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Saturday, 07 June 2008


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Thank you for posting this Mike! Don McCullin is one of the people I most admire. Now, that's a photographer- reminding us that we really need to have an emotional connection (whether with people or landscape or any other subject), and to think about making a statement in our work. It is sad to see that Wars continue; but good to know that there are still photographers who keep the tradition of bearing witness, inspired by McCullin's work. Some of their current work can be seen in www.lightstalkers.org., which I joined some time ago.

An awesome interview. I didn't know McCullin was so introspective and articulate about how war photography has affected him. I'm glad he found the dark shadows of the English countryside instead in his later years.


A hero of our time, his photographs to use his own word - make you feel the moment - inspiring.

The photo of the four young men mentioned first in the interview - http://www.tate.org.uk/britain/exhibitions/artandthe60s/theguvnors.htm

Another one his his famous images, you feel her emotion

And read Don's memoirs, "Unreasonable Behaviour":

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0099437767 (Or enter Amazon through one of Mike's links and then search for it!)

Very good read indeed. Makes me never want to be a conflict photographer!

It was a scary moment for a young middle class child, raised primarily in the comfortable surroundings of Middle England, to see his work on the deprivations of the poverty inflicted on the northern poor of England.
Along with his war work, he remained one of my most admired photographers to this day, in that he dragged emotional contact out with every shot of war or domestic simplicity. I'm afraid I would not like to occupy his head for a moment - it must be very scary in there.

A haunting read, Mike. Thanks for bringing Mr McCullin to my attention.

It saddens me that there are still war photographers. It means that, despite having all seen the horrors brought about by human conflict through their images, we still think war is an option. I suppose it says a lot about us humans.

That first picture he took that was consequently published in The Observer makes me despair.

Great photograpers are born not made.

The lute player photograph is included here:


"It was a scary moment for a young middle class child, raised primarily in the comfortable surroundings of Middle England, to see his work on the deprivations of the poverty inflicted on the northern poor of England."

I was born and raised in a tough working class area in northern England, so the shots of the families from Bradford are very familiar to me. I’m not a baby boomer, I'm 36. Poverty of that nature still exists in the UK and many don’t believe it, but then it was just the same back then.

It would be interesting to see if Don could track down some of the children that were in those shots. I’d like to see how their lives turned out



Thanks Mike.

Don is the photojournalist I most admire - for his compassion, and his burning desire to expose war, poverty etc as the truly awful things they are, as well as the photographs themselves.

He photographs exclusively in black & white and prints his own work. The last time I read him discuss equipment he used only 28mm and 135mm lenses with his 35mm SLRs.

Other interviews:

Unfortunately the work he did with AIDS victims for Christian Aid in Africa is no longer available online.

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