By the middle of the nineteenth century, photographers began to document wars. Felice Beato was among the first to do this when he traveled to China to document the second Opium War (1856–60). Because lengthy exposure times did not allow him to capture action, Beato resorted to photographing the aftermath and the sites of the battle of Britain and France against China. Several compositions suggest that he may have positioned his subjects and some of the objects in the scenes to craft a more balanced image—and he sometimes stitched together as many as eight photographs to show a broad panoramic view. Beato sequenced and captioned these photographs and bound them into an album, creating a narrative of the conflict slanted toward a European audience—a perspective that has been critically challenged in recent times.
Additional text from Seeing Through Photographs online course, Coursera, 2016