", This page was last edited on 24 November 2020, at 00:21. At home he has spent three decades chronicling the English countryside – in particular the landscapes of Somerset – and creating meticulously constructed still lifes all to great acclaim. As a new exhibition of work by Don McCullin opens in London, Fiona Macdonald takes a look at gripping images of war and poverty by one of Britain’s greatest living photographers. For the past 50 years he has proved himself a photojournalist without equal, whether documenting the poverty of London’s East End, or … And I am tired of guilt, tired of saying to myself: "I didn't kill that man on that photograph, I didn't starve that child." He failed the written theory paper to become a photographer in the RAF and spent his service in the darkroom. [5] His hard-hitting coverage of the Vietnam War and the Northern Ireland conflict is particularly highly regarded. His book, Shaped by War (2010) was published to accompany a retrospective exhibition at the Imperial War Museum North, Salford, England in 2010 and then at the Victoria Art Gallery, Bath and the Imperial War Museum, London. During the early years of World War II, that area was hit with more than two dozen high explosive bombs dropped by German planes. So there is guilt in every direction: guilt because I don't practise religion, guilt because I was able to walk away, while this man was dying of starvation or being murdered by another man with a gun. Away from war Don’s work has often focused on the suffering of the poor and underprivileged and he has produced moving essays on the homeless of London’s East End and the working classes of Britain’s industrialised cities. Don McCullin is one of our greatest living photographers. McCullin's work is held in the following permanent collection: Commander of the Order of the British Empire, "Don McCullin: 'Photojournalism has had it. He also took the photographs of Maryon Park in London which were used in Michelangelo Antonioni's film Blowup,[10] In 1968, his Nikon camera stopped a bullet intended for him. The film was nominated for two BAFTA awards. McCullin remembers a childhood of poverty, bigotry and violence. Sir Don McCullin was born in 1935 in London’s Finsbury Park, which was a poor and rough area at the time. His career, which began in 1959, has specialised in examining the underside of society, and his photographs have depicted the unemployed, downtrodden and the impoverished. For the next two decades war became a mainstay of Don’s journalism, initially for the Observer and, from 1966, for The Sunday Times. McCullin was born in St Pancras[1] and grew up in Finsbury Park, but he was evacuated to a farm in Somerset during the Blitz. Don McCullin grew up in Finsbury Park in north London. [5], During his National Service, McCullin was posted to the Suez Canal during the 1956 Suez Crisis, where he served as a photographer's assistant. What’s more, he has braved bullets and bombs not only to get the perfect shot but to help dying soldiers and wounded civilians. In the Congo, Biafra, Uganda, Chad, Vietnam, Cambodia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Iran, Afghanistan, Northern Ireland and more, he time and again combined a mastery of light and composition with an unerring sense of where a story was headed, and a bravery that pushed luck to its outermost limits. Few have enjoyed a career so long; none one of such variety and critical acclaim. ", Despite his reputation as a war photographer, McCullin has said that Alfred Stieglitz was a key influence on his work. ", "I am a professed atheist, until I find myself in serious circumstances. He was persuaded by his colleagues to take his photograph of The Guvnors, as the gang was known, to The Observer, who published it, setting him on his path as a photographer. [3][4] He was then called up for National Service with the Royal Air Force (RAF) in 1953. The photographs from this day were published in the 2010 book A Day in the Life of the Beatles. It is being adapted from McCullin's autobiography Unreasonable Behaviour by Gregory Burke.[21]. At the age of 15 in 1950, he left school and joined the National Service as a photographic assistant in the Royal Air Force. In 1958 he took a photograph of a local London gang posing in a bombed out building. DON McCULLIN Irreconcilable Truths. Following an impoverished north London childhood blighted by Hitler’s bombs and the early death of his father, McCullin was called up for National Service with the RAF. A limited edition of 1,000 numbered copies, Don has personally overseen every aspect of its production from the photo edit through to press and has hand-signed every copy as a mark of authenticity. I knew I was capable of another voice.”. The three books comprise over 1300 pages of print and more than 700 of his most iconic photographs and previously unpublished images curated by Don and reproduced from vintage or wholly new prints made in his own darkroom. 1974: News Picture, first prize stories, World Press Photo award 1973, Amsterdam. “I need a challenge.