Dave Caulkin, Associated Press photographer, dies at 77

Sep 24, 2022, 11:15 AM | Updated: 11:52 pm
FILE - Britain's Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean kiss during their performance in the Olympic ic...

FILE - Britain's Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean kiss during their performance in the Olympic ice dancing at the Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, Bosnia on Feb. 14, 1984. Caulkin, a retired Associated Press photographer who captured the iconic moment when ice dancers Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean won the 1984 Olympic gold medal, has died. He was 77 and suffered from cancer. (AP Photo/Dave Caulkin, File)

(AP Photo/Dave Caulkin, File)

              FILE - The final Concorde in regular flight is welcomed as it reaches the hangars at London's Heathrow Airport, Oct. 24, 2003. Caulkin, a retired Associated Press photographer has died. He was 77 and suffered from cancer. Known for being in the right place at the right time with the right lens, the London-based Caulkin covered everything from the conflict in Northern Ireland to the Rolling Stones and Britain’s royal family during a career that spanned four decades. (AP Photo/Dave Caulkin, File)
            
              FILE - Britain's Prince William, the 6-month old son of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, the Princess of Wales, with his parents at Kensington Palace in London, England on Dec. 22, 1982. Caulkin, a retired Associated Press photographer has died. He was 77 and suffered from cancer. Known for being in the right place at the right time with the right lens, the London-based Caulkin covered everything from the conflict in Northern Ireland to the Rolling Stones and Britain’s royal family during a career that spanned four decades. (AP Photo/Dave Caulkin, File)
            
              FILE - A group of unidentified American hostages give the victory sign as they emerge from an aircraft in Algiers on Jan. 21, 1981 after their flight from Teheran, where they had been held captive for 444 days in Iran. Caulkin, a retired Associated Press photographer has died. He was 77 and suffered from cancer. Known for being in the right place at the right time with the right lens, the London-based Caulkin covered everything from the conflict in Northern Ireland to the Rolling Stones and Britain’s royal family during a career that spanned four decades. (AP Photo/Dave Caulkin, File)
            
              FILE - Serena Williams, left, holds her trophy, as she looks over at her sister Venus, after defeating her in the Women's Singles final on the Centre Court at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships at Wimbledon in London on July 5, 2003. (AP Photo/Dave Caulkin, File)
            
              FILE - Defending champion Boris Becker of Germany flies through the air to return a shot from Australia's Wally Masur during their second round match at Wimbledon on Wednesday, June 27, 1990. Caulkin, a retired Associated Press photographer has died. He was 77 and suffered from cancer. Known for being in the right place at the right time with the right lens, the London-based Caulkin covered everything from the conflict in Northern Ireland to the Rolling Stones and Britain’s royal family during a career that spanned four decades. (AP Photo/Dave Caulkin, File)
            
              FILE - Boxing great Muhammad Ali speaks in this combo of images taken at a press conference in London on Nov. 29, 1974. Caulkin, a retired Associated Press photographer has died. He was 77 and suffered from cancer. Known for being in the right place at the right time with the right lens, the London-based Caulkin covered everything from the conflict in Northern Ireland to the Rolling Stones and Britain’s royal family during a career that spanned four decades. (AP Photo/Dave Caulkin, File)
            
              FILE - Chris Evert, left, and Martina Navratilova joke with police officer Les Bowie on Number Two Court at Wimbledon in London on July 4, 1985. Caulkin, a retired Associated Press photographer has died. He was 77 and suffered from cancer. Known for being in the right place at the right time with the right lens, the London-based Caulkin covered everything from the conflict in Northern Ireland to the Rolling Stones and Britain’s royal family during a career that spanned four decades. (AP Photo/Dave Caulkin, File)
            
              FILE - Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip laugh as President Alexandre Kwasniewski of Poland and his wife Jolanta Kwasniewska leave Buckingham Palace in London, Friday May 7, 2004, after an official two day state visit to the United Kingdom. Caulkin, a retired Associated Press photographer has died. He was 77 and suffered from cancer. Known for being in the right place at the right time with the right lens, the London-based Caulkin covered everything from the conflict in Northern Ireland to the Rolling Stones and Britain’s royal family during a career that spanned four decades. (AP Photo/Dave Caulkin, File)
            
              FILE - Kremlin's No. 2, Mikhail Gorbachev is welcomed by British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to her weekend residence at Chequers, west of London, Dec. 16, 1984. Caulkin, a retired Associated Press photographer has died. He was 77 and suffered from cancer. Known for being in the right place at the right time with the right lens, the London-based Caulkin covered everything from the conflict in Northern Ireland to the Rolling Stones and Britain’s royal family during a career that spanned four decades. (AP Photo/Dave Caulkin, File)
            
              FILE - The coffin containing the body of hunger striker Bobby Sands is carried to the grave by six masked IRA men at Belfast's Milltown Cemetery Thursday, May 7, 1981. Caulkin, a retired Associated Press photographer has died. He was 77 and suffered from cancer. Known for being in the right place at the right time with the right lens, the London-based Caulkin covered everything from the conflict in Northern Ireland to the Rolling Stones and Britain’s royal family during a career that spanned four decades. (AP Photo/Dave Caulkin, File)
            
              FILE - Diana, Princess of Wales is pictured amid a large group of schoolchildren during her visit to Alice Springs, Australia, March 21, 1983. Caulkin, a retired Associated Press photographer has died. He was 77 and suffered from cancer. Known for being in the right place at the right time with the right lens, the London-based Caulkin covered everything from the conflict in Northern Ireland to the Rolling Stones and Britain’s royal family during a career that spanned four decades. (AP Photo/Dave Caulkin, File)
            
              FILE - Roger Federer holds the trophy after defeating Andy Roddick in the Men's Singles final on the Centre Court at Wimbledon, Sunday July 4, 2004. Federer won the match 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (3), 6-4, to retain the title. Caulkin, a retired Associated Press photographer has died. He was 77 and suffered from cancer. Known for being in the right place at the right time with the right lens, the London-based Caulkin covered everything from the conflict in Northern Ireland to the Rolling Stones and Britain’s royal family during a career that spanned four decades. (AP Photo/Dave Caulkin, File)
            
              FILE - Members of the British Astronomers Association prepare their telescopes Tuesday, Aug. 10, 1999, at their campsite near Truro, England. The group is preparing for a total solar eclipse which will take place Wednesday. Caulkin, a retired Associated Press photographer has died. He was 77 and suffered from cancer. Known for being in the right place at the right time with the right lens, the London-based Caulkin covered everything from the conflict in Northern Ireland to the Rolling Stones and Britain’s royal family during a career that spanned four decades. (AP Photo/Dave Caulkin, File)
            
              FILE - From left, David Parfitt, Donna Gigliotti, Harvey Weinstein, Gwyneth Paltrow, Edward Zwick and Marc Norman all celebrate after receiving the Oscar for best picture for "Shakespeare In Love" during the 71st Annual Academy Awards Sunday, March 21, 1999, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion of the Los Angeles Music Center. Paltrow won the Oscar for best actress in the movie. (AP Photo/Dave Caulkin, File)
            
              FILE - Pete Sampras holds his trophy, after defeating Boris Becker to win the Men's Singles Final on the Centre Court at Wimbledon Sunday July 9, 1995. Sampras defeated Becker 6-7 (5-7), 6-2, 6-4, 6-2 to win his third consecutive championship. Caulkin, a retired Associated Press photographer has died. He was 77 and suffered from cancer. Known for being in the right place at the right time with the right lens, the London-based Caulkin covered everything from the conflict in Northern Ireland to the Rolling Stones and Britain’s royal family during a career that spanned four decades. (AP Photo/Dave Caulkin, File)
            
              FILE - Britain's Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader, Margaret Thatcher tries her hand with a television camera, during a visit to her constituency of Finchley, London, on General Election day in the United Kingdom, June 11, 1987. Caulkin, a retired Associated Press photographer has died. He was 77 and suffered from cancer. Known for being in the right place at the right time with the right lens, the London-based Caulkin covered everything from the conflict in Northern Ireland to the Rolling Stones and Britain’s royal family during a career that spanned four decades. (AP Photo/Dave Caulkin, File)
            
              FILE - British troops shelter behind an armored car during disorders in Belfast, Northern Ireland in May 1981, in which petrol-filled bottles were thrown in protest at the British Governments refusal to allow political status to prisoners held in the Maze Prison's H-Blocks. Caulkin, a retired Associated Press photographer has died. He was 77 and suffered from cancer. Known for being in the right place at the right time with the right lens, the London-based Caulkin covered everything from the conflict in Northern Ireland to the Rolling Stones and Britain’s royal family during a career that spanned four decades. (AP Photo/Dave Caulkin, File)
            
              FILE - Britain's Queen Elizabeth II with her husband Prince Philip, ride in the State Gold Coach en-route to St. Paul's Cathedral in London, Tuesday June 4, 2002, for a service of thanksgiving to mark her Golden Jubilee. Caulkin, a retired Associated Press photographer has died. He was 77 and suffered from cancer. Known for being in the right place at the right time with the right lens, the London-based Caulkin covered everything from the conflict in Northern Ireland to the Rolling Stones and Britain’s royal family during a career that spanned four decades. (AP Photo/Dave Caulkin, File)
            
              FILE - Unidentified crash investigators inspect the nose section of the crashed Pan Am flight 103, a Boeing 747 airliner in a field near Lockerbie, Scotland, Dec. 23, 1988. The plane crashed two days before, killing more than 270 people. Caulkin, a retired Associated Press photographer has died. He was 77 and suffered from cancer. Known for being in the right place at the right time with the right lens, the London-based Caulkin covered everything from the conflict in Northern Ireland to the Rolling Stones and Britain’s royal family during a career that spanned four decades. (AP Photo/Dave Caulkin, File)
            
              FILE - Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair, is hugged by his wife Cherie outside No. 10 Downing Street in London, shortly after his election win, Friday May 2, 1997. Caulkin, a retired Associated Press photographer has died. He was 77 and suffered from cancer. Known for being in the right place at the right time with the right lens, the London-based Caulkin covered everything from the conflict in Northern Ireland to the Rolling Stones and Britain’s royal family during a career that spanned four decades. (AP Photo/Dave Caulkin, File)
            
              FILE - A view of the United States Embassy, left, and other damaged buildings in downtown Nairobi, Kenya on Aug. 8, 1998 the day after terrorist bombs in Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Caulkin, a retired Associated Press photographer who captured the iconic moment when ice dancers Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean won the 1984 Olympic gold medal, has died. He was 77 and suffered from cancer. (AP Photo/Dave Caulkin, File)
            
              FILE - South Africa's President Nelson Mandela reacts as he walks amongst the vast Trafalgar Square crowd in London Friday July 12 1996. Caulkin, a retired Associated Press photographer who captured the iconic moment when ice dancers Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean won the 1984 Olympic gold medal, has died. He was 77 and suffered from cancer. (AP Photo/Dave Caulkin, File)
            
              FILE - Britain's Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean kiss during their performance in the Olympic ice dancing at the Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, Bosnia on Feb. 14, 1984. Caulkin, a retired Associated Press photographer who captured the iconic moment when ice dancers Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean won the 1984 Olympic gold medal, has died. He was 77 and suffered from cancer. (AP Photo/Dave Caulkin, File)

LONDON (AP) — Dave Caulkin, a retired Associated Press photographer who captured the iconic moment when ice dancers Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean won the 1984 Olympic gold medal, has died. He was 77 and had cancer.

Known for being in the right place at the right time with the right lens, the London-based Caulkin covered everything from the conflict in Northern Ireland to the Rolling Stones and Britain’s royal family during a career that spanned four decades. But one of his most renowned images was that of Torvill and Dean, their lips inches apart as if poised for a kiss, as they skated to Ravel’s “Bolero.”

“That photo is the story of the games,” said Dusan Vranic, the AP’s Middle East photo chief. “That is what we try to do — have the photo of the event that will stay for history.”

Later in his career, Caulkin was part of an AP team that won the Pulitzer Prize for spot news photography for their coverage of the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

Caulkin’s willingness to help young photographers is what many of those who followed him remember about a man they considered a mentor. He taught them, in essence, how to tell a story in a single image.

But he would also just help. He would loan lenses to stringers so they could learn their craft, teach colleagues how to use new technology and offer the benefit of his experience to newbies.

Russell Boyce, a longtime Reuters photographer and editor, said he valued this advice, particularly when they were covering the conflict in Northern Ireland and Caulkin would nudge him and tell him it was time to leave.

“If you waited too long, two things would happen,” Boyce said. “One is that you would be beaten because your competitors would move the picture before you, and it’s the first picture that wins. And secondly, things would get progressively more dangerous as the night went on. And if you get isolated, it’s actually very dangerous.”

But the advice was also personal, Boyce said.

Once, when the two men were driving to an assignment, Caulkin told Boyce to think about his family before racing off to the next conflict, confiding that he wished he had spent less time away from his wife and daughters.

Born March 11, 1945, in Castleford, northern England, Caulkin was an only child. The family later moved to London and then to Maidenhead, west of the capital.

After leaving school early, he worked briefly at Heathrow Airport, his widow, Jean, said. But Caulkin got hooked on photography after his father gave him a camera. He somehow landed a job in the dark room at the AP and worked his way up from there.

While in Sheffield for the 1966 World Cup, Caulkin met his future wife at a coffee bar. It wasn’t exactly love at first sight, Jean recalled. “He was persistent,” she said simply.

The couple married in 1968 and had two daughters and four grandchildren.

“I would have liked him to be a wildlife photographer,” she said. “But he didn’t have the patience for that.”

Considered a phenomenal storyteller, Caulkin began his career in an era when wire service photographers had to overcome a myriad of technical challenges. There were the limitations of film and cameras, the need to rapidly process photos and the sometimes temperamental equipment used to send them to clients.

All of that gave photographers little room to maneuver. Being late, out of position or overexposed meant failure.

But Caulkin was able to manage the variables and come back with the shot, said Vranic, who got his start at the AP after Caulkin told his bosses they should hire the young Serb after working with him during the World University Games in 1987 in what was then Yugoslavia.

“You still have to have that one frame that will kill everybody, and that’s what I learned from Dave,” Vranic said. “Also from other guys but, you know, Dave was my guy.”

That instinct helped Caulkin get the shot of Torvill and Dean.

Martyn Hayhow said he and Caulkin covered all of Torvill and Dean’s practice sessions in the run up to the final because they were a huge story in Britain, where the public speculated about whether theirs was a love story as well as a sporting partnership.

But on the day of the final, the AP’s prime position went to another photographer.

Caulkin and Hayhow were told to sneak into the arena and see what they could get. They hid in toilets and bars all day until the competition got underway.

“Everyone thought that (Torvill and Dean) could be romantically connected. No one got a shot to prove the fact, but the photo that Dave actually got showed as near a kiss as possible,” Hayhow said. “The fact that the photo was taken from a staircase instead of where the allocated press seats (were) made it all the more incredible.”

Jean, Caulkin’s wife of 54 years, couldn’t say which of his photos she liked the best — there were so many. But the Torvill and Dean image remains special to her. So she asked for “Bolero” to be played at his funeral service — a reminder of a moment he captured for all time.

“That,” she said, “is a tribute.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

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Dave Caulkin, Associated Press photographer, dies at 77