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News photographer James Atherton captured iconic Washington events

James K. W. Atherton / The Washington Post

John Mitchell, attorney general under former President Richard Nixon. Mitchell, a close personal friend of Nixon's, was sentenced to prison in 1977 for his role in the Watergate scandal.

Atherton's black and white portraits of the Watergate hearings really pack a punch.

As the Washington Post reports:

He was known to his colleagues as “Bad Light Atherton.” The nickname referred to his practice of sacrificing what other photographers considered the best (or easiest) lighting conditions for a more arresting image.

The Washington Post obituary has some great stories about Atherton, and you can see both the great pictures he took and the amazing pictures of him at work in their gallery.

James K. W. Atherton / The Washington Post

Former acting FBI director L. Patrick Gray III during Watergate hearings on August 6, 1973 in Washington, D.C.

James K.W. Atherton / The Washington Post

Fed Chairman Paul Volcker testifies in 1981.


NPPA story on James Atherton.