A Welsh photographer who acted as mentor to renowned photojournalist Philip Jones Griffiths u2013 and took pictures of secret agents during WWII u2013 has died aged 97.
Conwy Camera Club has paid tribute to one of its earliest members, E Emrys Jones, a former president.
Emrys (pictured) joined the club, formerly known as North Wales Photographic Society, soon after its formation in 1945.
He gave crucial guidance to renowned war photographer Philip Jones Griffiths who later went on to take some of the most iconic images of the Vietnam War.
‘Many younger photographers benefited from Emrys’s advice on both the technical and artistic aspects of photography,’ said club chairman Gareth Williams.
Emrys was ‘our final link to the club’s earliest years’, he added.
It was a talk given by Emrys on photographic technique that was to have a significant influence on the early career of fellow Welshman Philip Jones Griffiths.
Two years after taking up photography, Jones Griffiths listened to Emrys speak at a local club about the work of French legend Henri Cartier-Bresson.
‘The first picture of his [Cartier-Bresson’s] I ever saw was during a lecture at the Rhyl camera club when I was 16…,’ Jones Griffiths once recalled.
‘Emrys projected the picture upside down – deliberately, to disregard the subject matter and reveal the composition. It’s a lesson I’ve never forgotten.’
Jones Griffiths was Emrys’ best-known protégé, the pair embarking on ‘photography days out’, said fellow club members.
Jones Griffiths went on to become president of the famed agency Magnum Photos.
Emrys first took up photography around 1930 after training as a chemist, before joining the photographic corps of the RAF during the war.
‘During his postings to North Africa, Corsica and Italy he took aerial reconnaissance photos and recorded significant events and sights, including the body of Mussolini hanging above a street,’ said a club spokesman.
‘He also took photos of visits by General Montgomery and portraits of agents who were about to go behind enemy lines.’
After the war, Emrys trained as a teacher and married his ‘pen pal’ Gwyneth who, like Emrys, came from Caernarfon.
Both joined the North Wales Photographic Society – later renamed Conwy Camera Club – where Emrys was made president.
‘He rarely missed a meeting for more than 50 years and continued to take an interest in the club’s resurgence after ill health forced him to stop attending,’ added the club.
‘He never lost interest in the club and enjoyed visits from members telling him of the latest happenings.
‘Older members will cherish fond memories of him, especially his generosity in helping others who showed an interest in photography.
Emrys’ funeral was held in Colwyn Bay on 1 May, followed by a reception where examples of his photography went on show.
In February, the club presented Emrys with a copy of its 2011 Yearbook, featuring the best images taken by members that year.
Philip Jones Griffiths died in 2008, aged 72.