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Arles 2023 : Roger Bamber : Out of the Ordinary


The Arles gallery Chez Arthur et Jeanine pays tribute to an unknown English photojournalist: Roger Bamber (1944-2022).

In June 1965, Roger Bamber joined the newspaper The Daily Mail, aged twenty he was the youngest photographer in Fleet Street. His salary is around 30€ per week. As Roger later said “a small fortune”.

In 1968, he won his first prize, Commercial and Industrial Photographer of the Year at the British Press Awards for his photos commemorating an entire industrial past and in particular the last days of steam trains. “The closing of the coal mines and the death of the steam railways in Britain were both desperately sad, but a gift for anyone who loves stark, graphic black and white imagery. »

In 1967, 18 months into his photographic career, Roger was sent to photograph the famous socialite photographer Cecil Beaton at his home in Kensington on the eve of a major retrospective of his work at a London gallery. “The pictures taken, Beaton took my Nikon F and used it to photograph me. »

In 1973 the IRA carried out three attacks in London, two had little effect, the third, outside the Old Bailey courthouse, caused enormous structural damage and killed a man with a heart attack. Roger ran from Fleet Street to the Old Bailey arriving minutes after the detonation. For his photo of an injured lawyer he was named News Photographer of the Year and Photographer of the Year for his entire portfolio.

In November 1969, Roger was recruited for Rupert Murdoch’s new project – the tabloid The Sun. For nineteen years he covered the news and reported extensively around the world, winning numerous awards. “As no other photographer seemed interested in the modern music scene, I became the image taker of pop music as well as hard news. »

In 1973 Roger moved to the beautiful and eccentric seaside town of Brighton. This atypical city, very close to London, is very popular with creative people. Its beach, The Royal Pavilion and The Lanes contribute to its reputation. Brighton and its colorful people inspired many of his iconic photographs. “I was lucky enough to live in a place full of artists and eccentric people, and I had this huge beach 200 meters away which became my studio.”

In 1988, Roger left The Sun. After a short period in the United States, he continues to work freelance for several newspapers and numerous magazines, mainly The Observer, The Independent and The Guardian.

This freedom allows him to photograph artists and the art world, which he loved above all.

In 1992, Roger won the Ilford Press Photographer of the Year award. Ilford uses this photo as an advertising poster with the slogan “Here’s how it’s done!”.

In 1997, he was named Nikon Arts and Entertainment Photographer of the Year.

His portraits of the people of Brighton and his images of its extravagant architecture, displayed throughout the London Underground, contributed to the achievement, as part of the millennium celebrations in 2000, of the City of Brighton and Hove.

Roger left the world of mainstream press photography in 2009, but continued to take pictures for his pleasure, always looking for the extraordinary in the daily life that surrounds us.


Out of the Ordinary – Roger Bamber
Monday July 3 to Sunday July 9, 2023 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
10 – 30 July by appointment +33 695787082
Chez Arthur et Janine
56 rue du 4 septembre, Arles

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