London – Former Associated Press photographer Dave Corkin, who captured the iconic moment when ice dancers Jane Torville and Christopher Dean won Olympic gold in 1984, has died. He was 77 and had cancer.
Known for being in the right place at the right time with the right lens, London-based Caulkin has covered everything from the conflict in Northern Ireland to the Rolling Stones to the British royal family in his 40-year career. . One of his most famous images, however, was that of Torville and Dean skating to Ravel’s “Bolero.”
“That photo tells the story of the game,” said Dusan Vranic, AP’s head of Middle East photography. “That’s what we’re trying to do. Get photos of historic events.”
Later in his career, Corkin was part of the AP team that won a Pulitzer Prize for spot news photography covering the 1998 US embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.
Caulkin’s drive to help young photographers is what many who follow him remember about the person they considered a mentor. I taught them how.
But he will just help. He loaned Stringer lenses to learn the craft, taught his colleagues how to use new technology, and offered his experience to newcomers.
Longtime Reuters photographer and editor Russell Boyce, who has been covering the conflict in Northern Ireland in particular, said when Mr Corkin pushed him to tell him it was time to leave. He said he appreciated the advice.
“If you wait too long, two things will happen,” Boyce said. “One is that your competitor moves the picture in front of you and you are beaten because it is the first picture that wins. It became a thing, and in isolation it is actually very dangerous.”
But the advice was also personal, Boyce said.
Once, while the two men were on their way to a mission, Corkin confided to Boyce that he wanted to spend less time away from his wife and daughter, telling Boyce to think about his family before heading off to another conflict.
After leaving school early, he worked briefly at Heathrow Airport, said his widow Jean. But after his father gave him a camera, Corkin fell in love with photography. He somehow got a job in his AP darkroom and worked his way up from there.
While in Sheffield for the 1966 World Cup, Corkin met his future wife at a coffee bar. “He was tenacious,” she said simply.
The couple married in 1968 and have two daughters and four grandchildren.
“I wish he had become a wildlife photographer,” she said. “But he didn’t have the patience for it.”
Regarded as a storyteller par excellence, Caulkin began his career at a time when news agency photographers had to overcome myriad technical challenges. Film and cameras had their limitations, photographs had to be processed quickly, and sometimes capricious equipment was used to send the photographs to clients.
All of which gave photographers little room to maneuver. Lateness, misalignment, and overexposure meant failure.
But Korkin was able to manage variables and come back with a shot… then Yugoslavia.
“You need one frame where everyone gets killed. That’s what I learned from Dave,” says Vranic. “As others have said, Dave was my man.”
That instinct helped Caulkin get the shot of Torvill and Dean.
Martin Heyhow said he and Corkin covered all of Torville and Dean’s practice sessions leading up to the final. Because they were a huge topic in the UK.
However, on the day of the final, AP’s principal position was passed to another photographer.
Caulkin and Hayhow were told to sneak into the arena and see what they could get. They hid in bathrooms and bars all day until the competition started.
“Everybody thought[Torville and Dean]were in a relationship. No one took shots to prove the fact, but the photos Dave did take are as close to a kiss as possible.” “The fact that the photo was taken from the stairs and not from the assigned press box made it all the more incredible.”
Corkin’s wife of 54 years, Gene, couldn’t say which of his photos she liked best. But the image of Torville and Dean remains special to her.
“It is,” she said.
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https://www.ksat.com/news/world/2022/09/25/dave-caulkin-associated-press-photographer-dies-at-77/ Associated Press photographer Dave Corkin dies at 77