Blake Mooney- Shell Shock blog 4

            For my fourth blog I wanted to do some more research about Don McCullin. I found this article that has another video with McCullin speaking about his photography, not just war but pre war and post war photos. In the video he mentions that he does not want to be called a war photographer, he says, “of course I went to many wars but that doesn’t mean I have to have this terrible name.” I believe what he is trying to get across is that he doesn’t exactly want to be known for his dark war photos, he also wants people to acknowledge him for the works he did outside of the wars. After Biafra in 69 he decided to change his photography, he was done doing the war scenes, he mentions that its not Hollywood, these are real lives.

            McCullin now lives in a rural area, he says, “It brings me a kind of peace, until I hear the local hunters shooting. Gunfire is a prelude to war for me. I feel I’m back there on some godforsaken road passing dying soldiers lying in culverts.” That is a very deep feeling to have, and he wasn’t even a soldier. He does mention getting a bullet wound and experiencing the pain and the blood, but I feel that the difference in shooting a camera and shooting a gun would have an even greater impact on you. McCullin is now 64, after all these years just the sound of a single gunfire in the distance brings back these bad images into his head of the war, these images are what bring on that thousand yard stare the man has in the photo “Shell Shock”. I feel that McCullin doesn’t want to be responsible for people remembering the war by his photos, he does say in a sense that these photos disgust him now.

            When the reporter asked McCullin about the “Shell Shock” photo he replied with this, “It kind of gets on my nerves now, because it has appeared everywhere. It’s like the Eddie Adams shot of the execution of a Vietnamese prisoner.” I find it interesting how he compares it to the Adams photo that we are also bloging about. Both pictures have a powerful message of the impact of Vietnam, and I think what he is trying to say is that people are tired of looking at these photos and bringing back these bad memories.


2 thoughts on “Blake Mooney- Shell Shock blog 4

  1. Blake,

    A good post with some solid analysis of McCullin’s views on war. That said, I don’t get a sense from this post about how this particular source fits into your larger research project.

  2. Pingback: Don McCullin | Photography thru my lenses

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