Patience the key, says war photographer, McCullin

THE war photographer, Don McCullin, has spoken of how it was patience that kept him going during his several harrowing assignments.

Featured in today’s Scotsman, to coincide with a film about him that’s gone on general release, he is quoted as saying: When I went into photography I thought, ‘This is going to be OK. All I have to do is press that button’. Of course it has nothing to do with pressing buttons. It’s to do with staying power. The patience I have is incredible.”

Writes Chitra Ramaswamy: “In an upcoming and often unbearably sad film documentary about photographer Don McCullin, he talks about how he is done with war. ‘I’m just going to photograph the English landscape,’ he says, wandering his beloved Somerset, a lone septuagenarian treading through virgin snow with a tripod and camera. He only photographs here in winter. He has never liked the sun. Instead he captures brooding monochrome landscapes characterised by an atmosphere of quiet, questioning despair that makes you feel you’re not so far from his war photography after all. And neither is he. Even in gentle Somerset, where as a boy he was an evacuee from war-torn London, and where he returned some 30 years ago ‘to see out my days’, McCullin still finds himself hearing distant gunfire and expecting blood.”

The Herald today gives the film four stars.