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The colour picture essay

In the 1960s, Brian Brake moved from small assignments, mostly involving black-and-white photography, to more extended picture stories – usually in colour and often taking up to a year or more to shoot. This shift resulted from the close relationship he formed with the international picture magazine Life, then in an era of grand projects and big budgets.

It was also a time when magazines were increasingly using colour reproduction. This suited Brake well. His study of colour cinematography for the National Film Unit in 1951–52 had given him greater expertise and comfort with working in colour than most photographers at that time.

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