A Photographer’s Passion


Photography was Henry’s favourite hobby and in 1887 he invented a colour photographic process and a new halftone printing process which he patented around the world.

The halftone process was initially called Sutton-type but was given the technical name of “Electro-Phototypy” and was a quicker and cheaper way to process photographs for publication.

In 1890 Henry travelled to England to promote his new process and put it on the market.

Before Henry left for England the Mayor of Ballarat Mr William Little presented Henry with a leather bound farewell charter in recognition of his contribution to Ballarat and scientific achievements.

In England a syndicate was formed with Henry as a director and the majority shareholder, this company commercially printed photographs for publication and was called Suttons Process Syndicate Ltd.


For many years the newspaper and publishing world were looking to find a cheap and easy way to publish photographs, and so the half tone process was invented.

By the 1890’s newspapers started to replace woodcut images with halftone photographs and Henry’s new process was an easier and cheaper way to produce these photographs.

Halftone processes gave a new dimension to photographs as they replaced lines with dots this enabled photographs to published more clearly.

The global industry of photo journalism owes it’s beginnings to the halftone processes
invented by Henry and others.

England 1890-1893

While in England Henry became a member of the London Camera Club which was the hub of the science of photography.

In 1892 in response to Henry’s new photographic process he was given the great honour of personally presenting a paper at the fifth annual conference of the London camera club.

At a photography exhibition in London he won a gold medal for a stereoscopic photograph of Hastings which was taken just before he boarded the ship to go to England.

Henry gave and went to lectures on photography and presented many photographs for exhibition one of which was his photograph of the painting “Ajax and Cassandra” which still hangs in the Ballarat Gallery of Fine Art.

Henry’s favourite place in England was Hale End which he took many photographs of, he used some of these photographs in his promotions for his business.