Photograph by Samuel Bourne of the Zojji-La Pass, Kashmir, about 1866
From 1863-1870, Bourne made three trips to the Himalayas in Northern India. Many of these topographical photographs appear as a result of this final, six month photographic expedition in 1866, accompanied by Dr. G.R Playfair, a botanist and geologist from Agra.
Samuel Bourne (1834-1912) left his job as a bank clerk in Nottingham to become a professional photographer, and in 1863 sailed to India to develop his new career. He remained there for several years to become recognised as one of the most successful British photographers to document the expanding British empire. His photographs were produced primarily for the European market, and provided a glimpse of India as a distant colonised land and its people. Bourne's photographic success was a combination of his impressive photographic skill and ability to present photographs of India that co-incided with the western, Orientalist vision of the exotic East. In 1870 Bourne took up permanent residency in England and withdrew from photography after establishing a cotton-doubling mill. In 1896 after retiring from business he devoted his time to watercolour painting.
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