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Manirung Pass

Photographer: Samuel Bourne (1834 - 1912)

'View from the top of the Manirung Pass, 18,600 feet, 1866'

By the 1860s, commercial photography was becoming well-established in India and this growing market attracted the young Nottingham photographer Samuel Bourne to the subcontinent in 1863.

When Bourne came to cross the Manirung Pass, his retinue of porters had swelled to 80 men, making considerable and unpopular demands on the limited provisions available locally. But he was not to be dissuaded from attempting to take a photograph from what was the highest altitude the camera had at that time been used. 

Unencumbered by baggage, Bourne reached the head of the pass alone, but had to wait for the arrival of his struggling porters before securing three negatives of ‘these sublime scenes so rarely visible’.

During a residence of seven years, Bourne produced thousands of landscape and architectural views, but his fame and the success of his studio, rests primarily on the results of three arduous photographic expeditions to Kashmir and the Himalayas. Working in often difficult conditions he captured images of picturesque and dramatic landscapes rarely visited let alone photographed before. 

Albumen print

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