theSociety's LinnaeusTripe'swork exhibi- answerthe purposeperfectly at homeprove tionin 1859 singled out his photograph ofan even ontheir first inIndiatobe inanunarrival tree(Acacia?)at Trivium. umbrella 'This tree satisfactory state and decomposeso rapidly an exception ina wheniodizedas to be nextto useless.'22 forms tothegenerality oftrees Caloinas much ofview, as itis so types,too, especiallythe waxed negatives, photographic point a good subject for presented technical difficulties. 'The intense rigid and consequently which cannot be said of heat of the most trees sun melts the and are wax, theprints photography, which areso readily blownaboutbythewind, too frequently foundto be spotted and spoilt it extremely difficult to obtain with this thedefect insomecasesonly material, rendering likea goodportrait ofthem, in being discovered after havebeentoned and anything except they themost a rare con- fixed.'This opinion,however, was not supcalm, perfect atmospherical dition evenin thislatitude.' oftheBombay Photoported bytheSecretary W. H. Warner withgreat whomaintained that for expressed feeling graphic Society, 'general hisexperiences in Indiain the utility ofphotography andcertainty ofaction inthe warm climate British in 1863. 'There of none can be with thewaxed India, Journal ofPhotography compared is that evilwhich inEurope isbadenough butin paper process'.23 Indiais a million times worse- I meanheatWith all this contradictory evidenceand whichdriesup theplate[i.e. collodion oneis ledtoconclude that there was plate], experience it moreand moreinsensitive ofluck as wellas skill inphotography rendering every anelement andalsocommunicates totheoperator in Indiaa hundred moment, ago. years a lassitude which almost himfor As cameras became more portableand unfits wholly theduties oftheday.'20 He mentioned dustas simpler to use,theelement ofluckdiminished another hazard which a negative couldmar with andthephotographer alsohadGeorge Ewing's a shower ofdots. substantial Handbook Amateurs of Photography for themonsoons lenses would be covered inIndia(Calcutta, him.He also During 1895)to assist witha fungous shutter hada standard ofexcellence inthework ofthose rusted, growth, springs blinds became andmildew stocks pioneering whohaveleft us an sluggish spoilt photographers ofphotographic Oneluckless invaluable record not of the of paper. photographer only impact the in Bengal in 1856 lost a wholeyear'swork British on SouthAsia but also of an ancient hisplates. culture which wasrapidly through dampaffecting changing. The dampand theheatwerealso capableof REFERENCES and distorting camera cases. 'A good 1 . Journal the no. 20th March splitting of 28, Photographic 1855, Society, 173. with made ofwellcamera, tailboard, rigid folding 2. Madras Literature and Science Vol. 76. Journal , of 17, 1856, seasoned orwalnut, andbrass-bound, 3. Ibid., mahogany Vol. 253-7. 18, 1857, Forbes on is theonly onethat willstand the Illustration this climate'21 Archaic Archiwas 4. J. Watson, Report of 19. India, etc., London, 1869, of thefirm conviction of one experienced Indian 5. tecture the Journal of Photographic ' no. 2,21st Society Jan. of Bengal photographer. 33-8. 1857, Manual Medical and the Attheir inPeckham inSouth of East 6. N.Chevers, Jurisdiction for Bengal workshops North-Western 40. Provinces, 1856, and Arthur Gandolfi made 7. Journal London,Frederick the no. of Photographic 2,21st Society of Jan. Bengal, cameras for Indiawith Russian 33-8. 1857, specially-scented Office Records 103. Vol. letter 27 no. E/4/842, leather bellows todeter Military insects from into 8. India eating of 8. 1857, para them. 9. Journal the no. of Photographic 2,1857. Society of Bengal, The MadrasPhotographic Office Records Board's couldnot 10.India Collections F/4/2725, 198064, Society 297, 3,1856. para decide whether to recommend collodionor 11.no. India Office Records no. L/MIL/3/78, Department, Military forthe photographer in India. If he calotype 144 of 1858. Office Records Vol. Public Letter no. 22 chose collodion'he verysoon discovers of E/4/829, 90, the 12.India 3. 1855, para treacherous nature ofthematerial to which he 13.Journal the Nov. 192. of Photographic India, Society 1892, of hastotrust, howrapidly itbecomes deteriorated14.British 1st 300. Journal of 1862, Photography, Aug. 60

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1985 DECEMBER 39. 15.Ibid., 25th 1867, Jan. Vol. 16.Journal the 1,no. 2, Society of Bengal, Photographic of 27. 1857, ... AMemoir, Letters and 17.Rev. Diary Polehampton, Henry 224-5. 1858, London, 239. 8th 18.British 1864, Journal Photography, July of

INDIA INVICTORIAN PHOTOGRAPHY 19.T.N.Mukharji, 1888,30-31. India, Art-manufactures of 16th Nov. 20.British 1863,444-5. Journal of Photography, 533-4. 4th Nov. 21. Photographic 1864, News, New Vol. Literature and 22.Madras 5, series, Science, Journal of 176-7. 1859, 254-6. Vol. 23. Photographic 2,1859, News,

DISCUSSION Ensureother. each touch that notwo about sure ussomething Could outell THECHAIRMAN: photographs y are them suitinwhich house conditions the who that for which is a problem you conservation, anyone andnot but the colder able: the anoldphotograph? time totime from better, damp. dry buys ofphointhe conservation interested Foranybody Concalled isa magazine there of photo- tographs The conservation the LECTURER: Photographic of Institute are still servation inits and much isvery by theRochester published people infancy graphs thelatest which in America We Technology bedone. cannot Certain their provides things finding way. onthe of developments chemical the for subject. instance, cannot, degradation delay The itwill Ifitisfading, a photograph. goonfading. I just Could HonFRPS: T. GILL, I showed, salt contains which BSc, Lucknow Album, prints MRARTHUR which is about a comment turn ofthe I believe arefading; which photography early centurymake bythe -I room inthis In 1852, tothis relevant ofwhite most with be little left all wewillhave place. squares - there exwasa major itwasinDecember allthese Werephotographed using believe photographs paper. exhibition that It was of hibition the details out in fact which a bluefilter, photographs. from brought Britain was ofGreat thePhotographic The that inthefaded than much more Society originals. clearly the became that a society and formed, nowbeenputaway Photographic have Royal original photographs about heard wehave inwhich So the todo Society. whowants areusedbyanybody these setting copies an is indeed this inIndia are obviouslyearly evening Glassnegatives research on them. photography one. them do is to The sensible apt rephotograph thing fragile. tostore the and originals. MrGill andGentlemen, Ladies in albums? THELECTURER: doesonedo with What photographs of the Curator is of Society. are Photographic albums composed very Honorary Victorian ofthe Royal Many ofthephotographic an outline a If yourequire probrittle hasnowbecome which card thick through MrGill's I recommend last the of to cesses Theacidisprobably may content. acid century, migrating high anda Chart Processes for istoremove , A Glossary solution Theonly the very Photographic photographs. Association Museums the mounts. acid their , from by thephotographs published Recognition carefully Onecaneither intwo Thiscanbe done pain- in1978. ways. a scapel andwith off lift thephotograph stakingly I am LadiesandGentlemen, or THE CHAIRMAN: the from mounts ofthe bits allthe remove back, Desmond thank me to like would sure to not very sure Ray onwater, the float you get making photograph the and lecture his of the for indeed much Thephotograph range the great front of onthe water photograph. it. he which with care make Do sleeve. inanacid-free gave bestored then should

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