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Moscow and Nigeria

A Kremlin church at night, Moscow
A Kremlin church at night, Moscow 1955, Brake, Brian (1927–1988), Moscow. Gift of Mr Raymond Wai-Man Lau, 2001. Te Papa

Brake’s first big assignments were a trip to Moscow in the winter of 1955, and to Nigeria in 1956 to cover Queen Elizabeth II’s visit.

Magnum saw the royal visit as a good learning opportunity for Brake, and he was told to watch how other photographers operated.

He particularly observed one from Paris Match, later recalling: ‘Usually all the others gathered in a spot which they considered a good vantage point. But this one didn’t. He was always sauntering around in the background. And when he moved, he moved just before he wanted the shot, then quickly melted away again. He was always on the move, never still. So I did what he did.’

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