Last night I went to see renowned photographer Don McCullin talking about his new book, ‘Southern Roman Frontiers‘. McCullin made these images in Lebanon, Syria, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya despite suffering a stroke shortly before he went, (McCullin is 76). These luminous grainy black and white images capture the fierce light and textures of these ancient sites. His images of Baalbek in Lebanon are simply stunning. McCullin stated he was looking for:
“sheer beauty and freedom …. a landscape with a history and culture attached.”
As I would expect of McCullin, the images were in black and white. A member of the (400 strong) audience asked if he had considered using colour. McCullin explained that he believes that black and white conveys the cost and energy of these sites in terms of human lives, however he capped that by saying:
“colour is like VAT really!”
I think he made his point.
McCullin worked on this book with publisher Barnaby Rogerson, he suggested that this may be his last book – I hope not.