John Falconer, British Library
A Biographical Dictionary of 19th Century Photographers in South and South-East Asia
Adjutant, 1st Native Veteran Battalion, Madras. Prolific amateur photographer in 1850s. Author of Description of a plain or waxed paper process in photography. 25 of his 15x11 inch views of the Seven Pagodas shown at the Madras Photographic Society of 1858: ‘They were admirable executed and are fully the equal to any photographs which have been produced in India.’ Also exhibited eight prints taken with the microscope, and gave a paper on the subject, On the photogaphic delineation of microscopic objects.
Photographs by Mitchell and O’Neill ‘showing some splendid subjects in architecture and old Hindu buildings and temples taken by the wax paper process’ were shown at a meeting of the Photographic Society of Bengal, 18 Feb 1857 (jnl, no.3, 20 May 1857). A letter was also read from Mitchell ‘giving an account of the mode in which the views of the Madras temple taken by him on wax paper had been executed...several members were surprised at the length of exposure given to these pictures, being as much as 90 minutes; but the results were undoubtedly satisfactory’.
At meeting of 4.3.1858 of the Madras Photographic Society, ‘The Secretary laid on the table the collection of pictures printed by Mr Sutton for distribution amongst the subscribers of 1856-57. The subjects are Pagodas on the Sevagunga Hill, view of the Parthasaratha Pagoda and Tank at Triplicane, and Goprum [sic] of the Ulsoor Pagoda from negatives, by Lieut. Mitchell.’ At the same meeting, ‘Lieut. Mitchell, exhibited a number of large negatives on paper, views lately taken of the monolithic temples, carved rocks, and cave temples at Mahavellpooram, or the 7 pagodas, these were exceedingly clealy brought out and delicate in the half tints. It was thought that they would yield fine impressions.’
Exhibited 15 waxed paper views of Madras, architecture at Bangalore, etc, at the Photographic Society of Bengal Exhibition of Mar 1857.
- Λ Madras Journal of Literature and Science, no.1, new series, Oct-Dec 1856, pp.71-80; also printed in Photographic news, vol.2, no.52, 2 Sep 1859, p.302.
- Λ Madras Journal of Literature and Science, 1858-9, p.172.
- Λ Madras Journal of Literature and Science, no.9, new series, Apr-Sep 1859, pp.10-16.
- Λ Madras Journal of Literature and Science, no.7 new series, Apr-Sep 1858, p.163.
- Λ ibid., p.166.