Ted Grant

If you photograph people in black and white you photograph their souls, but if you photograph them in colour you photograph their clothes.

– Ted Grant (1999)

Widely regarded as the father of Canadian photojournalism, Ted Grant has been a seminal figure since the start of his career in 1951. He was instrumental in shaping Canadian newspaper photography, as he was one of the first photographers to use 35mm film, which would become the industry standard.

His career began in the darkroom of a photography firm alongside Bil Lingard and Cliff Buckman, both of whom were his first mentors. From 1957 to 1971 he worked predominantly as a freelance photographer for the National Film Board Still Photography Division, and was influenced greatly by Gar Lunney, Alfred Eisenstaedt and LIFE magazine. Best known for his sports assignments and photographs of the medical community, Grant prefers to shoot without a flash from the shadow side of a subject to give side-back lighting, a technique inspired largely by Rembrandt’s paintings.

In 1999, Grant was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Association of Photographers and Illustrators in Communications.  The collection of his body of work is the largest by a single photographer in Canadian history. A third of it is housed within the National Gallery. Photographs of note include his series on cattle ranching in Alberta, and his shoot documenting arctic exploration, including a visit from Pierre Trudeau.
NFB photographer Ted Grant mounted on a palomino horse at a Consort, Alberta ranch July 1962
Photographer unknown
black and white negative
Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography (no. 62-2888)

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