Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Another brilliant photographer that you may not have heard of....

I guard links on my blog quite jealously.

There has to be a very good reason for me to feature a link.

Justin Sutcliffe has been a friend for more than 10 years, but that is not why I link to his blog and website.

Justin is a super talented photographer of the Photojournalistic genre, and so very much more besides.

He started his career on the South West New Agency, before leaving to set up his own agency in New York City ultimately returning to work on quality broadsheets in the UK.

I used to work alongside Justin on the Sunday Telegraph, back in the day, I considered myself to be a pretty handy news photographer, but when working alongside him in a hard news situation, I never came out on top once.


And so it went that he went on to become the man to send on any of the tough situations around the planet.

I have forgotten more of the mad, bad and dangerous to be in situations he has been in, but here are couple which just spring to mind.

One of the only photographers to get a photograph of one of the victims of the Moscow Theatre siege, where many people were killed by poison gas which was intended to incapacitate the Chechen gunmen.

For this he was nominated for a World Press award.

Pinned down for some hours in Afghanistan with the Parachute regiment and shooting a cracking set of images, this one made the front page of the Sunday Times, and I believe a large print hangs on the wall in their offices too....
A bonkers arrest situation in Pakistan where a very wise journalist thought it would be funny to put her name down as Osama Bin Laden, I received a voicemail from him via a smuggled phone that he was under arrest locked in a shed I seem to recall.

There are no pictures of this but it was quite a story...

Justin is an exponent of the risky, but ultimately rewarding talent of heading the other way from the pack in a news situation too, often getting a different aspect of the news story of the moment, like his striking take of the McCann's facing the massed media in Portugal.

It's not just hard news in which he excels.

Justin's reflective take is what sets him apart from many others.

I mean who would think that two smashed tree stumps would tell the tale so eloquently on the first anniversary of the Indonesian Tsunami.

And his shot of the Alison Lappa sculpture featured in the prestigious Association of Photographers awards.

Praise indeed.

He is pretty damn handy at portraits too.

My favourite being this super dreamy portrait of singer song writer Cerys Matthews. (like myself, Justin is a big fan of the Canon 'L' Series 35mm F1.4)

I wanted to start the day by saluting a single minded and great talent who after more than 20 years in the game is still shooting beautiful, considered and intelligent work.

Keep an eye on his site and blog, more great things are on the way from him.

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