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Iconic photographer Don McCullin on war and landscapes

By dpreview staff on Jan 31, 2014 at 06:00 GMT

Many have seen Don McCullin's haunting pictures of conflict, but few have heard his own thoughts on his acclaimed career. Created by photographer David Sims for the Dunhill 'Voices' campaign, for three minutes and twenty seconds we are taken into the mind of one this generation's most iconic photographers. 

'The majority of the last 50 years of my life has been wasted photographing wars. What good have I done showing these pictures of suffering', McCullin says.  

Thought-provoking and poignant, he talks about being saved from a bullet by his camera, not being able to stop the horrors in front of his lens, and his journey in reconciling with what he has seen. Not covering conflict anymore, he articulates with great clarity the freedom he finds in photographing landscapes and the power of discovery. 

'When my time’s up on this Earth I want to leave a legacy behind of beautiful landscape pictures of Somerset', he says. 'I don't want to be remembered as a war photographer. I hate that title.'

What do you think of McCullin's reflections?  

Source: Fstoppers

Comments

Total comments: 75
Peter Evans
By Peter Evans (2 months ago)

Remarkable photographer. Remarkable man. His autobiography 'Unreasonable Behaviour' is a must have.

Whenever anyone criticizes my B&W images for lack of detail in the shadows, I tell them to go take a look at McCullin's work.

His images from the 1960s and 70s are stunning and his unwittingly prophetic photo of John Lennon playing dead whilst the other Beatles look on sad-faced (taken in July 68) is outstanding.

For me, he counts as one of the photographic greats.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 10 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
lightnfast
By lightnfast (2 months ago)

That is my 2 cents worth for all the good it will do.....

0 upvotes
lightnfast
By lightnfast (2 months ago)

I can tell you something about combat....
It is living in each moment a entire lifetime !
It is the most horrid thing your mind and physical being can conjure up.
It is not glorification, or medals, or about self sacrifice..
But...
All of these things are here.....
But it is not a good thing...
You pay for it ...if you survive ... the rest of your life.
It makes no difference if you in direct combat, line of fire..
It makes no difference if you in support...
It makes no difference if you a bystander
It makes no difference if you are a witness
It makes no difference if you see those images or become a long distance victim of war...either by the lose of a friend or love one...
We ALL suffer because of War.
If we see it on the media, or next door. We all suffer...
It is a thing....that will burn in your memory for the rest of your life !
I have seen combat... and it is horrible...
I wish none of this on anyone that is on this planet...
I wish no one to see one image or result of it.

2 upvotes
Great Bustard
By Great Bustard (2 months ago)

"Luckily for me, I've had families, children, to care for, which kept the balance. I had an obligation to my own family. But it was hard. It was hard coming away and seeing children dying of starvation and then coming back to where I lived in London and seeing my children refusing their Sunday lunch, or something like that, you know. You had to not lose the plot and start shouting -- it's so very difficult. But isn't being a human difficult?"

That.

0 upvotes
RichardFaith
By RichardFaith (2 months ago)

I fortunately caught his exhibition in Bath a year or two ago that followed his war career and on into his landscapes. I can't help thinking that he was somewhat privileged (in a perverse sense) since he was working at a time when photography was far less pervasive than it is now. Suffering can now be imaged by those who just happen to be there - it feels as though there's a camera everywhere now and an image of suffering or drama will appear so easily and quickly. It may lack the photographer's innate sense of composition etc but drama and suffering almost make their own compositions. I feel that it's an oversubscribed area of photography where the skill can more easily be lost in the noise these days. The days when Haeberle could make great impact with the truth of an image are also replaced by the cynicism of an audience well aware of retouching, and images we can no longer trust. I think Don has done what he needs to do and now wants his eye for beauty to have a say! Admirable man.

1 upvote
Palinarius
By Palinarius (2 months ago)

An English friend of mine went to hear McCullin speak in the late 80s. There were about a dozen photographers waiting in the small room. McCullin came in late and sat down at the small table in the front of the classroom. He looked around at the young photographers, then burst out in tears. He went face down on the table and sobbed for a minute, then got up and left without saying a word.

1 upvote
AlexBakerPhotoz
By AlexBakerPhotoz (2 months ago)

Really sobering. Makes me glad I do landscapes. But I also agree with EcoPix, thanks to photographers we al have a much clearer understanding of what horrors the human race is capable of because of photography. Those poor saps marching off to every war in history prior to WWII had no idea what they were in for. Now, more and more people see the reality of war, politics, pollution, unequal distribution of wealth and resources and more and more ask "Is it worth it?"

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
1 upvote
EcoPix
By EcoPix (2 months ago)

Now, curiously, he takes refuge in landscape photography. Maybe he can do that peacefully in Somerset, but in Australia landscape photography also has an illustrious tradition of activism, like war photography. It's been said Green politics started with the landscape photograph of the Franklin River in Tasmania.
So Don can't help himself. He still needs to show people things, change people's minds. That's because he’s a photographer. It's a worthy life.
But Mr Dunhill, it's an odd way to sell suits.

1 upvote
EcoPix
By EcoPix (2 months ago)

Compare our world to that of 100 years ago – 1914. It's safe to say that there wasn’t then the widespread opposition to war in the public mind that there is in 2014. We still have wars but war doesn't have the general public support it did then. We’re much more critical of any government decision to war. What's different?
Surely it's that the public’s more educated - we have the images. Likewise with famine, disaster, oppression, injustice... Witness the enormous humanitarian responses from the global community these days. What's different?
Surely the work of people like Don - the effect of photography. War and strife haven't changed, only their coverage, and consequently our understanding.

2 upvotes
GossCTP
By GossCTP (2 months ago)

What's different is the H-bomb. Large nations have not fought directly since its inception. War only occurs when a group of people stand to profit from it without risking their own necks. The H bomb plays no ranks. "Darkness at the break of noon, shadows even the silver spoon."

0 upvotes
EcoPix
By EcoPix (2 months ago)

Yes, GossCTP, I agree that the avoidance of world war has more to do with megatonnes than megapixels, but there's still plenty of potential for regional and localised wars, and western meddling in them.
The difficulty of course is that no one knows what might have been, had the world's photographers and cinematographers (and journos etc) not been at work informing and shaping public opinion in the democracies.

0 upvotes
xxonessaxxo
By xxonessaxxo (2 months ago)

I see where Don would be coming from. After going through all of that in those wars and seeing all that crap, it never leaves you. The only thing you're doing is documenting history. He was a photographer and a historian and he showed the tragedy of war very well in his photos. He gave it much thought and decided he wanted to have beautiful work of something that gave people good goosebumps because of the amazing landscape of a place or location in Somerset. He'd rather the satisfaction of that than anything else, and again, I understand in a way. Photographing wars like that is scarring.

1 upvote
munro harrap
By munro harrap (2 months ago)

I was at college when his first pics adorned the Sunday Supplements, next to full-page colour ads. The press does not care. The Sunday Times suppressed their Thalidomide story on the grounds they might be sued, and more kids were born deformed etc. as a result. The press is there solely to make money. As Phillip Jones-Griffiths said, he made more money in one day photographing a female celebrity in Vietnam than he did in 5 years photographing the war- at least that's what he told me.
If Don could just bring himself to do colour again, surely that would make more sense than to deny the beauty and the light of the world with greyscapes?

1 upvote
Brotherbill
By Brotherbill (2 months ago)

War photographer? That only makes sense if you are on the winning team. Otherwise you need a weapon, not a camera. Besides, pretty much ever war book, movie, documentary etc... Is simply a recruiting tool for young men hell bent on being a hero and an adventure seeker. Then we end up with a bunch of screwed up soldiers wondering what the hell happened. Same ol same old story since the dawn of time.

0 upvotes
SayCheesePlease
By SayCheesePlease (2 months ago)

.

Comment edited 39 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
SayCheesePlease
By SayCheesePlease (2 months ago)

I aggree with his thoughts. We need to know the news and images are vital. However did images help Rwanda? Chechnya ? Helping end Syria conflict now? After the horrors of WW1 the conscience of the world was gutted. The only thing that ends conflicts is lack of funds. Dark powerful forces work behind the world stage. One man and a camera is insignificant. A lifetime of witnessing these horrors will only destroy the person documenting them.

1 upvote
John Koch
By John Koch (2 months ago)

Conflicts end, or at least end a chapter, when one side out-funds or defunds the other. But low budget conflicts abound, with cell phones serving both as cameras and remote detonators.

War photographs are handy propaganda. They inspire zeal for one's own side or rage against the other. Those that don't face a wall of incomprehension or hostility.

An embedded war photographer bonds with the side that gives the access and protection. Document atrocities and career or life expectancy will be nasty, brutish, and short.

Pacifists don't swing elections, control boards, or command fortunes to reward peaceful causes. Nobel, after all, invented dynamite.

A war becomes unpopular mainly when one's side appears to be losing or stalemated, but it must still be upheld as a "glorious cause." A fair quotient of the electorate, including maimed veterans, blame failures on leaders' reluctance to unleash even more violence.

Violence infuses movies, games, and much else.

0 upvotes
Dafffid
By Dafffid (2 months ago)

I thoroughly recommend his autobiography, which is really too short as he just touches on some many fascinating topics: not least how poor, violent and unpoliced much of London was in his youth, giving the lie to the idea of an idyllic crime-free past so beloved of politicians. On which note, it was a travesty that Thatcher banned him from going to the Falklands, the one war he really wanted to document. Perhaps some of the flag waving might have been a bit more muted had he gone and we been able to reflect on his record of events.

0 upvotes
John Koch
By John Koch (2 months ago)

The Falklands / Malvinas episode would have been unrewarding for any independent photographer to document. The aerial or sea element (the torpedoed Belgrano, Exocet striking Sheffield, jets crashed in the sea) could not be photographed, really. The land portion was very brief and involved more sheep than people. Censors would "bah" too if any pics were too wooly for public morale.

0 upvotes
Coliban
By Coliban (2 months ago)

I've never saw one single picture of him, i´ve never heard of his name, but this interview is touching something inside me. When i hear about his profession, when he describes situations, only one or two when he shot photos from people and situations in war, i literally feel his regret and sorrow, and in front of the fact, that he seems to be a famous war photographer (a label he does not like), he says that he is not really proud of the things he done and he express this with pure sincerity. An honesty and empathy, which is expressed by words, a facial expression which is brutally honest for those, who can read emotions and remarks and are able to decipher human signs and feelings.

This short video touched my soul.

(Sorry for this emotional posting, and sorry for my bad englisch. (And thank you for this short clip))

6 upvotes
dexter-g
By dexter-g (2 months ago)

http://www.putlocker.com/file/EE60E53A4B871578

The link above is a interview from the BBC1 “Imagine” series. It's truly fascinating and also has great music from Alex Baranowski. And be sure to check out his early work it's amazing. If anybody interested in watching it, just remember to click in the box where it says "continue as a free user".

0 upvotes
Camera5
By Camera5 (2 months ago)

Don't just check out Don McCullin's early work - you will do his extraordinary career a great disservice. Also check out the work he refers to in this talk, his English landscapes and his extraordinary book 'Southern Frontiers: A Journey Across The Roman Empire' http://amzn.to/1fw9YBh

1 upvote
FrankS009
By FrankS009 (2 months ago)

Look forward to that one.
F.

0 upvotes
dexter-g
By dexter-g (2 months ago)

Totally agree with you Camera5, you make a very good point out of my, check out his early work remark.

0 upvotes
FrankS009
By FrankS009 (2 months ago)

Although not a medical specialist, I wonder whether he has suffered post traumatic syndrome from his experiences, and I hope that he is getting the appropriate treatment. If soldiers can suffer it, why not he who has suffered so many wars? Within photography, he seems to be using landscape to gain some peace. I wish him well.

F.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
Marla2008
By Marla2008 (2 months ago)

As someone who is a fan and has read and watched every possible available bit of stuff on this gentleman, it seems very obvious to me that he indeed suffers from the most blatant form of PSS. Hear him talk about when he's in the dark room, listening to classical music, and all those images come back to haunt him and he says "it's like sinking at the bottom of a very deep ocean".

1 upvote
Gesture
By Gesture (3 months ago)

Nice to see DPReview redeem itself from the constant barrage of buy-this, buy-that for posts like these. The journalist is privileged to stand in for all of us, whether it's a war or a garden show. He is thought of as one who pursued his craft with integrity and character. But even if certain reporters do things for the "thrill, the high," a la Oliver Stone's Salvador, it doesn't mean that their work isn't of value.

5 upvotes
bugbait
By bugbait (3 months ago)

I have great respect for the man. The amount of public pressure do to the revelations of photos and even video has changed dramatically over the last five years. Simply as cameras and social media have exploded.

But before these recent times it was only the prose and photojournalist we had and often still have to thank for our knowledge of what is really going on such as ballerinas murdered in the streets. And these men and women often loose their lives, families, and I am sure sometimes their minds in the process. Once the skill set of reportage in extremely dangerous surroundings is established it would be very hard to waste it and not do the important work.

If you read this sir, thank very much for your service.

1 upvote
Marla2008
By Marla2008 (3 months ago)

I'm a HUGE Mc Cullin fan, I've watch about every available video featuring him, read his autobiography, and bought some of his books. He's a truly wonderful gentleman, and great photographer, and a fine human being. To this day he's carrying the burden of what he's seen and documented, and will take it to his grave.

4 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (3 months ago)

He's aged so much since I last saw a picture of him. No surprise, I guess.

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (3 months ago)

War photography is more useful than landscape photography will ever be. And yes, it DOES help to stop the freaking politicians' adventures.

5 upvotes
brettmeikle
By brettmeikle (3 months ago)

Respectfully, I'll take McCullin's view on this over yours.

13 upvotes
Wye Photography
By Wye Photography (3 months ago)

Respectfully, I will also take McCullin's view on this over yours.

0 upvotes
peterstuckings
By peterstuckings (2 months ago)

I agree with the 2 replies. peevee1, Don has been quoted making these statements before. He's one of the few photogs who is willing to speak the truth - that all the powerful war photographs in the world have not put an end to conflict. The public is less bothered by seeing mass death, even when perpetrated by their own govts for dubious reasons, than by paying taxes or having their luxuries curbed. This is why we're f**ked, and why Don has the hard stoic manner he displays...

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (2 months ago)

How do you think Vietnam and Iraq ended - just by themselves while nobody cared?
And his views do not contradict mine - he just does not like it - and who would. Of course slowly taking landscapes is more pleasant.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Camera5
By Camera5 (2 months ago)

Guys, this should not be an 'argument' about war photography vs other forms of photography. ALL photography serves as a constant enigmatic calibration of who we are and where we are. We will always be pointing our cameras at people and their actions as much as at our invironment, because that is the very essence of photography and has been from the beginning. We need it all, even the dark stuff.

0 upvotes
Valiant Thor
By Valiant Thor (3 months ago)

Most of the public thrive on perversion and violence and this is what sells. I don't own or watch TV for this reason. Just turn on the news or network "programming" any day, any time and you will be fed a stream of police, murder, CSI, law shows (conflict), medical tragedies, hypnotic violence, and "comedies" which feature distorted canned laughter, sexual innuendos every one to two minutes and disgusting behavior that should insult the intelligence of anyone with an IQ over room temperature.

Mr. McCullin chose to provide what sells as there is a much greater market for images of blood and guts (just look at the top award winning photos) by feeding the puppet masters agenda of control, anger, violence and stress through PROBLEM-REACTION-SOLUTION psychological tactics.

5 upvotes
Charles Wass
By Charles Wass (3 months ago)

You clearly have no conception of the impact McCullin's work had on the attitude of the British public to war. Rather than "feeding the puppet masters' agenda ..." his work did the very reverse in promoting opposition to war. He is a truly great photographer.

15 upvotes
Valiant Thor
By Valiant Thor (3 months ago)

You clearly think you have all the answers which you clearly do not.

2 upvotes
Bervilat
By Bervilat (3 months ago)

But who the hell has an IQ of almost 300?

2 upvotes
Valiant Thor
By Valiant Thor (3 months ago)

Certainly not anyone who clicked the Like button on the Wass reply.

1 upvote
peterstuckings
By peterstuckings (2 months ago)

Pompous poster, what any hardworking photographer knows is selling images of reality is near impossible, due precisely to the shallow media culture you rightly attack. And this is why people like Don struggled all through their careers (meanwhile fashion and product photographers don't struggle), and why ultimately the conflict images of Don and his colleagues DO NOT sufficiently make it into the media, because they DO NOT sell. Humans are repulsed by seeing the violence required to prop up their shitty systems, hence why celebrity gossip and 'reality' tv trumps real news these days. You might want to observe a little more tv so you actually know the culture you're critiquing. And it's funny to see you make fun of other people's IQs when you clearly miss the point so badly yourself ;-)

1 upvote
Valiant Thor
By Valiant Thor (2 months ago)

You've just proven my point perfectly. And, it's very easy to identify the low IQ, TV watching, in-the-matrix posters by their habit of ending their posts with winky-smiley keyboard characters which give them the delusional feeling that they're really on to something that they believe others are missing.

1 upvote
Sean65
By Sean65 (3 months ago)

Not sure what drives a man to devote an entire life to recording the very worst of mankind. Perhaps landscapes might well be the desperately needed antidote. Great photographer and a great man. Kudos.

0 upvotes
jkoch2
By jkoch2 (3 months ago)

Honestly, the only way to break into photojournalism is to capture attention or Pulitzers by shots of violence, mayhem, suffering, or destruction. Candids of celebritiess or public figures might be the second route. Either way, the path is narrow and precarious.

Do photos influence opinions or policy? Sorry, but I see no proof. People may remember this or that picture, but that is no proof that it inspired decision A instead of B. Fear of public embarrassment because of compromising photos or video is another matter, but generates gainful employment only to PR managers or attorneys.

Landscape photos are nice. Put big prints in a nice frame, and maybe they sell too, but the peddling must be tought if the vendor in the next stall is selling purloined or public domain photos of landmarks or celebrities to adorn folks' homes.

0 upvotes
Iso1975
By Iso1975 (3 months ago)

He is a true Gentleman. I am a big fan of his work.
See the documentary "McCullin" it is a great way to understand how this man suffered while doing his job.
There is also in youtube a great video from Canon where he tries Canon digital cameras. I am not a Canikon fanboy, but I have to recognize that Canon did a great job!

1 upvote
Samuel Dilworth
By Samuel Dilworth (3 months ago)

This is the Canon video, if anyone’s interested. Well worth half an hour of your time.

http://cpn.canon-europe.com/content/Don_McCullin.do

0 upvotes
Hesketh
By Hesketh (3 months ago)

I think he's underestimating the effect his photography had on shaping public opinion. While it is of course true that he couldn't save the people he photographed and that his work hasn't brought an end to war he nevertheless had an effect on the public conscience.
I still remember the photojournalism of the Sunday Times back then and I know it had an effect on many peoples outlook and created pressure, at least on the UK Government, to do something about, Biafra, for example. I also remember the charity campaigns sparked by the images from him and other journalists.
However, journalism and taste changed and since the end of the 70s newspapers haven't wanted that sort of reporting and Governments got better at stage managing the information flow, preventing people like him helping to inform public opinion. He should not hold himself responsible for that and regard his work as futile because of it.

10 upvotes
Samuel Dilworth
By Samuel Dilworth (3 months ago)

I am sure he doesn’t regard his work as futile. However, he’s an Englishman of a certain age and he’s not an idiot, so he doesn’t go around bragging he saved the world. In a way, his present discourse continues where his photos (of poverty, war, strife) left off.

I think it’s wonderful that this man, who documented such suffering, is today able to do trivial things like wear nice suits for Dunhill, advertise Canon cameras, and take photos of landscapes (which he does very well, from what I’ve seen). He combines gravitas with lightness in an inspirational and very human way.

6 upvotes
Tilted Plane
By Tilted Plane (3 months ago)

He's been saying that since the early 1970s. And I believe him. But I also know I was made to hate war more directly because of his work. That's something.

6 upvotes
bigdaddave
By bigdaddave (3 months ago)

A great man who did a horrible job brilliantly. Had it not been for him and his like war would not have been portrayed as terrible as it is to the general public. They did/do us a great service.

12 upvotes
Ranford Stealth
By Ranford Stealth (3 months ago)

Wonderful photographer, one of my inspirations. I havent seen it yet, but memories of Michael Parkinson's interview with him last year still linger. C'mon BBC release that series on dvd! Now if someone could please line up James Nachtwey :-) and a retrospective on W. Eugene Smith?

1 upvote
Hugo808
By Hugo808 (3 months ago)

I think he's done a lot of good in shaping public opinion.

Imagine what the powers that be would try and get away with if no one was watching...

8 upvotes
lester11
By lester11 (3 months ago)

One point of view on what to do with the unavoidable interval between birth and death is to spend it constructing good memories. That's what's left after your actions and inactions, plans and experiences. Sad to see Don has so far mainly constructed what he feels are bad memories...

1 upvote
racketman
By racketman (3 months ago)

Well he'll have plenty of suffering to photograph in his beloved Somerset at the moment unfortunately and more rain on the way.

0 upvotes
greypixelz
By greypixelz (3 months ago)

sad he had to reach this age in order to understand that suffering and horror is not 'photojournalism' or 'the public's right to be informed'.
there is such a thing as human dignity and dying is part of it. photographing death or any kind of suffering for public display is undignified and disqualifies the photographer as a human being.
man should be immortalized on the highest peaks, not the deepest of valleys. this whole culture of decay and death is satanic in nature and goes against what man really is. the spirit of humanity is about rising from the abyss, not falling in it.
God bless you all!

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
nick101
By nick101 (3 months ago)

"disqualifies the photographer as a human being"?

Disgusting notion, contemptible statement

Comment edited 15 seconds after posting
25 upvotes
greypixelz
By greypixelz (3 months ago)

human nature consists of helping fellow human beings in need. what exactly makes a human being of a photographer taking pictures of starving children and dying men and then going back to safety and comfort and receiving a paycheck?
I would say the disqusting notion in this case is the lie that makes men believe that profiting from suffering and decay is a higher purpose and I'm not just speaking about photographers here. The whole system, as we know it today, is build upon this satanic lie, from the corporations selling you the food that you buy in the supermarket to the media selling you death and destruction as part of the 'reporting the news' and thus inducing you, the end user, with a placebo that 'you're doing something for the common good' when, in fact, you're just a cog in the infernal machine that brings upon the misery we see all around us in the world.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
OliverGlass
By OliverGlass (3 months ago)

"disqualifies the photographer as a human being"? Really?

The mere fact that he did these to shine light on something that would normally be lost in the sands of time, even if he didn't like it, makes him a professional.

The mere fact that he acknowledges the pain and shoots scenes of beauty today to atone or to document makes him more human than you could possibly imagine.

19 upvotes
greypixelz
By greypixelz (3 months ago)

he and others like him, did NOTHING to help those people in need, just like the media is a propaganda machine for corporations looking for your sympathy and reaching for your wallets and ending up taking your souls.
dream on, Oliver and co., helping one another is about self sacrifice, in any shape or form, and sacrifice of any kind has nothing to do with profit.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Kid Plutonium
By Kid Plutonium (3 months ago)

Don't be so judgemental greypixelz; everything you see happening on this planet is part of human nature. Those people killing and robbing; what are they, aliens? No they are just as human as you and I but choose to act in a way neither of us agree with.
Human nature is not always kind and compassionate; there is darkness in everyone of us and the 'trick' — I guess — is not to let it take control. Some people are simply better at this than others.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
10 upvotes
Dave Oddie
By Dave Oddie (3 months ago)

greypixelz: "he and others like him, did NOTHING to help those people in need, just like the media is a propaganda machine for corporations looking for your sympathy and reaching for your wallets and ending up taking your souls."

You need to get a bit of perspective and equating what he did to corporate avarice and a society dominated by a plutocracy today ignores many things not least the time in history he operated and the effect his and other photos had on shaping attitudes to things like the Vietnam war.

You and I know there is plenty of suffering in the world. We still spend a fortune on our hobby, buy TV's, cars and everything else.

Iconic images like the famous photo of the badly burned Kim Phuc from the Vietnam war shape public opinion.

The photographer who took that image took her and others to hospital. Would you prefer the photo was not taken and they just ferried the injured to hospital?

5 upvotes
bigdaddave
By bigdaddave (3 months ago)

If it weren't for brave people like McCullin the horrors of the Vietnam war and others would never have been seen by the public and corrupt governments could have carried on as they wished. You are an idiot greypixelz

4 upvotes
SungiBr
By SungiBr (3 months ago)

The fact that there is many war photografers out there taking pictures of suffering and death doesn't make they vultures or satanic guys, looking for death profits. I believe that the mere fact they are risking their lives to take pictures of the worst the human beings has to offer is to make a point and alert others like you and me, who are safe and confortable, dreaming as if everything are blue, to prevent it to keep happening from now on.
People have to stop romanticize some facts of life and start to make something that really is usefull for somebody.

2 upvotes
Ranford Stealth
By Ranford Stealth (3 months ago)

You speak of noble things and a hatred of evil, yet your avatar is notorious murderer Carlos the Jackal, a rather large cog in an infernal machine. Don took pictures. Carlos took lives.

3 upvotes
greypixelz
By greypixelz (3 months ago)

Ranford, baby, the avatar I use is a joke, tongue in cheek, get it? It's actually the album cover for Black Grape's It's Great When You're Straight Yeah!
I don't approve or condone the actions of Carlos.

2 upvotes
MdNvS
By MdNvS (3 months ago)

Genius. Satanism is not based on suffering, martyrdom and sacrifice. But, guess what religion is? However, this is a photography website, not a page for religious discussion. Still I wish Satanists sued everyone who spreads such misconceptions, the world would indeed become a more dignified place.

0 upvotes
Ranford Stealth
By Ranford Stealth (3 months ago)

Oh right! Yeah those mass murderers are incredibly affable and humourous. Throw in Jeffrey Dahmer, Son of Sam & that Norwegian nutjob & there's a tongue in cheek rock 'n' roll party all night long. Err no. And neither me nor the young lady in my avatar pic is your "baby".

0 upvotes
RichardFaith
By RichardFaith (2 months ago)

Surely the spirit of humanity can be helped on its way by men of courage who go into the abyss you speak of, and come back with evidence to warn the rest of us who may have less courage.

I'd also hesitate to criticise his understanding of suffering and horror and its role in informing the rest of us. His experience is hard-won and I will only consider him slow on the uptake when I have had to see everything he's seen.

0 upvotes
Sirandar
By Sirandar (2 months ago)

greypixelz: you can put the blinders on as much as you like .... it isn't going to go away. Out of sight is out of mind, but it doesn't make anything go away.

You would like to put mankind on a pedestal as God's great creation, but that is not who we are unfortunately. I do agree with you that photographing people's death is an indignity, but rape and murder is a far greater one. Pictures used to be considered photo-evidence and gave more credibility to a reported event. Without pictures it was just one word against the other. The same was true about the verbal communication as opposed to the written word.

Both pictures and the written word have no more meaning or truth than experience and verbal communication. All have exactly the amount of truth given to them. Both the written word and photography have been horribly abused because people expect truth from them when there is only as much truth as given to them.

Now pictures and video can be doctored on a 50$ netbook.

Comment edited 15 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Sirandar
By Sirandar (2 months ago)

Why do you think police always confiscate cell phones first and threaten anyone who photographs or videos them in action. Imagine what it would be like in a war zone where combatants obviously don't want to be photographed and will gladly kill to prevent it. You are a little hard on Don McCullin. If he took one step out of line he would have been shot in the head. He was in no position to help anybody.

I will agree with you that pictures of death now serve no good purpose, but that doesn't mean it was always that way. What you refer to on TV and the news is called Death Porn and that is exactly what it is.

0 upvotes
OliverGlass
By OliverGlass (3 months ago)

Wow. I got teary eyed listening to this wonderful gentleman. He said it like it is. I felt his pain and professionalism. Once you've seen enough war and tempted death too many times, I understand the need to put more beautiful memories in one's mind and ours after such a career. We must appreciate more the scenic vistas that we ignore everyday.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
7 upvotes
maqroll0
By maqroll0 (3 months ago)

Respectful!

1 upvote
Humberto_Yaakov
By Humberto_Yaakov (3 months ago)

it sounds very sincere for a journalist and express the feellings of some of as, excelent.

3 upvotes
TonyinJapan
By TonyinJapan (3 months ago)

Very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

2 upvotes
Total comments: 75