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Roger Bamber obituary | Pictures

Roger Bamber, who has died of lung most cancers aged 78, was a number one photojournalist protecting music, riots and politics for British newspapers from the Solar to the Guardian. He received photographer of the 12 months for every of these newspapers – a singular achievement.

Whereas on the Solar, he snapped one of many defining photographs of Freddie Mercury acting at Reside Help in 1985. Amongst his many memorable images for the Guardian is a black-and-white picture of a lone boy on Brighton seashore, pointing and laughing at a Punch and Judy present. The easy, but good picture was a part of Roger’s portfolio when he received the photographer of the 12 months award for the Guardian in 1992.

Roger had begun working as a contract for the Observer in 1988, then the Guardian quickly after I had arrived to run the image desk and was charged by the then editor, Peter Preston, to tackle the Impartial – which had made a reputation for itself with its nice pictures.

Via his slew of awards and accolades, in addition to his eye for image and limitless vitality and enthusiasm, Roger helped our workforce to do exactly that. It was my perception that readers of the Guardian visited artwork galleries and watched good tv and movies, and, as such, they deserved to be stimulated by the pictures they checked out within the Guardian. Bamber’s photos made the reader suppose and smile and even look twice. He was an image editor’s dream.

Roger Bamber obituary | Pictures
Roger Bamber instinctively knew what – or who – would make an awesome {photograph}. {Photograph}: Roger Bamber/Alamy

A real pictorialist, he loved capturing the fantastic thing about form and kind, at all times with a wry sense of humour and even a twist of anarchy. He specialised find quirky individuals in arts and crafts up and down the nation who he instinctively knew would make nice images. Roger was a lover of trains, and one among his greatest images, entitled The Station Beneath the Station, exhibits an avid collector as an enormous, wanting by way of a miniature station at his beloved practice set. The sense of scale within the picture is extraordinary, and seemed unbelievable within the paper.

He would {photograph} the identical scene 50 instances from ever so barely completely different angles. To me it usually seemed like the identical image on six completely different contact sheets – typically I simply used a pin and randomly selected one; they had been all nice.

Roger Bamber was a picture editor’s dream, with images such as this of Margaret Thatcher picking up manure on a farm.
Roger Bamber was an image editor’s dream, with photographs comparable to this of Margaret Thatcher choosing up manure on a farm. {Photograph}: Roger Bamber/Alamy

Born in Leicester, Roger was the youthful of two youngsters of Vera (nee Stephenson), who labored within the native textile trade, and Fred Bamber, a phone operator. It was whereas rising up near the Nice Central Railway line that Roger developed his fascination with steam trains, which was to change into a lifelong obsession.

In 1960, after leaving Beaumont Leys secondary faculty aged 16, Roger started a graphic artwork course at Leicester Faculty of Artwork. However as soon as he had blown his total 12 months’s £80 pupil grant to improve his Rolleicord digicam to a Nikon, it was clear that his future lay in pictures, and, after commencement in 1963, he labored as junior photographer for a neighborhood promoting company, Fleetway Publications. The next 12 months, the school launched its first pictures course, and Roger was invited again to show on it, aged solely 19.

A 12 months later, in 1965, on his first day in London procuring his portfolio round, Roger bought his first Fleet Avenue job, protecting information and options for the Each day Mail, then a broadsheet. Whereas there, he received industrial and industrial photographer of the 12 months within the British Press Awards (1967).

In November 1969, he was poached by the launch workforce of Rupert Murdoch’s new challenge – the tabloid Solar newspaper. Over the 19 years he spent there he coated exhausting information and comfortable options all around the world, from conflict to rock and pop, and received many awards, together with photographer of the 12 months for his 1973 picture of a bloodied, injured barrister being helped to security after the IRA bombed the Outdated Bailey.

Throughout this time, he frolicked on tour with the likes of David Bowie and the Rolling Stones. A handwritten word on resort stationery from 1976 confirms the Stones granted him permission to {photograph} rehearsals for the primary night time of their European tour, on the Festhalle, Frankfurt. A 1983 picture of Mick Jagger and Jerry Corridor in Barbados depicts Jagger strumming a guitar and laughing his head off, not as a result of Corridor is pregnant with their first youngster, Elizabeth, however as a result of Roger had been swallowed up by an enormous wave – however he bought his image.

A pair of giant legs on the roof of the Duke of York cinema, Brighton. Roger Bamber was awarded an honorary master’s degree from the University of Brighton, for his coverage of the city.
A pair of big legs on the roof of the Duke of York cinema, Brighton. Roger Bamber was awarded an honorary grasp’s diploma from the College of Brighton for his protection of town. {Photograph}: Roger Bamber/Alamy

Roger had moved to Brighton in 1973, and in 1999 he labored with Brighton and Hove council in its bid for metropolis standing, his portraits and pictures of favorite locations contributing to its success.

In 2005 he was awarded an honorary grasp’s diploma from the College of Brighton, “for his distinguished photojournalism and the wealth of photographs of Brighton impressed by town”. He was satisfied to obtain this honour, provided that he had left faculty and not using a single O-level.

Regardless of residing in Brighton, Roger was at all times seen in a Leicester Cricket Membership sweater beneath a sports activities jacket, although he hated cricket – Leicester Metropolis FC had been his past love.

Roger continued to win awards till his retirement from mainstream newspaper pictures in 2009. He carried on photographing something and the whole lot that caught his eye, and inspired younger photographers with limitless persistence. Within the days earlier than he died Roger was thrilled to see (and was correcting to the final) the proofs of his forthcoming guide, Out of the Atypical – he actually was.

He married his long-term accomplice, Shân Lancaster, a journalist, in 2004. The couple had met whereas protecting the Falklands conflict for the Solar and had been collectively for 40 years.

Shân survives him, as does his sister Valerie.

Roger Bamber, photographer, born 31 August 1944; died 11 September 2022

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