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Wednesday, 20 October 2010
RIP Maurice Broomfield
Maurice Broomfield, the great photographer of British industry died on 4th October. When I have a few hundred pounds spare, after I have bought a replacement for my broken camera, I will buy a copy of his man spraying asbestos. Truly wonderful. This is from Jon Levy's obituary at Foto8.
Behind each of his images is a story; I delighted in his tales of lighting trickery and his admiration and praise for the workers he photographed. Take, for example, the milk factory in Wiltshire (1966), where he decided to paint the employees’ boots white to make them stand out from the background, always regarding it as his job to elevate the subject and pay homage to the workers. On this occasion the plant managers adopted his idea permanently and white boots became compulsory. In another image, of the T Ward works (1958), he made high art and drama out of a cold steel drum on a winter’s day. Employing dramatic lighting he cast the scene with warmth, while creating an image imbued with gravitas.