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John Bulmer: The North of England 
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John Bulmer studied engineering at Cambridge before moving into photography and documentary film. In the 1960s he photographed the North of England in both black and white and in colour during a period when illustrated weekly supplements such as the Sunday Times Magazine were popular, hard-hitting and influential.[1] As he said:
"I wasn’t interested in art photography, I was interested in photography as journalism, the last thing I wanted to do was put my photographs on the walls of galleries; I wanted them in magazines."[2]
Working for magazines such as Sunday Times Magazine, Queen and Town, where Tom Wolsey was art director, John Bulmer was influenced by Henri Cartier-Bresson from France and by the photographs included in LIFE[3] magazine such as the photo-essays of W. Eugene Smith[4] as John Bulmer said in an interview:
“Eugene Smith and [Henri] Cartier-Bresson influenced me, and Bill Brandt to some extent, but I felt the Americans were doing so much more. When you look at Eugene Smith’s Pittsburgh Project it was so prolific. You only had to open Life magazine in the late fifties, early sixties every week and it was sensational.” [5]
It was the North of England that Bill Brandt[6] had documented in the 1930s and that Chris Killip and Martin Parr would return to in the 1980s and 90s. In those days the Great North Road[7] led from the relatively affluent South to a totally different world of industrial landscapes and blackened towns a few hundred miles to the north. The weekly photojournalism in the magazines revealed these stark differences. 

  1. Λ John Bulmer, 2012, The North, (The Bluecoat Press) 
  2. Λ 10 August 2010, "John Bulmer Interviewed", Professional Photographer
    (Accessed: 27 December 2013) 
  3. Λ For LIFE magazine - Stanley Rayfield, 1957, LIFE photographers: Their Careers and Favorite Pictures, (Doubleday); Constance Sullivan, 1978, Great Photographic Essays from Life, (Boston: New York Graphic Society) 
  4. Λ For the classic photo-essays of W. Eugene Smith - William S. Johnson (ed.), 1981, W. Eugene Smith: Master of the Photographic Essay, (Millerton, NY: Aperture) 
  5. Λ 10 August 2010, "John Bulmer Interviewed", Professional Photographer
    (Accessed: 27 December 2013) 
  6. Λ For the work of Bill Brandt in the 1930s - Bill Brandt, 1936, The English at Home, (London: B. T. Batsford Ltd.); Bill Brandt, 1938, A Night in London: Story of a London Night in Sixty-Four Photographs, (London, Paris & New York); Bill Brandt, 1938, Londres de nuit - London by Night, (Paris, London and New York: Arts et Métiers Graphiques, Country Life, and Charles Scribner's Sons) 
  7. Λ The Great North Road was a route in the UK between London, York and Edinburgh. 
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