Luminous-Lint - for collectors and connoisseurs of fine photography
HOME  BACK>>> Subscriptions <<< | Testimonials | Login | FREE NEWSLETTER

Getting around

 

HomeContentsVisual IndexesOnline ExhibitionsPhotographersGalleries and DealersThemes
AbstractEroticaFashionLandscapeNaturePhotojournalismPhotomontagePictorialismPortraitScientificStill lifeStreetWar
CalendarsTimelinesTechniquesLibrarySupport 
 

HomeContents > People > Photographers > Jesse Mitchell

Active:  India
 
  

Preparing biographies

Approved biography for Jesse Mitchell
Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, USA)

 
  
Little is known about the life of Mitchell, except that he was an adjutant in the 1st Native Veteran Battalion of the Indian Army. When he showed his photographs at a meeting of the Photographic Society of Bengal in 1857, they were praised in the Madras Journal of Literature and Science as “splendid subjects in architecture and old Hindu buildings and temples taken by the wax paper process.” In 1858 he displayed some of his negatives at a meeting of the Photographic Society of Madras. The Madras Journal noted that his “large negatives on paper, views lately taken . . . were exceedingly clearly brought out and delicate in the half tints. It was thought that they would yield fine impressions.” Although Mitchell experimented with photomicrography and even gave a paper on the subject, it is clear that his passion was photographing the ancient architecture of India. His approach was so sensible and his advice so clear that in England the Photographic News published a three-part series on his method. Like many others, Mitchell had initially based his work on the waxed-paper process of Gustave Le Gray, but he found, as reported by the News, that his photography was “equally suited to unwaxed papers. As the manipulation of unwaxed paper is much the easiest, and the results so much alike that the operator himself cannot, after a time, say which was taken on waxed, which on plain paper.” Although he worked with special imported Canson negative paper, Mitchell found that the sheets varied in density, having thin spots that would let the chemicals soak through to the wrong side. He triaged his new batches of paper, holding each up to the light. The most uniform ones were destined for his favored calotype negatives; those with minor imperfections could be salvaged by waxing; and the least uniform were used to make prints. His practical approach paid off, for in 1858 the Madras Photographic Society judged that Mitchell’s more than two dozen 15 x 11 inch views of the Seven Pagodas were, according to the account in the Madras Journal, “fully the equal to any Photographs which have been produced in India.” 
  
Roger Taylor & Larry J. Schaaf Impressed by Light: British Photographs from Paper Negatives, 1840-1860 (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2007) 
  
This biography is courtesy and copyright of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and is included here with permission. 
  
Date last updated: 4 Nov 2012. 
  
SHARED BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION PROJECT 
  
We welcome institutions and scholars willing to test the sharing of biographies for the benefit of the photo-history community. The biography above is a part of this trial.
 
If you find any errors please email us details so they can be corrected as soon as possible.
 
  

Further research

 
 Premium content for those who want to understand photography
 
References are available for subscribers.There is so much more to explore when you subscribe. 
Subscriptions 
 
Portraits 
  
If you have a portrait of this photographer or know of the whereabouts of one we would be most grateful. 
  
alan@luminous-lint.com
 
  
Family history 
  
If you are related to this photographer and interested in tracking down your extended family we can place a note here for you to help. It is free and you would be amazed who gets in touch. 
  
alan@luminous-lint.com
 
  
 
  

Visual indexes

 
 Premium content for those who want to understand photography
 
Visual indexes for this photographer are available for subscribers.There is so much more to explore when you subscribe. 
Subscriptions 
 
  
 
  
 
  
HOME  BACK>>> Subscriptions <<< | Testimonials | Login | FREE NEWSLETTER
 Facebook LuminousLint 
 Twitter @LuminousLint