What I have learnt thanks to the session about Don McCullin is that he is possibly the best war photographer of modern journalism.
I have found that he covered wars from Vietnam in the 1960’s through to Lebanon in the 1980’s, it seems his major regret was not covering the Falklands conflict.
He worked for The Times and Sunday Times from 1963 but was eventually forced to resign after the Thomson family sold the paper to Rupert Murdoch in 1981, he did carry on until 1983 but with Murdoch pushing the editorship in a different direction there was no place for this wonderful photojournalist.
McCullin’s work is thoroughly compelling, he obviously focuses a lot on human suffering and sacrifice but there are also some very candid shots of everyday things like British landscapes or someone out walking their dog.
Some of his work in Northern Ireland is very ingratiating and tell stories on their own, the same can be said of some of his other work like in Cambodia and Lebanon.
He was obviously affected by the things he saw in various theatre’s of war around the world.
Don McCullin obviously gave a voice to the people he was covering and he shows his own great resolve with the images he captures.
A photo he took of a man playing the lute while stood over the body of a dead girl in Lebanon earned him a death threat which he said he felt honoured about so he is obviously also very corageous.
We started looking at photojournalism today in particular the work of Don McCullin. Due to an unfortunate situation the session had to be somewhat truncated but what we saw on video of the work by Don McCullin was very useful.
Seeing some of the images he captured was very eye opening. His attention to detail is excellent and I got a real sense of feeling from the photos which, he famously once quoted, he wanted people to get from them.
Seeing him go back into a war zone a few years ago was also very informative and it seemed to give off a real sense of his, and the people’s, desperation and seemed to show his own feelings at being in another war zone so many years after he had been in Vietnam.
Seeing him at various stages in his life was also very interesting especially when seeing the effect that the things he was photographing were having on him personally.
I particularly learnt about some of the effects that war journalism can have on a person and what sort of person it takes to be able to communicate particularly desperate situations to the person seeing it through the media.
It also taught me about the sense of timing a photographer needs to capture a particular image.