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an interview with Don McCullin

Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
edited February 2014 in home

McCullin is one of the photographers that inspired me most. Along with Henri Cartier Bression and Elliott Erwitt, Don McCullin's work really struck me and lingered with me, and in some way helped shape my own photography, even if not visible at all in my current work. But his influence lingered.

This video clip is riveting. His autobiography is just as moving and intense.
He is wrong though in the interview - his photographs did make a difference. A real difference.


  • TrevTrev Moderator
    That was a moving interview and so succinctly put.

    "When my time is up, I want to leave a legacy of landscapes, and not be remembered as a 'war' photographer".

  • Very thought-provoking. And, fittingly, beautifully filmed.

    Years ago I had the privilege of knowing George Tames, legendary photographer for the New York Times. He spoke like that too.

    I like when McCullin talked about the freedom of not having to ask permission when shooting landscapes, like filling up a grocery bag and not having to pay for it. Perfect!
  • It's interesting that someone who spent so much time as a news photographer found landscape photography fulfilling and even wants that as his legacy. For me, I find news photography everything, the pinnacle, and wish I could do it all the time and I find landscape photography deadly dull. To each his own, I try to be open-minded. But I think this man has been traumatized by what he saw and landscape work, the opposite of war photography, is bringing him some peace.
  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    Yup, I do think it is impossible to come out unscathed after witnessing so much horror and degradation over so many years of conflict across the globe.
  • Hi guys. Just to say i like is portfolio of his past work , This morning i was watching london east end from the past And two thirds in from that documentry low and behold was Don Mccullin taking photo s in the early days with his film camera , they showed five minutes of him in his style of shooting. This is well worth a look if u like this guy, If u go on you tube. And type in. London on film _ East end ,the picture in you tube shows london bridge. I hope this link works. If not just type it in. I found this realy interesting i hope u do to :)
  • "He is wrong though in the interview - his photographs did make a difference. A real difference."

    He must have doubted himself so many times, if not all the time. "What on earth am I doing here?" But, yes, you are so right. His work has made a real difference and is of immense value.
  • edited February 2014
    Yeah, can't say as I'd ever willfully elect do be some sort of war Correspondent or the like. I agree with his one comment where he states, last thing a soldier wants to see next to him is a photographer. You want to see another Soldier or a medic. To want to photograph the horrible things that humans do to one another, well, must take a certain individual, I didn't say special, just a certain type of person. You can argue that the horrible things are being exposed and such thru pictures and video, look where that got us in Vietnam. What would posses one to want to be that type of photographer, I have no idea. Lots of respect, still craziness if you will, but I'll leave that to others more qualified and who kinda have a death wish. To have all those terrible memories forever in your head is awful. And one is actually thinking, wow, this will make the cover of Time/Life! Great! Just my 2 cents.
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