Thursday, March 12, 2020

Natal Photographers: Ferneyhough

It became fashionable for photographers to claim a patron. George Taylor Ferneyhough mentions his studio is 'Under Royal Patronage' and who would refute such a claim? His Studio was The Natal Stereo and Photographic Company, Church Street, Pietermaritzburg. This was during the eighties. Earlier he was at 12 Longmarket Street 1877-81. By the nineties he was at 85 Church Street.

Ferneyhough was interested in the theatre and had initially come to South Africa as the manager of a theatrical company. He said of himself: 'I can only call myself an amateur. Driven by commercial losses from affluence to earn a living I came out here and used my chemical knowledge, gained as a pastime ... in the calling I now pursue. ...I have worked myself step by step until I am considered the best out-door worker in the Colony.'

In the 1880s he obtained good shots of Finlay's Comet (first visible in Natal in September 1882) and the Transit of Venus. After the Zulu War of 1879 he took views of the valley where the Prince Imperial was killed and these were highly praised by Empress Eugenie.

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