Research – The work of Don McCullin CBE FRPS

Following the review of my Assignment 2 work which contained one or two fairly “moody” shots and my stated preference for landscape photography my tutor pointed me towards the work of Don McCullin; a photojournalist who covered extensively some of the most brutal wars and conflicts of recent times including Vietnam, the Congo, Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Biafra and Bangladesh before developing a profound interest in protecting our countryside and turning his considerable energy and talent towards that goal and, of particular interest for me, his support of the Somerset Wildlife Trust.

Unfortunately there does not appear to be a single website that gives the full spectrum of his work but I found many examples, predominantly his images from the wars and conflicts he has reported.  However, it was very revealing to watch the film produced by Canon, as they courted him into digital photography during a trip to France, which gave an insight to the man and an understanding of his pictures which are, in the main, dark.  Having watched the film and some interviews on YouTube I found myself revisiting his images and being very drawn to them.  His war images are brutal, honest and shocking; they tell the story as it is and despite the horror they convey they are captivating and make you question humanity.  It is therefore not surprising that, as he turned his attention to the countryside, his landscape images also convey a similar darkness but are also captivating and caused me to gaze long and hard at each one;  his use of light is fantastic and in particular the black and white images convey a magical use of tones and textures.  I am truly in awe of the photographs this man makes; look at his work, sit back and reflect.

Bibliography:

BBC. (2013) Don McCullin in his own words. Available from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNeVZjMVn0o [Accessed on 14 December 2013]

Google. (2013) Don McCullin landscape photography.  Available from: https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=don+mccullin+landscape+photography&rlz=1C5CHFA_enGB524GB525&espv=210&es_sm=91&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=KWDJUtKJN5OShgehnYDoBQ&ved=0CDAQsAQ&biw=2560&bih=1235 [Accessed 3 December 2013]

Canon. (2013) Don McCullin feature.  Available from: http://cpn.canon-europe.com/content/Don_McCullin.do [Accessed 5 January 2014]

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