Don McCullin 'In Conversation' at the National Portrait Gallery

Discussion in 'Photographers' started by catem, Apr 20, 2007.

  1. catem

    catem Member

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    I was lucky enough to attend this last night (I don't know if any other UK apugers did too?)

    Rare opportunity to 'meet' such a well renowned photographer, I say that because he managed to create such an air of direct and intimate communication that you were able to believe he was talking to you, and you alone.

    He came across as above all honest, and reflective, and his genuine passion for b&w film/darkroom printing was inspiring. Hard to believe he's in his early seventies as he looks nothing like and still fully involved with commissions and personal work. Must be passion that keeps you going.

    What a privilege to be there.
     
  2. mcgrattan

    mcgrattan Member

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    I see he's back in action. He's just been to Darfur and the Independent had some of his shots (and an article by him) from Darfur last week.

    My impression, from his autobiography, was that his heart just wasn't in the war photography that made his name, but the Darfur stuff suggests he's back into it.
     
  3. catem

    catem Member

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    I think he might say that 'to be back into it' would be too definite. He came across to me as full of questions (he said was asking himself whilst he was there why he was going back to doing such work) and particularly ambiguous about the ultimate good his (and other war photography) can do. For example, saying that we (the public) don't see war and famine images any more as we used to, they've been replaced by celebrity pics - but also saying that's a good thing because they are not pleasant to see...He seems wary of the idea that photography can ever ultimately change anything. I think (think) he would say that his compulsion to be involved is more to do with a darker side of his own nature, which is also expressed in his landscapes. Although I would describe him as entirely empathetic and compassionate in his relationships with the people he comes across and photographs, none of whom he forgets. As he says, he lives in his house with all their ghosts and personal stories, set in his negatives.
     
  4. wilsonneal

    wilsonneal Member

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    His autobiography, "Unreasonable Behavior", is a favorite of mine.
    Neal
     
  5. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    I caught part of an interview with him on the BBC a few days ago. I think it must have been on this show--

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediaselector/...?nbram=1&nbwm=1&size=au&lang=en-ws&bgc=003399

    I'm not sure that URL points to the right place, but it shows up on the page for the show, "Outlook" on this past Tuesday--

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/programmes/outlook.shtml

    But here's a longer interview I found in the process--

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/johntusainterview/mccullin_transcript.shtml

    And I also found this piece--

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/3984995.stm