Thurston Hopkins was one of Britain’s greatest photojournalists and part of the golden age of reportage.
Working for Picture Post he captured the humanity, spirit and social inequality and contradictions of life in 1950s Britain.
One of the first essays by Hopkins published in Picture Post was his ‘Cats of London’ (Feb 1951 edition), almost certainly suggested by the many cats he met while walking around the streets of London on other assignments.
The blitz had made many cats homeless, and these strays had often established themselves in the bombsites, living and breeding more or less wild on the scraps the could find and that friendly neighbours put out from them.
Even cats who still enjoyed good homes would spend much of their time on the streets; the cat flap was as yet unknown and every cat owner still ‘put the cat out’ as part of the ritual of retiring for the night.
City cats were still street cats first and home cats when it pleased them.
Hopkins started to collect pictures of these cats on the street, attracting them with a little food, and it made an interesting if not profound story
On a Monday afternoon back in December of the year 2014 I got a call from a photographer, that a whole district of Budapest is totally under ice and the trees are falling over because of the ice pressure.
At this moment I never thought that this call would end in the most exciting press-work of my whole life.
I met with other photographer in the early hours of the following day and we get up the hills of Buda.
We just knew one thing – everyone told us “don’t go up there, it’s extremely dangerous”.
But we had to. After we exit the bus we saw the first tree falling over, just a few meters away from us.
After this awful shock we started our way into little streets, far away from the main street, listening to one sound – the sound of the trees. The sound of branches braking under the weight of Ice.
The little once were not that dangerous, but nearly every ten minute we saw a giant tree collapsing, braking into the roof of a house or falling on a car.
I personally was not afraid, because I knew that I had to do my job. I had to show people the power of nature, so there was no time to think about the consequences.
By looking up for nearly the whole time (I had never watched trees and branches for such a long time) I photographed powerful nature to show what it is able to do to helpless people.