Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Is there life after Fleet Street?


Clive Limpkin in Belfast 1972

Where do the top press photographers go after a lifetime recording the wars, triumphs and disasters that befall us all? There are just so many years they can dodge bullets, celebrity minders and traffic wardens whilst shooting assignments to a daily deadline, cajoled and screamed at by picture editors under the Editor’s cosh.

Their love of photography doesn’t diminish - they just need a new focus. I have known many who turn to travel pictures. Or rather, travel essays because these brilliant band of top snappers are honed by their past trade to ‘see’ what we all miss.

One veteran of 35 years assignments for Britain’s nationals is Clive Limpkin. From the thick of the action in the strife-torn 70’s in Northern Ireland he produced his first picture book, ‘The Battle of Bogside’ which won him the Robert Capa Gold Medal from Life Magazine. Over the following years he travelled the world with his cameras for the Daily Express, the Sketch and Daily Mail whilst writing for the Sunday Times and Observer.

Now a travel photographer he and his lovely wife, Alex, have completed an ambitious tour of India and produced a superb picture book of their experiences crossing that subcontinent. It's not one to miss.

The book is called: India Exposed – The Subcontinent A – Z

This is what he says about it.

‘For first-time visitors it’s a gamble whether this overloaded, overpopulated, over-cooked, overlooked, anarchistic madhouse will have you vowing never to go near again, or booking the next trip — no matter what the cost. When friends ask for one good reason to visit, I offer them a billion — it’s the people. Whether because of the Hindu belief in karma or due to acceptance of caste lot, nowhere else do you get so many disarming smiles or waves in warm greeting. These salutations come not from those seeking your tourist dollar but from millions upon millions with nothing to their name who act like they’ve just won life’s lottery and want you to share it. And maybe they have. Each visit to India brings a small but perceptive change to personal ambitions and Western material priorities, downgrading the urgency of another raise, a bigger car, or a facelift. India is the real world—and most of the time, it smiles at you. Matching this enveloping welcome is a serendipity of surprises that I’ve met nowhere else in the world.’

The book is a fascinating insight into India off the tourist track with 200 colour photographs and mini-essays on life in the second most populous country in the world.

The book is on Amazon here.

For those interested in how he did it go here.

You can see some of Clive’s past work here

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