'Peshawur - Group of Thugs', c 1865.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
A photograph of a group of elderly men sitting on a mat, taken in Peshawar, now in Pakistan. Two of the men are looking at each other with comtempt, suggesting that they may actually be enemies who have been persuaded to be photographed together as examples of native 'thugs'. 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.