Ref NoOHP/86
TitleRobert Smithies
Date22 August 2001
Extent1 minidisc, 1 cd, 1 file, 2 AIFF files (793.4 MB)
Creator NameSmithies; Robert (1934-2006); photographer, TV presenter, and crossword compiler
DescriptionInterview with Robert Smithies, photographer for the Guardian. Conducted by David Ward on 22 August 2001. Also includes a data sheet containing biographical details about the subject and information about the recording and a track guide.

Summary contents of interview (with rough timings):

Disc 1:
Track 1

Track 2
00.20 How he became a Guardian staff photographer
02.50 Tom Stuttard
06.00 John Anderson
07.20 First meeting with AP Wadsworth - told he cannot be employed because the Evening News will not let him go
09.47 Meeting Tom Stuttard again after 18 months and finally becoming employed

11.05 Preferred style of photography
13.12 Reproduction of his photographs
16.02 Most successful picture he took was of Louis Armstrong
18.05 Sharing a flat with the cartoonist Papas and moving on to a modern type of camera

21.30 How little time there was to find good photographs
25.00 'Pictures never were and never will be [of the same importance] at the Guardian as writing'
29.00 Moved from Manchester to London in 1958 and then back to Manchester in 1965
29.00 Atmosphere change when the editorship moved to London

32.00 Reason for leaving in 1974 - 'No more challenges'
34.30 Reaction within the paper to the large-scale move to London
37.00 Ethos and 'cohesion' of Guardian journalism

40.28 The decisions that affect policy are now taken by accountants
42.30 Michael Frayn and his relationships with reporters
46.20 Sneaking into Balmoral Castle, Aberdeenshire to try to photograph the President and the Queen
49.20 Drinking with Brendan Beehan in 1959

57.00 Photographing opera and theatre in Covent Garden

62.00 Differences between interviewing in his time and the press-junket culture today
65.00 Differences between being a 'snapper' and a 'literate Guardian photographer
65.00 The importance of knowing the subject you photograph
66.38 Geoffrey Moorhouse

70.40 Basic enjoyment of working as a photographer
72.00 Alastair Hetherington
Access StatusOpen
Access ConditionsAccess to recording via GNM Digital Repository
FormatElectronic record
CD recording
Printed document
Minidisc recording
CopyrightGuardian News & Media Ltd and Robert Smithies

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