Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Faith Through A Lense

Donald McCullin


Born 9 October 1935, Finsbury Park, London, England. Donald or Don as he is also known is a world recognised British photojournalist, his work covered war documentary and urban strife, often showing the dark underbelly of society.

He took images of people who were unemployed, downtrodden and impoverished (a style am currently using). The images showed how we as people can be portrayed with a lot of emotional content, be it the eyes of a child who is hungry or the eyes of a shell shocked soldier in Vietnam, to the troubles in Northern Ireland.

McCullin’s style came to the fore during his time in Vietnam, his coverage from the frontline troops showed how diverse a photographer could be in reportage style. Himself coming under direct fire in which his Nikon F3 visibly saved his life, he recalls “I was taller than the others…” McCullin had been in the forces himself; he carried out his National Service in the RAF, which brought him to the Canal Zone; during the Suez Crisis in 1956.

He worked as a photographer’s assistant, he failed to pass a photography written theory paper, which was necessary to become a photographer in the RAF, and so it was he spent his service in the darkroom.

Besides having his work published for The Observer in 1959, a photograph of a local London gang. Between 1966 and 1984 he worked overseas as a correspondent for the Sunday Times Magazine, documenting ecological and man-made catastrophes such as war zones like Biafra, in 1968 and coverage of the victims in the African AIDS epidemic.


His work has seen him rewarded for his efforts too; in 1964 he received the World Press Photo Award for his work during the war in Cyprus. In that same year too; he received the Warsaw Gold Medal. In 1977, McCullin was made a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, placing the letters FRPS after his name, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from University of Bradford in 1993 and an honorary degree by the Open University in 1994.
On 4 December 2008, McCullin was conferred with an Honorary Doctorate of Letters by the University of Gloucestershire in recognition of his lifetime's achievement in photojournalism.
McCullin mainly shoots landscape shots nowadays, as if to escape the torment of his earlier creative and sometimes controversial work, this seems to be synonymous with many early photojournalists, they strive for peace in later years. He is currently one of the judges on a photographic competition, in fact the leading judge on the panel.
 If that is certainly so then my next photojournalist may have you awestruck as to the actions of the photographer and indeed to the reaction of the readers of the known publication LIFE magazine.