Michael Colin Campbell is a master photographer of the first rank who has worked, studied, and hobnobbed with some of photography’s all-time greats. He is also a fascinating and multi-talented individual with a background and knowledge base so remarkably diverse that his astounding photographic versatility is the inevitable consequence of who he is, namely an international athlete, scientist, photographer, artist, writer, track coach, geologist, college professor; or in other words a 21st century renaissance man.
Born in the UK near London, Campbell studied physics, math, and chemistry at a 550 year old top private school. When he left school he worked for a year at the Kodak Research Lab, as assistant under the world renowned Color scientist Dr. R.W.G.Hunt, Michael became Kodak’s leading expert on the Dye Transfer Process.
To make a little extra money on the side he designed heraldic coats of arms, one of which was for the Middlesex Yomanry Officers Club.
Campbell left Kodak to enter Leicester University where he earned a masters degree in geology. Which required spending months on the remote island of Iona in the Atlantic off the Scottish coast over a period of two years, he wrote a 25,000 word thesis on the Geological History of Iona and later published a book on the geological history of the Scottish Inner Hebrides.
He also at this time, and over a period of fourteen ears, was representing Great Britain in International track and field meets all over Europe as the UK high jump champion and record holder and became founder of the Leicester University Track team which became the British Universities Champions in one year. Campbell was captain of the British team at the World Student Games in Budapest. He also represented his university in cricket, golf, tennis, table tennis, squash rackets, bridge and chess.
When he left Leicester he returned to Kodak, because the jobs in geology were on oil rigs in the North Sea or in rempte regions of the world and he was training for the Mexico Olympics. He soon demonstrated an ability and passion for photography and won a prestigious Kodak award with his first competition print. He became a graduate lecturer in the internationally renowned Kodak Photographic School in Harrow and was soon teaching photographic technology to professionals from all over the world.
In 1970 at the age of 26 Campbell was offered a post of Senior Lecturer at the Salisbury College of Art . In 1973, he shot his first commercial comissioned portrait, a compelling image of former British Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden that Eden used for his best-selling book, Another World.
In 1979 Campbell came to the USA to work with the world-renowned photographic artist and teacher Paul Caponigro on Caponigro’s acclaimed book, The Megaliths, which included iconic images of Stonehenge and other European stone circles, he then traveled to California where he stayed with Ansel Adams.
As a result of this inspirational visit, Campbell wrote a major article on Adams, for the British Journal of Photography What followed were stints as a portrait photographer, university professor of photography, and manager of a major portrait studio. All during this time Campbell was continually creating outstanding and profound images in genres ranging from portraiture, fine art photography, advertising, sports, landscapes, and equestrian photography.”
By Jason Schneider; Editor Popular Photography