Posts Tagged ‘news photographer’

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 : Flickr


Stuart Heydinger dies

Monday, November 4th, 2019

A few days ago I wrote a post linking to Brian Harris’s blog post about an epic scoop by Stuart Heydinger, then photographing for The Times who apparently not only managed to stage a handshake between Vivian Fuchs and Edmund Hillary at the South Pole in 1958 but get his pictures back days before the other photographers present.

The post by Harris included extensive written comments from Heydinger, who Harris managed to find living in Germany, age 92.

On Saturday evening the Guardian online published a gallery of pictures, The photojournalism of Stuart Heydinger, edited by Greg Whitmore under the text :

The Observer’s chief photographer from 1960-66, has died aged 92. Here we look back at his outstanding photography that captured some of the key moments of 20th century history.

But perhaps the most interesting pictures in the set are not those of great events or famous men or women, but two of French men in Pyrénées-Atlantiques in the 1970s and a girl collecting water in Algeria. It’s also interesting that the set also includes an image of a lonely flooded pylon, one of a set of “eerily beautiful, quiet images which were never published” taken in 1960 during flooding around Lewes in East Sussex.

Along with the photographs is a page from Heydinger’s travel diary for May 1963- August 1964 detailing around 55 journeys by air, sea, rail and road, an exhausting schedule that took him around Europe, to the USA and Borneo as well as to Antartica and the Middle East.

Like others, I’ve long questioned the role of the heavyweight news photographers travelling internationally around the globe, jumping from country to country and story to story, often actually manufacturing rather than simply recording the news. And there are elements in his work that support those criticisms, not of him but of the industry which employed him. There is certainly no doubting that Heydinger was a heavyweight who took up that role and made and reported history.