David Hurn

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David Hurn (2012)

David Hurn (born 21 July 1934) is a British documentary photographer and member of Magnum Photos.

Life and work[edit]

Hurn was born on 21 July 1934 in Redhill, Surrey, England. He was raised in Cardiff, Wales.[1] Because of his dyslexia he joined the school camera club. After leaving school he headed for London, hoping to become a photographer.[1]

Hurn is a self-taught photographer. He began his career in 1955 when he worked for Reflex Agency. He gained his reputation as a photojournalist for his documentation of the Hungarian revolution of 1956, and is featured in two of Ken Russell's films for the Monitor television arts' series, A House in Bayswater (1960),[2] and Watch the Birdie (1963).[3] In 1965 he became associated with Magnum Photos and became a full member in 1967.

In 1963, Hurn was commissioned by the producers of the James Bond films to shoot a series of stills with Sean Connery and the actresses of From Russia with Love. When the theatrical property Walther PPK pistol didn't arrive, Hurn volunteered the use of his own Walther LP-53 air pistol.[4] The pistol became a symbol of James Bond on many film posters of the series.

In 1967 Dino de Laurentiis asked Hurn to travel to Rome to shoot photos of Jane Fonda in Barbarella.[5]

Hurn returned to Wales in the late 1960s, initially living in a van for a year photographing the country.[1]

In 1973 he set up the School of Documentary Photography in Newport, Wales. Eventually, he turned away from documentary photojournalism, bringing a more personal approach to his image making. He says, "There are many forms of photography. I consider myself simply a recorder of that which I find of interest around me. I personally have no desire to create or stage direct ideas."[6] His book, Wales: Land of My Father (2000), illustrates the traditional and the modern aspects of Wales.

In 2001 he was diagnosed with colon cancer but made a full recovery.[7] He continues to live and work in Wales.


Publications by Hurn[edit]

Zines by Hurn[edit]

  • California. Southport: Café Royal, 2017. Edition of 200 copies.[n 1]
  • Wales 1970s. Southport: Café Royal, 2017. Edition of 200 copies.[n 2]
  • Wales 1990s. Southport: Café Royal, 2017. Edition of 200 copies.[n 3]

Publications with others[edit]

  • On Being a Photographer: a Practical Guide. Photography & the Creative Process: a Series by LensWork Publishing. Anacortes, WA: Lenswork Publishing, 1997. ISBN 978-1-888803-06-8. With Bill Jay. And subsequent editions.
  • On Looking at Photographs: A Practical Guide. Anacortes, WA: Lenswork Publishing, 2000. ISBN 978-1-888803-09-9. With Bill Jay.





  1. ^ Café Royal's page about California is here.
  2. ^ Café Royal's page about Wales 1970s is here.
  3. ^ Café Royal's page about Wales 1990s is here.


  1. ^ a b c "Magnum photographer David Hurn turns his lens on Wales". Wales Online. 9 October 2010. Retrieved 2017-11-04. 
  2. ^ Michael Brooke "House in Bayswater, A (1960)", BFI screenonline, British Film Institute
  3. ^ Michael Brooke "Watch the Birdie (1963)", BFI screenonline, British Film Institute
  4. ^ "Lot 250 Sale 9017 From Russia with Love, 1963", Christie's. Accessed 2010-01-17.
  5. ^ "Fonda memories". The Times. London. 2005-05-22. Retrieved 2010-05-01. 
  6. ^ [1] Photoquotes.com
  7. ^ [2] Photohistories.com
  8. ^ "RPS Awards 2016" Royal Photographic Society. Accessed 27 October 2016
  9. ^ "David Hurn: Land of My Father". Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow. Retrieved 23 April 2014. 

External links[edit]