'Balaklava from Guards Hill', 1855.
© NMeM / Royal Photographic Society / Science & Society Picture Library
Photograph by Roger Fenton (1819-1869) of the crowded harbour at Balaklava (now in the Ukraine). On the hill in the foreground are some of the tents of the allied camp. Balaklava sits beneath a fort, the harbour packed with sailing ships bringing supplies to the armies besieging Sebastopol. With his assistant Marcus Sparling and using a mobile darkroom, a converted wine merchant's van, Fenton took 360 photographs of camp life, portraits and landscapes during he Crimean War (1854-1856). A dispute over religious sites in the Holy Land grew into a major European war with the allied forces of Ottoman Turkey, Britain, France and Sardinia invading southern Russia. The war bogged down into a lengthy siege of the port of Sebastopol, which fell in 1855.