Don McCullin

Irreconcilable Truths:
A Collaboration With Don McCullin

Antalis are proud to have been selected by Don McCullin to provide support in evaluating the best papers for the printing of his new three-volume Limited Edition retrospective of his life’s work. Antalis has benefited from the parallel opportunity to gain familiarity with McCullin’s important archive; not just the essays of war and reportage photography, but also his landscapes, still lifes and travel photography that comprise the whole of the second volume of this exceptional publication. Print tests are not necessarily the most rewarding part of commencing any new project, but when those tests involve trying to replicate on a litho or digital printing press what Don himself achieves in his own darkroom, it’s no longer work it is a genuinely fascinating privilege. Below, we offer an abbreviated biography of Don McCullin and his life’s work.

“To master photography is one thing, but to reproduce it to it’s finest potential is a mastery of patience and expertise” – Don McCullin


– Don McCullin is one of our greatest living photographers. For the past six decades he has proved himself a photojournalist without equal. Few have enjoyed a career so long; none of such variety and critical acclaim.

Following an impoverished North London childhood McCullin was called up for National Service with the RAF. After postings to Egypt, Kenya and Cyprus he returned to London armed with a twin reflex Rolleicord camera and began photographing friends from a local gang named The Guv’nors which, at the age of 23, earned his first commission at the Observer. In 1961 he won the British Press Award for his essay on the construction of the Berlin Wall. In 1993 he was the first photojournalist to be awarded a CBE.

He has travelled to war zones in the Congo, Biafra, Vietnam, Beirut, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Iran, Afghanistan and more. He has been shot and badly wounded in Cambodia, imprisoned in Uganda, expelled from Vietnam and had a bounty on his head in Lebanon.

Away from war Don’s work has focused on the suffering of the poor and underprivileged and, alongside, has spent three decades chronicling the English countryside and creating meticulously constructed still lifes. He has travelled extensively through Indonesia, India and Africa returning with powerful essays on places and people that, in some cases, had few if any previous encounters with the Western world. Don combines a mastery of light and composition with an unerring sense of where a story was headed, and a bravery that pushed luck to its outermost limits.

Irreconcilable Truths

– Antalis is proud to be the paper sponsor of the new Limited Edition three-volume boxed retrospective of the life and work of Don McCullin.

An exclusive run of 1,000 copies, featuring his most iconic images and previously unpublished photographs, Irreconcilable Truths is a glorious exhibition in print using our range of Cocoon papers.

Curated by Don himself, and reproduced from vintage or wholly new prints made in his own darkroom, each boxed set is hand-signed by Don as a mark of authenticity. The three books comprise almost 1500 pages of print and more than 700 of his most iconic photographs, including many previously unpublished images.

Each volume in the set is a major publication in its own right.

The three cloth-bound volumes offer truly beautiful design across an unusually large page size (370mm x 300mm) which means that each volume is essentially a bound exhibition in print, packaged in a beautifully cloth-covered handmade presentation box.

To read more, or to purchase the book, please visit:

An Alternative Pallette

– Previously unpublished colour photography, digitally printed on Mohawk Superfine Eggshell White and Ultrawhite. This monograph showcases the rare vibrant photography taken parallel to Don McCullin’s most iconic work. Volume One exhibits his travels through Indonesia, from the cannibalistic tribes of New Guinea  to the vibrantly adorned people of the Mentawai Islands.