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IN PICTURES: Pioneer War Photographer's Images Of Crimea On Display

Roger Fenton redefined how military conflicts are covered, taking some of the first photos from an active war zone.

Cover picture: 'Photographic Van' (1855), Fenton’s cart with his assistant Marcus Sparling.

A collection of pictures by one of the first war photographers is being displayed in Edinburgh for the first time in 100 years.

Roger Fenton left for Crimea in 1855, using a converted wine merchant's cart to transport the 36 chest of cameras, glass plates and other equipment he and his assistant needed. 

At the time, he had already photographed and become a favourite of Queen Victoria, and he was sent to cover the war by Manchester publishers Thomas Agnew and Sons.

They wanted him to take portraits of people of interest, particularly officers, with the intention of using the pictures to produce an oil painting by artist Thomas J Barker.

But while there, Fenton took many more photographs, taking some of the first photos from an active war zone.

He eventually redefined how military conflicts are covered and changed the way war would be perceived by the general public.

But the focus of 'Shadows of War' at the Queen’s Gallery is the pioneering photographer himself.

Deborah Clarke, senior curator at the Royal Collection Trust, said that Fenton was "an artist, as well as a photographer":

"In the Victorian era, in the 1850s, it must have almost seemed like rolling news coverage to see this amount of photographs coming almost fresh from Crimea.

"You look at these and a lot of them are really beautifully and often dramatically composed. He's got a real sense of how things should look."

Fenton’s photograph of Grenadier Guard Lord Balgonie (1855). It was one of the first photos to show signs of shell shock.

Barker then used more than 50 of Fenton's photographs to create his painting 'The Allied Generals with the Officers of their Respective Staffs before Sebastopol'.

The exhibition, drawn from images from the Royal Collection, will be on show at the Palace of Holyroodhouse until the 26th of November.

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