My friend and colleague Colin Case, who has died aged 72 after suffering from cancer, was an outstanding director of photography for television.
From the late 1980s he was one of the most respected cameramen in the music and arts documentary field, lighting and photographing films, and forming partnerships with leading directors that lasted many years. He showed dozens of presenters in their best light, including Sister Wendy Beckett, Howard Goodall, Jonathan Meades and Alan Titchmarsh. He also filmed 25 episodes of the drama series Lovejoy, starring Ian McShane, between 1992 and 1994.
While he made impeccable use of natural light, framing and movement, Colin’s main area of expertise lay in lighting. Films and series he photographed won the Royal Television Society’s best lighting, Bafta and Peabody awards, and were nominated for Emmy and Grierson awards. In 2013 he won the Knight of Illumination award for his stunning work on the BBC2 series Howard Goodall’s Story of Music.
Anthony Wall, the long-serving editor of the BBC’s Arena programme, said of him: “Colin made a fantastic contribution to Arena. He was a brilliant cameraman, the kind you really want to have beside you: completely supportive, patient and sympathetic. And, more than that, he had the skill and imagination to make your ideas better and to bring to the table ideas of his own.”
Born into a working-class family in Shepherd’s Bush, west London, Colin was the son of Thomas Case, a telephone engineer, and his wife, Agnes (nee Dickerson). He left school at 15 and began work as an engineer at BT, while pursuing his real love – photography – in his spare time, building a darkroom in the family home.
He began his TV career working, without pay, as a “grip” – laying the tracks for and propelling the camera. Having won one of the three places that 8,000 people had applied for, he then spent 12 long years from 1976 as an assistant cameraman at the BBC. He retired in 2013.
Colin married Jacqui Martin in 1981 and they had three children. Colin dealt with the deaths of Jacqui, in 2000, and their youngest child, Adam, in 2004, with fortitude. He is survived by his son Martin, and daughter, Robyn.