John Lennon shares some cake with Yoko Ono, workers harvest salt in Ethiopia, while in Kentucky, a couple poses for the camera to illustrate the problem of white poverty.
Meanwhile, three ranks of society – the Army, the Church and the poor – are represented in Ecuador.
These fascinating images were taken by pioneer photojournalist John Bulmer and highlight the turbulent decades of the 60s and 70s.
Born in Herefordshire in 1938, Bulmer – a grandson of the founder of the famous cider company – had worked with black and white films in the early 1960s, but the launch of The Sunday Times Color Magazine in 1962 heralded a new era.
And although the sudden change of color caught some photographers, Bulmer made the adjustment to perfection and became one of the main contributors to the magazine.
A selection of his work can now be seen in an exhibition – John Bulmer: A retrospective in color – at the Observatory's Photography Gallery in London.
Bulmer's commissions would take him to the four corners of a very changing world: the chronicle of life in more than 100 countries.
Just as European countries were withdrawing from their colonies, tensions were amplified by the contradictory forces of communist governments that simultaneously tried to expand their empires in Africa, South America and Southeast Asia.
Bulmer, now retired and living in Hereford, would later branch out into documentaries, including a piece about Van Gogh's life.
The exhibition, at 64 Marchmont Street, London WC1N 1AB, will run until December 5.
John Lennon and Yoko Ono share a cake at the Apple offices in London in 1969. The key year was when Lennon left The Beatles and married Yoko, with whom he would form the conceptual group The Plastic Ono Band. Among the other celebrities that Bulmer photographed were Peter Sellers and Meryl Streep
Ecuador 1965, near Quito: this striking image, taken by photojournalist John Bulmer, was taken two years after a military junta took control of the government and showed three levels of society: from the Army to the Church to the poor. The junta proclaimed martial law and banned the Communist Party of Ecuador on July 12, 1963. The junta would eventually be overthrown in 1966.
Salt harvest at the Massawa saltworks in Ethiopia around 1965. The images seen here were taken by Bulmer, a pioneering photojournalist and grandson of the founder of the famous cider company. His photos have been shown in many galleries around the world, including the Gallery of Modern Art in New York, the Galerie David Guirand in Paris and The Photographer's Gallery and The Courtauld Institute in London.
"Curlers and fries", millers girls in Elland, Yorkshire, 1965. Although many of his tasks would take him abroad, Bulmer was a master chronicler of the province of Great Britain. These photos appear in an exhibition – John Bulmer: a retrospective in color – in the Photography Gallery of the Observatory in London, and will run until December 5
Pyongyang, North Korea, 1973. People continue with their daily lives in the totalitarian state. A nation immersed in the cult of personality, was ruled by the supreme leader Kim Il-Sung. Bulmer's infallible eye was to distil the essence of the same contradiction that gave rise to communism; of the extremes of wealth and poverty that make capitalism possible within a single nation, exploring this division at home first and then in France and the USA. UU
Lalibela, Ethiopia, 1965. This fascinating image shows the monks waiting for the evening prayer. Known as the most sacred city in Ethiopia, it is famous for its 11 monolithic rock-cut churches that were carved into the rock 900 years ago and believed to have been carved by hand.
Pike County, Kentucky, 1967. A couple for a photo essay on white poverty. "When I knocked on the doors, I was often greeted with the barrel of a shotgun when the owner opened the door a little bit.The mining companies were dismantling the hills and leaving their farms and streams polluted.Despite this, last year the 80% of Pike County voted for Trump, "wrote John Bulmer on his Facebook page last December.
Beijing, China, 1973. At a time when a photographer often would not know for many weeks, or even months, if they had successfully captured the image they had seen in their mind, time was everything. Bulmer was a master of this