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Tribute to my friend, Winston Sill

Published:Sunday | August 2, 2015 | 12:00 AM


I met Winston Sill approximately 50 years ago at The Gleaner Company, when it was situated on Harbour Street in downtown Kingston. At that time, he was working in the darkroom of the Photography Department.

As a young photography student living overseas, I visited Jamaica quite often, and he would be the first person I would call on to share with me what was current in Jamaica, especially in the world of photography.

Once I moved back home, I found Winston working at another media house while I became a freelance photographer at The Gleaner. I also moved on, but eventually we reunited at The Gleaner and have been constantly in touch over the last 15 years.

Over time, our relationship grew, and so, too, did my respect for him, as I watched Winston at work. He was the quiet one; I was the more vocal, colourful one, yet this did not affect our friendship.

The way he worked became the standard by which I even judged myself. I could identify his photographs anytime, anywhere. His focus was primarily on people, in particular, the female physique, which he could capture almost to perfection. He loved beauty contests, dances, fashion shows and any activity that captured people in motion.

Winston made his mark in his own quiet way, and was a very pleasant person who treated me as a friend and embraced my family. He always had time for us. As we both grew older, we had to face the challenges that came with the rapid pace of change taking place in the photographic landscape, especially the introduction of higher-end technology. Winston never resisted or complained, but met the challenges head-on. I learnt a lot from him, despite the fact that we focused on different areas and styles of photography.

I have lost a good friend, and The Gleaner has lost a good photographic artist. I send condolences to his family, the wider media family, and his friends. May his soul rest in peace. Walk good, my friend.