Charles Walter

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Charles (CARL) WALTER (c. 1831–1907) was a German 
Botanist, photographer and journalist. Born in Germany, he emigrated from Mecklenberg, Tokheim, to Victoria, Australia, in c.1856 where he worked as a botanical collector for the Victorian Government Botanist, Baron von Mueller. In 1858, he worled as a photographer and botanical collector, accompanied R.L.J. Ellery’s geodetic survey party into eastern Gippsland. In 1865, he advertised himself as a "Country Photographic Artist" of 45, Bell Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne, and began supplying photographs and reports of his travels in the bush to The Illustrated Australian News. Much of his early work was concerned with recording portraits of aborigines and he documented the mission stations of Ramahyuck (Lake Wellington), Coranderrk (Yarra Flats) and Lake Tyers. In 1867, he sent portraits of Natives of Victoria to the Anthropological Society of London. Walter was, perhaps, Australia’s first photojournalist, for as early as 1865 he sent a report of the “Salmon Tanks in Badger Creek” to the Illustrated Australian News. In the following year, he describes a trip overland to “Falls on the Niagara Creek, Mount Torbreck” with his “apparatus and tent upon his back—the whole weighing about fifty pounds.” Walter used a stereoscopic camera for most of his work but also produced some half-plate and whole- plate negatives. He registered photographs with the Victorian Copyright Office in 1870 and in 1871 he advertised “A very large stock of Stereoscopic Views of Aboriginal Life, Mining, Scenery and other Australian Subjects.” The earliest extant photograph by Walter is dated 1862; his work continued to be published until the early 1870s [1].