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My name is PaulBerriff, Iā€™m a photographer.

My life and career since starting work in 1963 has always involved photography. I grew up in Headingley, Leeds, Yorkshire.

My father was a press photographer on the Yorkshire Post and it wasn’t long before I was following in his professional footsteps. At 16 years of age I started work as a press photographer on the Yorkshire Evening Post. In those days newspapers were the main source of daily news. Each day I would be out on assignments photographing accidents, fires, babies, weddings and other local issues. It was a great learning curve into the world of photography.


You had to think fast in all lighting conditions to ensure a perfectly exposed image.

My camera was a 5 x 4 Speed Graphic which used glass plates.

In those days roll film cameras were in their infancy. The 5×4 produced stunning quality black and white photographs. Colour newspaper pictures were light years away.


After 4 years learning the craft of photography I made the leap from newspapers into television ā€“ it was 1967.

The late 60’s started seeing the demise of newspapers as a source of breaking news. Television studios were opening up throughout the nation and could broadcast pictures almost immediately. I got a job as a news cameraman for BBC Television News based in Leeds.

Although I took many pictures on each story the newspaper would only publish a single photograph. I saw television as a great breakthrough as all my pictures could be transmitted. The secret of good movies is to use the cine camera like a still camera ā€“ it’s a series of joined up images.


I spent the next 40 years behind the cine camera producing documentaries all over the world. My moving images won me scores of awards including a BAFTA.

Recently I have returned back to still photography, although I continue to produce and direct movies. I have purchased a 1944 Speed Graphic 5×4 camera ā€“ the camera I started with in newspapers. I also have a Nikon F and a Rolleiflex. I love creating monochrome prints. Black and white images are far more dramatic and atmospheric than colour. I use Kodak Tri-x stock the same I used all those years ago on the paper.


I am concentrating my photography locations around Yorkshire.

The county is so varied with fabulous countryside, dramatic coastline, cities and historical sites.

I see myself as the 21st century Frank Sutcliffe.

He too was born in Headingley, Leeds then moved to Whitby where he became world famous with his images.