Try 1x for free
1x is a curated photo gallery where every image have been handpicked for their high quality. With a membership, you can take part in the curation process and also try uploading your own best photos and see if they are good enough to make it all the way.
Right now you get one month for free when signing up for a PRO account. You can cancel anytime without being charged.
Try for free   No thanks
Iconic Photographers - Don McCullin

By Editor Peter Davidson
Edited and published by Yvette Depaepe, the 16th of March 2023


"Photography for me is not looking, it's feeling. If you can't feel what you're looking at, then you're never going to get others to feel anything when they look at your pictures." ~Don McCullin~


                                                                                                  The photographer on assignment in Vietnam.

Don McCullin is a British photographer whose work as a photojournalist has had a profound impact on the field of war photography. And on me. I was starstruck by his exploits and his photography in the Vietnam War at the time, and I seriously contemplated, usually after one too many beers, to taking my one and only Nikon F camera and it's only lens on a plane out there to get into the action. Nonsense, of course. But in those days, it WAS just feasible. Who knows what would have happened to my life had I done so. One of those forks in the path of life. 

His images of conflict, famine, and poverty have been published in some of the world's most prestigious publications and have helped to shape public understanding of the horrors of war.

Born in London in 1935, McCullin began his career as a photographer in the late 1950s. He quickly gained a reputation for his gritty and uncompromising images of the working class, but it was his work as a war photographer that would make him a household name.

McCullin's first assignment as a war photographer came in 1964, when he was sent to cover the conflict in Cyprus. He would go on to cover many other conflicts over the next decade, including the Vietnam War, the Biafran War, and the Troubles in Northern Ireland. His images captured the horrors of war in a way that was both raw and powerful, and they helped to shape public understanding of the impact of conflict on civilians.

But McCullin's work as a war photographer took a toll on him, both physically and emotionally. He was shot and wounded on several occasions, and he witnessed countless atrocities and acts of violence. The trauma of his experiences led him to develop a deep sense of empathy for his subjects, and he has spoken openly about how war photography changed him as a person.

In a 2019 interview with The Guardian, McCullin said, "I am not the same person I was when I started. I have seen too much, and it has affected me profoundly." He went on to describe how his experiences had left him with a deep sense of empathy for those who have suffered as a result of war and conflict".



Despite the toll that his work has taken on him, McCullin continues to be an active photographer and advocate for human rights. His photographs are a testament to the power of photography to capture the human experience, and they continue to inspire and educate people around the world.

In recognition of his contributions to the field of photography, McCullin has received numerous awards and honours, including a CBE in 1993 and a knighthood in 2017. His legacy as a photographer and human rights advocate is significant, and his work serves as a reminder of the importance of bearing witness to the suffering of others.

But he has since found a kind of solace in landscape photography. He says: "There is guilt in every direction: 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. And I am tired of guilt, of saying to myself: "I didn't kill that man on the photograph, I didn't stave that child." That's why I want to photograph landscapes and flowers. I am sentencing myself to peace". 

And that's all anyone can do really. Find some form of peace where you can. 




Yes, such "art" should be stigmatized.
I hope you've left this comment in the wrong article?
Oh my goodness... The comment was about AI. Sorry.
Don McCullin? What I can say? He is a myth of the reportage. I remember many of his photos, he is a witness of our story of these years
Indeed he is, thanks Roberto.
Lovely article, very soulful images
I will always remember "Photography for me is not looking, it's feeling. If you can't feel what you're looking at, then you're never going to get others to feel anything when they look at your pictures." Thank you so much Peter for the article and the wonderful collection. I went to your gallery and enjoyed your works! Learning. Appreciate the effort to make it happen, Yvette!
Dear Wanghan Li, all credits should go to editor Peter Davidson who introduces us to some inconic photographers via the magazine. Thanks for your appreciation, dear friend.
Thanks Wanghan Li, appreciated!