A photographer who led one of the world’s largest news agencies to switch from black and white to colour photography has died.

William J ‘Sandy’ Colton worked at Associated Press (AP) for more than 20 years, during which time he became the agency’s photo editor.

He died on Christmas Day aged 83, states a report published by the agency today.

Colton supervised ‘innovative changes’, including AP’s conversion from black and white to colour photography in the late 1970s.

‘Sandy Colton’s versatility as both writer and picture guy made him especially valuable,’ said Hal Buell, the agency’s former chief photo editor.

Buell added: ‘His experience, technical expertise and tireless work ethic helped AP solve problems at a time when photography was changing to all colour, and eventually to digital transmission and digital photography.’

To read the full AP story click here.