I first heard about McCullin through a segment of the television documentary by Kathy and Amy Eldon on CNN called Dying To Tell the Story.
I bought SLEEPING WITH GHOSTS soon after watching that program because I was struck by McCullin's photos on television. It has been more than one year since I purchased this book through Amazon and I continue to learn things ( about photography, art, humanity, journalism ) as I look at it again and again. Each time I pick it up ( atleast once a month ) and look through the pages I learn something new, because McCullin is photojournalist in the finest sense of the word.
In this age of tabloid journalism and paparazzi - it is wonderful to see a shining example of what photo essays can and should be.
SLEEPING WITH GHOSTS is a reminder that documentary photography is IMPORTANT - it can have integrity - and it is a service to the world.
I'm greatly looking forward to looking through Don McCullin's new book, INDIA.
From the first image to the last, McCullin shows a perspective rarely seen in any sort of photo journalism. It's like he tries to separate from the action to be professional, but finds himself wound up in it time and time again. He intersperses images of hope, but all with the same pessimistic tone. Even from a sheerly technical standpoint, his images carry breathtaking weight.
It has been said time and time again, and even by McCullin himself, that his images are often printed very darkly. I think this style of contrasty grain enhances the experience and appreciation for his pictures. If you're looking for maximum slickness, look for the carefully planned and meticulously arranged portraits of Herb Ritts. If you're looking for photos that force the truth and emmotion of reality, this book is unmatched.
It is covering a number of warfares around the globe in recent history, like, Cyprus, Israel, Congo, Biafra, Vietnam, Pakistan, Cambodia, Iraq, etc.
Some pictures should not be missed :
Page 74 - Souvenir hunters (I refer to the dead Vietnamese soldier with his belongings) / Page 42 - Turkish gunman, Limassol / Page 161 - Falange gunman serenading the corpse of a young Palestinian girl / Page 172 - Sailboat on the Gandak river near Patna