'Cliffs At Elphinstone Point', c 1865.
© NMeM / Kodak Collection / Science & Society
A photograph of the cliffs at Mahabaleshwar, India, taken by Samuel Bourne. Mahabaleshwar is the highest hill station in the Western Ghats. It is a region of vast jungles that is home to many medicinal trees and plants. In 1829 it was established as a health resort. Elphinstone Point is named after Lord Elphinstone who was Governor of Bombay from 1853 until 1860. Bourne, a pioneer of travel photography, 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.