'Chini', c 1865.
© NMeM / Kodak Collection / Science & Society
A photograph of a hillside and mountains above the Sutlej Valley in the Chini region of India, taken by Samuel Bourne. The tiny figure of a man can just be seen on the pathway at the edge of the cliff on the left, surveying the view all around him. Bourne often conveyed scale by including human figures in his compositions. Bourne, a pioneer of travel photography, began his working life as a bank clerk. ln 1863 he went to India where he established a studio in Simla, in partnership with Charles Shepherd. Between 1863 and 1870 he undertook several photographic expeditions, including trips to the Himalayas, producing a collection of landscape views unsurpassed in technical skill and compositional elegance. By 1870 the Bourne and Shepherd catalogue contained 2,000 views from all parts of the subcontinent.