"I have been manipulated, and I have in turn manipulated others, by recording their response to suffering and misery. So there is guilt in every direction: guilt because I don't practice religion, guilt because I was able to walk away, while this man was dying of starvation or being murdered by another man with a gun. And I am tired of guilt, tired of saying to myself: "I didn't kill that man on that photograph, I didn't starve that child." That's why I want to photograph landscapes and flowers. I am sentencing myself to peace."
Donald McCullin, born 1935, is an British photojournalist, recognized for his war photography and images of urban strife. His career, which began in 1959, has specialised in examining the underside of society, and his photographs have depicted the unemployed, downtrodden and the impoverished.
When visiting the museum, an exhibition of his photography during the war was there. There were various photographs that were either very touching, violent and often captured a lot of emotion people were experiencing during the war, often composition wasn't the main focus but more the subject matter, although composition was often accurate.
When I first look at this picture I instantly see the pain and emotion, it shows encountering, it is a photograph that creates feelings and shows a very personal experience from McCullin informing us about his life.
Process involves it being developed in a darkroom, at the museum for some photographs there were original notes about exposure times and dodging. For this one I can tell that because of its extremely large scale (around 2x3m) that the exposure timing must have been very long, approxiately 20 minutes judging from the notes, I can guess that burning could have been used on the top right corner because of the light shades, maybe dodging on the top middle-left so that the darkness isn't the boldest part of the picture, low lighting and high contrast to bring this out would have been used to add the the impact. The scale works perfectly for the exhibition because it fills the space and the figures are pretty much life size.
It doesn't remind me of anything I've seen before but I can instantly tell what its about and the war theme of it.