Don Mccullin was born in 1935 and grew up in Finsbury Park, London, a poor and rough area at time. Mccullin joined the RAF at the age of 15 as a photographic assistant. 1959 was the year Mccullins work picked up and his first image ‘The Guvnors’ which depicted a London gang who have been involved in the murder of a police officer, sat in a half built warehouse each stood in a stance of power; in which Mcullins view is looking up at them slightly enhancing this. sense. Mccullin later went on to photograph the Berlin wall being built, his commissions took him across the globe staring with the caress war. This step was the start of his career as a photographer of war and disasters.
What I find interesting about Mcullin’s approach to photography, He started out as a photographic assistant as soon as he could, not wanting to fight but to capture what was happening around him. I feel Mccullin, growing up in an area where there was a lot of violence and gang culture, creating a sense of fear in his life as well as what was happening in these times, opening up his eyes and made him see an ambition which shun through this mess and he found something he was comfortable with, wanting to learn and to create. Every day Don, a child would have heard and seen violence and saw things disturbing, He would hang out with people that are related to gangs and violence and this seemed to build a personality of courage and leadership in his own life, realising what he was part of and what he had the power to do. Being in this environment it strengthened his ability to go out into the world and really pursue something that was calling out at him, photography, at age 15 this kid really had balls.
So being around groups of people and seeing and hearing people speak their minds and do what they wanted in gangs. Mccullin was obviously a bit different to these people he interacted with and learned off of, He saw a different perspective on life and seemed to be an insider, in the middle of it all, wasn't swaying one way or the other he was just Don. This is a perspective of a documentary photographer, neutral and just experiencing the moment and analysing it and learning. This atmosphere allowed Mccullin think for himself and he pretty much became objective to his familiarity and to the societal view of joining the RAF. He became the viewer of his own life and started to document the things around him with dreams of going around the world and getting the hell out of the streets of Finsbury Park.