Obituary for Roger Bamber | picture

Roger Bamber, who has died of lung most cancers aged 78, was a number one photojournalist who coated music, riots and politics for British newspapers from the Solar to the Guardian. He gained photographer of the yr in every of those newspapers, a novel achievement.

Whereas within the solar, he took one of many iconic pictures of Freddie Mercury acting at Reside Assist in 1985. Amongst his many memorable pictures for the Guardian is a black-and-white picture of a lone boy on Brighton seaside, pointing and laughing. Punch and Judy present. The straightforward however excellent picture was a part of Roger’s portfolio when he gained the Guardian’s photographer of the yr award in 1992.

Roger began working as a freelancer for the Observer in 1988, after which I got here to run the picture desk on the Guardian shortly after the editor on the time, Peter Preston, took over the Unbiased and made a reputation for himself. along with his nice picture.

By means of his multitude of awards and accolades, in addition to good images and glimpses of limitless vitality and enthusiasm, Roger helped our workforce do exactly that. My perception was that Guardian readers visited artwork galleries and watched good TV and movies, and due to this fact deserved to be stimulated by the images they noticed in The Guardian. Bamber’s pictures made the reader suppose and smile and even look twice. It was a photograph editor’s dream.

Roger Bamber knew instinctively what – or who – would make an incredible picture. Picture: Roger Bamber/Alamy

A real pictorialist, he cherished to seize the great thing about form and type, at all times with a wry humorousness and even a mischievous anarchy. He specialised find quirky individuals in arts and crafts up and down the nation who he instinctively knew would make nice pictures. Roger was a practice fanatic, and one among his finest pictures, entitled The Station Below the Station, reveals an avid collector as an enormous, taking a look at his beloved practice from a miniature station. The sense of scale within the image is extraordinary, and it regarded unimaginable on paper.

He would {photograph} the identical scene 50 occasions from barely completely different angles. For me it usually regarded like the identical picture on six completely different contact pages; typically I used a pin and selected randomly; they have been all nice.

Roger Bamber was a photo editor's dream, with images such as Margaret Thatcher picking up manure on a farm.
Roger Bamber was a photograph editor’s dream, with pictures akin to Margaret Thatcher selecting up manure on a farm. Picture: Roger Bamber/Alamy

Born in Leicester, Roger was the youthful of two kids of Vera (née Stephenson), who labored within the native textile trade, and Fred Bamber, a phone operator. Rising up near the Nice Central Railway line Roger developed a fascination with steam trains, which might change into a lifelong obsession.

In 1960, after leaving Beaumont Leys Secondary College on the age of 16, Roger started a graphic arts course at Leicester School of Artwork. However after forking out a yr’s £80 pupil grant to improve his Rolleicord digicam to a Nikon, it was clear his future lay in images, and after graduating in 1963 he labored as a junior photographer at a neighborhood promoting company, Fleetway. Publications The next yr, the college launched its first images course, and Roger was invited to show there when he was simply 19 years outdated.

A yr later, in 1965, on the primary day of shopping for his portfolio in London, Roger landed his first Fleet Road job, overlaying information and options for the Every day Mail, then a broadsheet. Whereas there, he gained industrial and industrial photographer of the yr on the British Press Awards (1967).

In November 1969, the launch workforce of Rupert Murdoch’s new undertaking – the Solar tabloid newspaper – stole it. Throughout his 19 years there he coated laborious information and mushy options from around the globe, from conflict to rock and pop, and gained many awards, together with photographer of the yr for his picture of a bloodied and wounded lawyer in 1973. After the IRA bombed the Previous Bailey.

Throughout this time, he toured with bands akin to David Bowie and the Rolling Stones. A handwritten word in lodge papers from 1976 confirms that the Stones have been allowed to {photograph} rehearsals on the primary evening of their European tour, on the Festhalle in Frankfurt. A 1983 image of Mick Jagger and Jerry Corridor in Barbados reveals Jagger taking part in a guitar and laughing his head off, not as a result of Corridor was pregnant with their first youngster, Elizabeth, however as a result of Roger had been swallowed by an enormous wave; nonetheless, he bought his personal. picture.

A pair of giant legs on the roof of the Duke of York cinema in Brighton.  Roger Bamber was awarded an honorary master's degree from the University of Brighton for his work on the city.
A pair of large legs on the roof of the Duke of York cinema in Brighton. Roger Bamber was awarded an honorary grasp’s diploma from the College of Brighton for his work on town. Picture: Roger Bamber/Alamy

Roger moved to Brighton in 1973 and in 1999 labored with Brighton and Hove council of their bid for metropolis standing, his portraits and pictures of favourite locations serving to to attain success.

In 2005 he was awarded an honorary grasp’s diploma from the College of Brighton, “for his excellent photojournalism and wealth of pictures of Brighton impressed by town”. He was delighted to obtain this honour, contemplating he had left the college with no single O-level.

Regardless of dwelling in Brighton, Roger was at all times seen in a Leicester Cricket Membership jumper below a sports activities jacket, although he hated cricket – Leicester Metropolis FC was his past love.

Roger continued to win awards till he retired from mainstream newspaper images in 2009. He continued to {photograph} something and all the things he noticed, and inspired the younger photographers with limitless persistence. Within the days main as much as his dying, Roger was enthusiastic about (and modifying to the final) the proofs for his subsequent e-book, Out of the Strange, he was certain.

In 2004, she married her longtime accomplice, journalist Shân Lancaster. The couple met whereas overlaying the conflict within the Falklands for the Solar and have been collectively for 40 years.

Shân survives, as does his sister Valerie.

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

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