Excellent story – from an old photography buff who spent way too many hours developing and manipulating photos until I got my first copy of Photoshop – grin
At 141 Surendranath Banerjee Road in the New Marker area of Dharamtala, in the post-colonial city of Kolkata, stands a dilapidated building named Photographe. Established in 1840 by famous Calcutta lensman William Howard from Britain, the studio was taken over by the British photographer and traveller duo – Samuel Bourne and Charles Shepherd and renamed Bourne & Shepherd in 1866. Unfortunately, after successfully documenting Indian-pictorial history for more than one-hundred-and-seventy-six years continuously, the world’s oldest and longest-running photo studio was shut down in June 2016.
In its glory days, the Bourne & Shepherd Calcutta studio had four corresponding offices in Shimla, Mumbai, London, and Paris, besides numerous affiliates all over the subcontinent. Along with a team of thirty in-house photographers, including Samuel and Charles themselves, the studio thrived, running prestigious official assignments for the British Government and enjoyed the patronage of royal Indian families, upper-class British officials, and high-profile businessmen.
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