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HomeContents > People > Photographers > Benjamin Browning

Dates:  1799 - ?
Active:  UK

Preparing biographies

Approved biography for Benjamin Browning
Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, USA)

Educated at Glasgow University, Browning became a Royal Navy surgeon. Little is known about him, but modern auction records hint at an extensive photographic output. He used waxed-paper negatives and often annotated them with exposure times and other technical information. Some are industrial scenes, such as his 1856 Keyham Steam Factory, which required 1H hours exposure. Another, Trees in Mount Edgcumbe Park, required 2H hours (Mount Edgcumbe was the home of Talbot’s half sister Caroline). Other views reflected the industrialization of Britain. In one diverse album containing views by Maxwell Lyte and others, Browning’s work makes up a substantial portion, including subjects in Rome, Gibraltar, Australia, Sevastopol, and Suez. This geographical diversity strongly suggests that Browning’s naval travels also served as photographic jaunts. 
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. 
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.
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