Posts Tagged ‘Brian Harris’

Brian Harris – Independent Photographer

Sunday, February 23rd, 2020

Recently published on Brian Harris’s Photoshelter portfolio is a remarkable series of around 80 pages of his images from the Independent Newspaper for which he worked for 14 years, from its start in 1986 to 1999.

The Independent was unusual as a newspaper in several ways, not least for what was in this country an unusual prominence it gave to good photography both in the magazine and newspaper. Of course other newspapers and magazines have published a great deal of good photography over the years, but much too that is at best mediocre.

It’s something that has got worse since the impact of digital photography and the ‘breaking news’ mentality which this has fostered. What matters now for the papers and on-line news sites is not that pictures are good, but that they are the first to reach the picture editor (though from some that get publish there are some publications that no longer appear to have a picture editor.)

There is I think a good argument that the last 30 or so years of the twentieth century was a golden age for newspaper photography, and Harris is one of those photographers in this country who made it so.

You can see more of Harris’s work on the Photoshelter pages, and his Brianharrisphotographer’s Blog and in 2016 he published a book, And Then The Prime Minister Hit Me…. Unfortunately because of the unusual lay-flat binding and other aspects which necessitated considerable manual labour (mainly by women) this is rather an expensive volume.


My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage


South Pole and Back

Tuesday, October 29th, 2019

If you’ve not already done so, make sure you read Brian Harris’s post Stuart Heydinger-the South Pole and Back posted on his Brianharrisphotographer’s Blog a few days ago. It’s a post with interesting memories about legendary press photographers of the previous century, particularly Bill Warhurst, whose epic story about Stuart Heydinger is retold by Harris and the photographer. Heydinger’s photograph of a 1958 meeting between Dr Vivian Fuchs ( later to become Sir ) and Sir Edmund Hillary at the South Pole shows something of the initiative, planning, bravery and sometimes a little luck that went into what became a grand scoop, with Heydinger able to get his pictures of the meeting he had managed to set up back to The Times in London days or longer before other photographers present at the event.

In his research, Harris managed to track down Heydinger, now 92 and living in Germany and the article includes some lengthy comments written by him.

After recounting that story, Harris goes on to recount his own later experiences photographing on separate occasions both Hillary on Snowden on the 25th anniversary of the Everest climb, and making a much more formal portrait of Fuchs, both taken for The Times.

The piece is an interesting comment on the old adage about photojournalism, “f8 and be there”. Being in the right place at the right time sometimes takes and incredible amount of planning.