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Though resident in Lahore, Bremner retained his quarters in Quetta as a summer resort, but in 1910 he sold his house and business there and for the following twelve years his summers were spent in Simla. 'The opening was favourable from a business point of view. Mssr Bourne & Shepherd, the pioneer photograpers in India, had given up their premises [10] in Simla and confined their work to Calcutta. I placed myself in communication with the new proprietor and fortunately obtained permission to take the house and studio over for some few years' (pp. 71-72).

One of his first sitters at the Simla studio was Lady Eileen Elliot, daughter of the Viceroy, Lord Minto. Before retiring from India Bremner had the pleasure of photographing the then Viceory, Lord Reading, at the Viceregal Lodge. Though he retired from India in 1923, [11] Bremner did not write his memoir until 1940.
Kashmiri at work
He was living in Elgin at the time. We do not know when he died, but a note from Bremner in the author's collection is dated 14 April 1941. We also learn from his memoir that he had a son.

Views on the Art of Photography

Bremner had strong views about his craft. In the closing chapter of his book he writes:

. . . I found my job through life to be most interesting. Artists - painters, I mean - tell us that photography is not a fine art. Cut out the word 'fine' and art remains. Certainly mechanical means have to be used up to a point, and many amateurs believe that when equipped with a nice camera and lens nothing else is necessary. The 'button' does the rest. Believe me it is the man or the woman behind the instrument that matters. What about composition and lights and shades, especially in the production of the beauties of nature? Search for the right point of view. The movement of a few yards to the right or left may add greatly to the value of the result. If taken seriously it is, indeed, an interesting hobby - and something more. Look at the great interest which the cinema affords to old and young - and all the result of photography. Studio potrature - the portraying of adults in particular - is not an all too easy task. They usually come before camera in a mood of self-consciousness, even fear, and many a sitter has said to me they would rather be seated in a dental chair. 'Not at all', was my usual answer. 'The operator inflicts no pain upon you'. (pp. 86-87).

Prominent Sitters

Some of the prominent and distinguished sitters Bremner 'shot' during his years in India were the viceroys Lord Minto, Lord Hardinge, Lord Chelmsford, and Lord Reading; Lord Roberts of Kandahar, Lord Kitchener, and Sir Michael O'Dwyer, Governor of Punjab. He also photographed the Price of Wales (later King Edward VIII) during his tour of India in 1922. Among the Indian nobility, he worked for the Nawab of Dholepore and later for the Maharajah of Jind, the Nawab of Maler Kotla, and the Maharajah of Kapurthala.

'Types of the Indian Army'

While photographing an Indian regiment at Rawal Pindi around 1895, Bremner decided that 'it would be quite a good plan to photograph a group of men, four or five, illustrating different ranks, to be taken in the open parade ground without any background of trees or buildings, so that the figures would stand out in bold relief' (p. 36). The idea was also to illustrate the various races enlisted in the Indian Army. Thr result was an album of sixty photographs, entitled Types of the Indian Army. It was priced at five guineas and the edition was limited to little more than fifty sets. The edition is so scarce that, apart from Bremner's autiobiography, no reference to it occurs in the literature of ths history of photography in India. Bremner records that he left the last - his personal - copy to the British Museum in London. It had taken Bremner three months of travel to complete the series. >


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