Meet the man who gave Bond his gun
What’s on and pub guides: Pages 26/ 27
DAVID Hurn has photographed The Beatles and actors Sean Connery and Peter O’Toole, but the image he really wants to talk about is the one he missed on the Llanberis Pass on a Saturday afternoon.
The 83-year-old was travelling from his home in South Wales to Llanrwst to open his new exhibition when he was stopped in his tracks by a flock of sheep.
“As well as the sheep, there were around six sheep dogs, some on leads, so I think they were being trained,” said Hurn, who is one of only 62 working Magnum photographers in the world.
“There was a farmer on crutches, who was guiding the sheep, but I didn’t have my camera on me and by the time I got it, it was too late – the moment had gone.
“I keep on thinking about it, as it could have been a really great image and you’re lucky if you’re a photographer to get 20 good ones a year.”
Hurn was talking at the Tilt & Shift Gallery in Denbigh Street, Llanrwst, where his new exhibition, ‘A 44 Mile Radius’, is on show. The images have all been selected by Hurn on the basis of their geographical location from the market town.
Photographs range from a Miss Sunny Rhyl Beauty Pageant taken in 1972, to an image taken from the steelworks at Shotton days before it closed, to a sheepdog trial at Llandderfel.
Although it frustrates him, the images he will perhaps be remembered for best were his work around film sets in the 1960s.
He has just returned from California after photographing Jane Fonda, still a close friend of Hurn’s after he spent months on the cult sci-fi film Barbarella, starring a young Fonda.
Hurn worked on the set of the first four James Bond movies and shot the film poster for From Russia With Love, which features Sean Connery posing with a gun for the first time.
He smiles when he recounts an entourage, including the legendary Bond producer Cubby Broccoli and Connery, coming to his flat in London.
A panicked film publicist quietly told the Welshman he had forgotten Bond’s gun.
“It just happened that I liked target shooting myself with an air pistol,” said Hurn.
“It was a Walther – Bond’s pistol was a Walther PPK.
“So if you look at any of those Bond posters, there’s Bond posing with my air pistol.”
Recently he has donated more than £3m worth of his work to the National Museum Wales – 1,500 images taken over a 60-year career.
Work includes the hauntingnting images taken at Aberfanfan disaster in 1966 when 116 16 children and 28 adults s perished when the tip slid down the mountain and covered the village school.
A 44 Mile Radius by David Hurn is open at Tilt & Shift Photography y Gallery, 18 Denbigh Street, Llanrwst until November 18
David Hurn’s (left) iconic shot of James Bond. Below: Julie Christie on the tube in London in the 1960s