Kevin MacDonnell Appreciation Society

When I was in my teens and early twenties, the columnist I enjoyed reading more than any other was Kevin MacDonnell. He wrote for Photography magazine when I first encountered him but was quite widely published.

Kevin, who died in 2001 aged 81, was a good but not great photographer and a good but not great writer. So why did I like him so much? Well, it was his conversational style that appealed to me. Reading one of Kevin's columns was like enjoying a pint with him in the pub where he'd go over what he'd been doing that day. It was undemanding, interesting, friendly and seemed to have the effect of encouraging me to get out and take more photographs.

I didn't know it at the time, but Kevin had an interesting life. He fought in the Spanish Civil War against Franco, was refused a sitting by Hitler (something he wore as a badge of honour) and presented a TV show about photography in the 1960s.

He was a regular contributor to Photography magazine from the 1950s to the 1980s. Sadly, I don't have many photography magazines featuring his columns but those I held onto are well-thumbed. Since he inspired me to take photographs, I thought he might do the same for people new to film and darkroom practices or digital snappers thinking of giving it a go. So that's why I've written this page dedicated to Kevin.

On it you'll find scans of some of his magazine articles which I hope you'll enjoy. You'll maybe notice that he seemed rather fond of Johnsons of Hendon products and Tamron lenses. That's because he had very close links to the company which was the UK distributor of Tamron lenses.

I'm going to look out for publications which featured his writing and I'll add further material as and when I find it. If you're already a Kevin fan and have some mags with his columns in them, it would be great if you could spare the time to scan them and email them to me for inclusion here.

For more background information about Kevin, please visit this excellent website.

Photography Magazine
April, 1981

Photography Magazine
February, 1983

35mm Photography Magazine
November, 1983

35mm Photography Magazine
December, 1983

35mm Photography Magazine
August, 1984

35mm Photography Magazine
February, 1985

35mm Photography Magazine
February, 1984

35mm Photography Magazine
September, 1983

35mm Photography Magazine
September, 1984


Peter Elgar said...

When I was a member of the South Essex Camera Club 1952-59 he came to talk about B&W Portraiture with multiple flash and took a photo of ME on his Rolleiflex on Selochrome Film which he got a member to process in 'Capitol' developer that Johnsons of Hendon sold and I still have that print -- I must have been about 19 years old --

Bruce Robbins said...

Good story, Peter. He seemed like a nice guy from what I've read.

Paul R. Hyde said...

Can anyone put me in touch with Kevin MacDonnell's family?

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