Thurston Hopkins, Picture Post photojournalist and alumni.
15 Aug 2013
Hopkins joined Brighton College of Art as a student of Graphic Illustration where he says he was greatly influenced by a piece of advice he received: ”Watch those shadows, they give black and white illustration weight and balance where it is most needed.”
Photojournalist Thurston Hopkins, described in The Guardian as “Unsung hero of photography” celebrated his 100th birthday yesterday. Hopkin's photographs, which featured in the Picture Post magazine, were valued for his “Humanist eye”. Hopkin's contributed many brilliant essays to the Picture Post such as Children of the Streets, 1954, A British Colour Conflict in 1955 and Liverpool Slums, 1956. The Picture Post's sensitive depiction of people in post-war Britain is credited with developments that led to the establishment of the welfare state through its sympathetic depiction of social inequality.
He said: “This became something of a leitmotif in my visual thinking, not only when I was making pen and ink drawings for provincial newspapers, but also when I began using a camera.
Hopkins joined the PhotoPress Agency in 1936 but quickly became disillusioned with Fleet Street’s practices, returning home to Sussex where he set up a photographic business.
During the war he served in the RAF photographic unit and following demob, realised his long-held ambition of working for the Picture Post. Allegedly, he created a dummy issue using only his photographs and words to help secure the job.
Hopkins career continued in advertising photography and teaching before retiring in the late 1960s. He lives with his wife, and fellow Picture Post photojournalist, Grace Robertson, in Sussex.
Read the Guardian article.