Photographers profile

David J. Osborn


David J Osborn was born in London, England in 1961. Upon leaving school and after a one-year Foundation in art and design at Hornsey College of Art, London, Osborn entered the Graphic Design degree program at the prestigious Camberwell School of Art, one of London's oldest and most respected colleges for graphic design, painting, book-making and restoration. During his studies at Camberwell, Osborn discovered that photography was more suited to his personality. Since sitting at a desk held little attraction for him, he took control of his own education and, under the guidance of a tutor, organised his own photographic program. Even though Osborn graduated with a First Class BA (Hons) Camb. in graphic design, he emerged from Camberwell a photographer.

After a year of freelance work and employment in the photography department at Shell Oil, Osborn joined Reuter News Pictures in Fleet Street, one of the world's largest and oldest news agencies, where he began his intensive, on-the-job training as a photojournalist.

Though inexperienced, Mr Denis Paquin, then of Reuter News Pictures recognized his enthusiasm and dedication and quickly sent him on diverse assignments from photographing royalty to disasters. He learned that in the world of photojournalism, there are no specialists.

During that time, Osborn photographed Presidents Regan, Gorbachev and Butto, the presidents of Turnkey, Portugal, Germany, and ex-President Jimmy Carter. He photographed the kings of Norway, Spain, King Hussein and ex-King Constantine.He also photographed Margaret Thatcher on numerous occasions and the Royal Family over 50 times.

The events Osborn covered were equally as diverse. He was on location for the Angolan Peace Talks, the Piper Alpha North Seas oil-rig disaster, the London's Kings Cross underground fire disaster, the marriage of Prince Andrew to Sarah Ferguson, the Brixton and Tottenham race riots, the final concert of Wham, Michael Jackson in concert, and Band-Aid. Osborn also covered hundreds of assignments for national and foreign newspapers and magazines shooting portraits, features and news.

In 1987, Osborn used this diverse experience to work for nine month in the Philippines to broaden his photographic experience. Working as a freelance for Gamma Picture Agency, Osborn developed story ideas, made the necessary contacts, researched, photographed, and even supplied copy.

During this short but intense visit, he spent months living in the jungle covering the MNLF Muslim rebels' fight for independence of the southern islands of Mindanao, Basilan and Jolo. Also the Christian vigilantes and Tad Tad groups' fight against communist rebels.

Back in London, sensing a need to continue to develop his photographic skills, Osborn began producing commercial work for electronics companies, banks, public relations firms, and advertising agencies, such as Ogilby & Mather and Vallin Pollin.

In 1989, Osborn emigrated to Australia to be closer to Asia and to continue working commercially.

From 1993 to 1999 he ran his own studio, Graphica Photography, in the heart of Sydney, creating annual report and advertising photography for companies such as Zurich Insurance, Telstra, ICI Chemicals, Nortel Communications, and James Hardie. It was his interest in commercial photography and 10 years darkroom experience that led him to the new digital technology, particularly translating tradional darkroom techniques to digital printing.

In 2000, Osborn returned to London. Today, Osborn dedicates much of his time to his personal landscape work. David J.Osborn currently lives in London with his wife, Helen, and his daughter, Catherine.

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