Panoramic View, Senafo


'Panoramic view, Senafo', albumen print by John Sergeant Harrold, mounted on paper. Taken during the Abyssinian Campaign, 1867-68. Image is composite of three separate prints aligned and re-photographed.

A member of the Royal Engineers, Harrold was in charge of the photographic section (10th Company), during the Abyssinian Campaign of 1867-68, in which British forces invaded Ethiopia to free European hostages taken prisoner by King Theodore. The resulting photographs represent the first occasion in which the work of the Royal Engineers’ photographic school was put into practice in the course of a military campaign.

This documentary record of the progress of the campaign produced a series of some 60 images, from which albums were later produced, and for which Harrold received the commendation from the The Photographic Journal (May 16, 1868) as ‘the right man in the right place, as combining within himself the qualities of a skilful photographer and the power of accommodating himself to any circumstances.’ These ‘pictorial views,’ however, were considered of lesser importance from a military point of view than the more than 15,000 prints of maps produced during the campaign by Harrold and his five assistants. Harrold’s subsequent career was spent in India. In 1873 he joined the Survey of India in Calcutta as a photographer and in the following year assisted James Waterhouse in the taking of a series of 100 photographs at Roorki of the Transit of Venus. He remained with the survey department until his retirement in 1898.


Object Number:
albumen print
  • materials
  • materials
  • animal material
  • egg white
The Kodak Collection at the National Media Museum, Bradford

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