John Burke (1843-1900) an Irishman, came to India as an apothecary
with the Royal Engineers. A few years after, he became the assistant of the
photographer William Baker.
At the start of the Second Anglo-Afghan War, Burke tried to go as an
official photographer with the British Army, but his request was refused.
He decided to go with them in any case, financing his trip by selling
photographs depicting the life of english soldiers and native people of
India. As there was at this time no satisfactory way to print photographs
in newspapers, artists were employed to translate the photographs into
engravings. It's in this context that Burke, in 1879, took the first photo of
Afghanistan. During his travel, he photographed many afghan
landscapes, inhabitants and monuments. He was also permitted by the
Ameer Yakub Khan to take a series of pictures of himself and his suite at
the camp at Gandamak.