Biography of Samuel Bourne (1834-1912)

English photographer born in 1834 and died in 1912 in Britain.

Bourne, like the majority of photographers of his time, belonged to the most-favoured class of society; It was banker, allowing him to access techniques, papers and cameras that were appearing in the photographic world in those years.

He moved to the India in 1862, year in which abandoned his profession as a banker to devote himself solely to photography. Along with Charles Shepherd, it created a photographic society in this country in 1864, and opened a branch in the city of Calcutta.

In 1865 began an expedition, which lasted two years, to the Himalayas; passed through cities such as Burma, Ceylon and Kashmir, in which held photographs of landscapes, monuments and of the inhabitants of those regions.

Before returning to England in 1872, he/she worked as a correspondent for the British Journal of Photography newspaper, for which he/she wrote several articles on his travels.

Bourne began making his photographic views of landscapes, architectures and Hindu monuments, photographic series that began around 1865 and continued until his return to England in Calcutta. These images carried out them in Collodion (perfected by Scott Archer), which allowed him greater speed and accuracy in reproducing than the accomplished so far by albumin.

Their Collodion photographs are characterized by the size, they were huge, by what was needed great galleries and museums could cover a large space to be exposed and referred by the public, and this only. In addition to these collodions, Bourne also held albumins trying the same topics as the previous ones and had a better definition; These are preserved in perfect condition, despite the sensitivity of this technique in terms of degrees of conservation, and the itinerant exhibitions (Huston and London, 1989), in which suffered the light of exposure to the public.


OLLMAN, Arthur: Samuel Bourne: images of India, Untitled. Carmel: Editorial Friends of Photography, 1983.