Don McCullin’s 60 year photographic career started during his period of National Service in the RAF. He failed to pass the written theory paper necessary to become a photographer in the RAF. So, he spent his service in the darkroom. During this time, he bought his first camera, a Rolleicord, which he pawned upon returning to the UK due to a funds shortage. His mother used her own money to buy it back for him.
Since that time, he’s covered conflicts all over the world, including Vietnam, Northern Ireland, Afghanistan, Iran and the Congo. At 81 years old, just last month he travelled to Iraq to photograph the Battle of Mosul and photograph people fleeing the city. His life has been an incredible journey from very humble beginnings. It’s a life that has now, at the age of 81, granted him a knighthood.