I THINK WE CAN ALL REMEMBER THAT FIRST MOMENT WHEN WE BECAME ENCHANTED BY PHOTOGRAPHY.
For me it was when, after cleaning out my late great-grandmother’s house in rural Indiana, we found what was then about a 60-year-old camera resting undisturbed in the back of a cabinet, still containing a roll of undeveloped film. Like my very own time machine, the possibilities of what was on those frames seemed endless. I imagined portraits of President Herbert Hoover fretting over the 1929 Wall Street Crash, flappers in full regalia, baseball star Babe Ruth famously ‘calling’ his home-run shot – or at the very least, my grandfather and his brothers as boys.
Instead my dreams were dashed by a lot of pictures of the kitchen: the hob, the hob from a wider angle, the table, and then a few at the beginning that looked like the lens cap was still on. It wasn’t all for naught, though. At the end of the roll were interesting shots of my great-grandparents’ barn and the surrounding pasture and it was these frames that inspired me to use my newly-obtained second-hand 35mm SLR to shoot the barn and pasture as they appeared then, circa 1989.
This special retro photography issue is all about remembering those inspiring moments in our photographic lives and we celebrate both the old and new ways of making great pictures. On page 24 Stuart Kearey shows us how he re-creates the effect of old Hollywood glamour shots in-camera, while our long-time lighting expert Neil Turner dissects his hero Terence Donovan’s iconic portrait of Terence Stamp and brings it up to date with a modern twist (page 36). You will also be fascinated by author John Wade’s story (page 85) of the Wrayflex, England’s only (and short-lived) 35mm SLR camera. Perhaps my favourite piece this month, however, is our special edition of Turning Pro in which we have compiled a list of the 101 photographers and cameras that have inspired us most. You are likely to disagree with some of our choices, and that’s fine. Let us know! We like a good debate.
Have a great Christmas and New Year, everyone, and be sure to check back in on us in 2012, if you are not already a subscriber. We have a lot of exciting things planned for you! PM
Jeff Meyer, editor
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