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Jane Bown's first published photograph, a portrait of Bertrand Russell, appeared in The Observer in January 1949. It was the start of a symbiotic association with Britain's oldest Sunday newspaper which is still going strong today. Her photographs have never gone out of fashion and her influence shines through the paper.
Her style of portraiture has barely changed since then. With her camera set almost permanently at a 60th and 2.8, with no assistants and using only natural light (in bad light she will sometimes use the light from a reading lamp), she has captured the flaws, strengths and humanity in all her subjects.
Through the 1950's her role developed. She was not employed purely for portraiture. Her love is for reportage. 'The best pictures are uninvited. They're suddenly there in front of you. But they are there one minute and gone the next. I mean it is quite easy to take a photograph, but difficult to get the shot.'
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