West News Wire: A friend and fellow photojournalist from Australia named Ben Bohane referred to Tim Page as a “true humanist” and one of the greatest combat photographers in history.
He frequently argued that having moral character was more significant than having artistic talent. So his compassion really came through in his photojournalism, Bohane said on Thursday, according to Australian Broadcasting Corp.
“The only excellent war photograph is an anti-war photograph,” was one of his well-known quotes, Bohane continued.
While reporting on wars in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia in the 1960s and 1970s, Page was wounded four times.
In addition to his skill and dedication as a photographer, he stood out for his flamboyance and flashy attitude. He inspired the drug-addled photojournalist played by Dennis Hopper in the Francis Coppola-directed, Oscar-winning 1979 Vietnam War movie “Apocalypse Now.”
Page embraced and documented the drug culture since the 1960s in Indochina and the United States.
He worked as a freelance photographer from the late 1960s for music magazines including Rolling Stone and Crawdaddy, sharing assignments with some of the most significant writers of the era such as Hunter S. Thompson. Page embraced his “Gonzo photographer” reputation.
He was arrested along with Jim Morrison when with Doors frontman was famously dragged by police from a stage in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1967. Morrison was arrested for inciting a riot, indecency and public obscenity. Page was arrested obstructing police. Both spent the night in police cells before charges were dropped.
As well as the Indochina wars, Page also covered conflicts in Afghanistan, Solomon Islands, Israel, Bosnia and East Timor.
Page wrote a dozen books about his war experiences and music.
He was born in Tunbridge Wells in England on May 25, 1944. He was raised by a foster family after his merchant navy sailor father died in a submarine attack in the North Atlantic.
He left Britain in 1962, traveling through Europe, the Middle East and then Asia where he began photographing a civil war in Laos.
He created iconic images of the Vietnam War while working for news organizations including the AP, UPI, Time-Life and Paris Match.
He moved to Australia in 2002 to be with his longtime Australian partner Marianne Harris and became an adjunct professor of photojournalism at Griffith University at Brisbane in Queensland state.
He is survived by Harris and Kit Clifford, his son from a previous relationship with Clare Clifford.