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  • Writer's pictureIan Miller

Influential English photographers of the 20th century.

Photography is a fascinating art form that has evolved over the years. Some of the most renowned photographers in history come from England. They have captured various aspects of life in their remarkable images. Here are some of the names that you should be familiar with.


- Cecil Beaton: He was a multifaceted photographer who worked in different genres such as fashion, portrait, and war photography. He was also a designer and a writer. He is famous for his elegant portraits of celebrities and royalty, such as Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, and Queen Elizabeth II. He also showed the horrors of World War II in his impactful images of the London Blitz and the liberation of Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.


- David Bailey: He is one of the most influential fashion photographers ever. He became famous in the 1960s as part of the "Swinging London" scene, along with models, musicians, and actors. He changed the style and attitude of fashion photography with his bold, spontaneous, and candid shots. He also photographed many icons of pop culture, such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Andy Warhol.


- Don McCullin: He is a legendary photojournalist who has covered some of the most significant and tragic events of the 20th century. He has seen wars, famines, riots, and revolutions in places like Vietnam, Cambodia, Lebanon, Bangladesh, and Northern Ireland. His images are haunting and compassionate, showing human suffering and resilience in the face of violence and injustice.


- Jane Bown: She was a master of portrait photography who worked for The Observer newspaper for over 60 years. She had a simple and elegant approach to her craft, using natural light and minimal equipment. She captured the essence and personality of her subjects, ranging from politicians and writers to musicians and actors. Some of her famous portraits include Samuel Beckett, Mick Jagger, Margaret Thatcher, and Björk.


- Martin Parr: He is a contemporary photographer who specializes in documentary and social commentary. He has a distinctive style that combines humour, irony, and satire. He explores themes such as consumerism, mass tourism, leisure, and class. He uses bright colours and flash to create exaggerated and sometimes absurd images of everyday life.



- Nick Knight: He is a visionary photographer who blends art and technology in his innovative work. He has worked with some of the most influential fashion designers, such as Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, and Yohji Yamamoto. He has also created stunning portraits of celebrities such as Lady Gaga, Kanye West, and Kate Moss. He is known for his experimental use of digital manipulation, lighting effects, and 3D scanning.


- Tim Walker: He is a whimsical photographer who creates fantastical worlds in his images. He is inspired by fairy tales, literature, art history, and cinema. He has collaborated with some of the most creative stylists, models, actors, and artists in his projects. He has also published several books and exhibited his work in museums such as the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.


These are just a few of the many brilliant and influential English photographers of the 20th century. Their work has inspired generations of photographers and enriched our visual culture. If you want to see more of their amazing photos, you can check out their books or visit their exhibitions online or in person.

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