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Tribute to Michael Putland two years on

Tribute to Michael Putland two years on

November 18, 2021

Lorraine Milligan has worked with some of the music industry’s leading photographers but one man stood out – Michael Putland, who passed away two years ago today.


‘Little did I appreciate, when my Uncle Alan encouraged my photography back in the 1950s, that this would lead me to a career photographing nearly all of my heroes. It has been a fantastic ride through an incredible period of music history, which combined my two great loves: music and photography.’ Those are the words of my good friend Michael Putland, who sadly passed away two years ago.

In the course of a long and hugely successful career, he photographed the likes of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Roger Daltry, Jeff Beck, Billy Joel, Madonna and Michael Jackson, and toured the world with acts such as The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Wham and The Cure.

Michael Putland with Lorraine Milligan, taken by Marie Naffah

Michael Putland with Lorraine Milligan, taken by Marie Naffah

As I’m a former dancer and choreographer, the fusion of music, performance and images have always been an important part of my life but it wasn’t until I embarked on my second career as a hair and make-up artist that I came into Michael’s orbit. Fresh out of Shepperton Studios make-up school in 2003 I was asked to do a booking at Pinewood Studios that resulted in me being recommended to Retna Pictures, which was owned by Michael.

I was taken onto their books as a freelance hair and make-up artist for their lifestyle and beauty photographers, and when I finally got to meet Michael, we immediately connected. It was clear that we shared the same artistic eye and love of perfection, and so began a long creative association and cherished friendship.

Tribute to Michael Putland two years on 1

Former Beatle John Lennon (1940 – 1980) with his wife Yoko Ono at his home, Tittenhurst Park, near Ascot, Berkshire, July 1971.

Michael Putland was born in 1947 and grew up in Harrow. He left school at 16 and worked as an assistant to various photographers, including Time Life photographer Walter Curtin. But his passion was music.

One of the first rolls of colour he shot was of Jimi Hendrix playing at Woburn Festival in 1968. ‘I just took one roll, I could not afford more,’ he later recalled. ‘Beat Instrumental used it on the cover, then lost the whole roll, which was never recovered!’

Bob Marley, Mick Jagger and Peter Tosh backstage at a Rolling Stones gig by Michael Putland

Bob Marley, Mick Jagger and Peter Tosh backstage at a Rolling Stones gig. The Palladium, New York, 1978

You used to be able to just walk into magazines, so Michael would visit the office where Melody Maker, New Musical Express and Disc and Music Echo were based, but he was too nervous to put his photos on their desk, so he would go next door to Cage & Aviary Birds magazine and hide in their office.

Then, when it was all clear, he would dart into Melody Maker, leave the images on their desk and swiftly exit. After a couple of years with no lucky break and debts mounting, Michael decided to quit photography and get a ‘proper job’ as a printer. As he was packing up his studio, the phone rang. It was Judy Nokes at Disc and Music Echo.

‘We’ve got a job for you,’ she said. Michael explained that he had quit photography, but Judy persisted: ‘It’s Mick Jagger.’ Michael’s response was immediate: ‘Ok, I’ll do it!’ This was the start of a 17-year relationship with The Rolling Stones.

Donna Summer performs on stage in Washington, USA, 1978 by Michael Putland

Donna Summer performs on stage in Washington, USA, 1978

In 1973 he toured with them for six weeks. He later recounted: ‘The first day, in Vienna, I shot a press call for Mick, the sound check and then the concert… took the first flight next morning to my darkroom in London, processed the film in three-gallon tanks, made the prints and once dried, was back in the car hand-delivering the prints to music mags and newspapers; then back to the airport.’

Michael shot continuously for Disc and Music Echo, Sounds, Smash Hits and Q, as well as for artists and record labels. It was a jet-set life that found him on the road a lot, but it wasn’t always a rock’n’roll lifestyle.

‘I came off the Stones tour and immediately went on The Osmonds’ tour,’ he once recollected. ‘They were lovely, really sweet, but it wasn’t what I was used to. It was very good financially to shoot them, they were huge. I remember the PR for Polydor saying, “You look quite ashen, Michael.” I was sitting at the back of the plane drinking milk, because there was no booze!’

Madness photographed in London, 1981 by Michael Putland

English pop/ska band Madness photographed in London, 1981. This image was used on the cover of 7, the group’s third album

Back in 1969, aged 22, Michael had set up his own studio in the basement of 40 Churton Street, London – an address that, by pure coincidence would years later become the home of Grays of Westminster. Gray Levett, of Grays of Westminster, told me about the parallels of their lives.

‘When I moved back to the UK from America, I was working in the music industry and had the idea for a camera business,’ Gray explained. ‘I started Grays of Westminster in my sister’s modest basement, but sharing the space was just not workable, so I started looking for premises. A barber’s shop became available, at 40 Churton Street.

Time had not been good to it but I decided to take it on, and discovered a darkroom, behind a wall in the basement. When I removed the door, the smell of the fumes almost took my head off! There were stalactites of limestone hanging off the old metal enlarger.

‘I came into the shop one day and Raffi, our sales manager, was serving this very tall, slim, distinguished- looking chap. Michael introduced himself and explained, “I just had to come and buy my Nikon from you, because between 1969 and 1973 I was the struggling photographer in the basement of this building!”

Alice Cooper wearing a dress and false pregnancy bulge by Michael Putland

Alice Cooper wearing a dress and false pregnancy bulge, 1974. Shot in what is now Grays of Westminster’s basement showroom

‘I almost fell over! Michael was a hero of mine. I told him about my discovery of the darkroom. We went down to the basement that had been his studio and he pointed to the spot where I was standing. “That’s where I photographed Alice Cooper,” he told me.

‘Michael and I discussed gigs that we had photographed over the years and discovered so many parallels in our lives; we were like satellites that had navigated around each other. We became firm friends. I couldn’t get over what an incredibly humble man he was. He was a gentleman of the old school with talent to burn and it was a joy to get to know him, everybody in the shop adored him.’

This generosity of spirit is something that comes up repeatedly among those who knew Michael. Respected music photographer Jill Furmanovsky recounted an incident when she was starting out. ‘In the heady Rainbow days of my early career I met Mike Putland in the orchestra pit during a gig.

Robert Smith of The Cure, in Brazil, March 1987

Robert Smith of The Cure, in Brazil, March 1987

It was 1972 and I was an 18-year-old art student, whose entire training consisted of a two-week course in photography before being offered the chance to work at The Rainbow as their photographer. The problem was that I was vastly under-qualified for the job.

‘I found a way to increase my technical knowledge during one particularly long drum solo that was often part of a live gig: ask a professional. Not all of them were willing to help a young student – one even elbowed me out of the way! But Mike was one of the generous ones.

I remember shouting to him above the crashing cymbals: “How do you process uprated Tri-X?” With a cheeky smile he shouted back, “Microphen, 9 1/2 minutes, 68 degrees for 1000ASA!” From then on I knew how to process uprated black & white film and also gained a much-respected, talented friend, on my journey to becoming a professional photographer. I will never forget his generosity.’

Duran Duran, London, 1981 by Michael Putland

Duran Duran, London, 1981. Left to right (back): Nick Rhodes, Simon Le Bon. (Front) John Taylor, Roger Taylor, Andy Taylor

Relocating to New York in 1977 Michael founded the photo agency Retna Pictures, which fast became one of the most respected photo libraries in the world. It included rare and early images of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Bob Marley, Elton John and hundreds of other major performing artists; and later expanded to include events as well as fashion and lifestyle stock shots.

Demand for Michael’s work was high, he was at the top of his game during the revolution in music photography and was able to navigate and move with the times.

Mick Jagger sleeping alongside his wife Bianca Jagger

Mick Jagger sleeping alongside his wife Bianca Jagger, the morning after the end of their European Tour party in Berlin, Germany, on 20 October 1973

Matthew Butson, vice president of Getty Images and a friend of Michael’s, told me, ‘I was fortunate to have known Michael for a number of years, long before he became a contributor to Getty Images, well over a decade ago. Though he left behind a wonderful body of work this alone does not do justice to the man himself.

It may be a cliché, but Michael was one of the true gentlemen in the often-cut-and-thrust world of music photography – kind, thoughtful and always truly humble. Michael’s constant positivity was only equalled by his passion for photography.

‘Setting up the Retna Agency enabled Michael to expand his skillset further, and his support for his fellow photographers was considerable, but his true calling was always the camera and he admitted to me that running a business was never part of the grand plan, so he was relieved to return solely to his first love, albeit some 30 years later than expected.’

Pete Townshend of The Who throws his guitar in the air on stage at Madison Square Garden

Pete Townshend of The Who throws his guitar in the air on stage at Madison Square Garden, New York, USA, September 1979

Michael spent his later years working mostly on personal projects. For 15 years we worked together at home and abroad for Retna, from The Hebrides to Miami Beach. We also created our own themed fashion and beauty-based projects when budget and availability allowed. With Michael, I would often have to start the hair and make-up at dawn, so we could capture that ‘golden light’ he so loved.

The models loved Michael because he had a way of naturally putting them at ease. Michael’s style was cinematic, real, and honest. He captured the essence of the model. We were both particularly fond of 1950’s style, and of ethereal beauty; he even had a stylist create a human-sized set of dragonfly wings, because he knew about my love of fairies.

Eva - ‘Water Nymph’, taken at Mousetail Barton

Eva – ‘Water Nymph’, taken at Mousetail Barton, Michael’s home in Devon

The last years of Michael’s life were busier than perhaps he had anticipated, with a series of exhibitions including the 2014 Getty Gallery’s 50 Year Retrospective. Among our last assignments together Michael and I had the pleasure of working with the sensational Norma Winstone MBE at her home in Kent, and a new young talent, Marie Naffah, on location in London – two outstanding jazz singers of our time at both ends of the age scale.

On 18 November 2019 Michael sadly passed away, peacefully at home, after a short illness. He is sorely missed by so many who mourn his passing, but Michael has left an indelible imprint through his work, and a lasting legacy.


Tributes to Michael from friends and family

Sophie Putland, Michael’s wife

‘During our 40-year friendship prior to becoming life partners I knew only a fraction of Michael’s extraordinary career, mainly from amusingly told, self-effacing stories of his experiences and travels. This is perhaps a testament to Michael’s humility and overriding interest in listening to others rather than himself.

These same qualities enabled him to place those he photographed at ease, not only allowing the soul of his subject to be seen, but in doing so telling us so much about the gentle man behind the lens. Michael always had the utmost respect for everyone he photographed and keenly felt the privilege not only of the opportunities he was given, but the trust he was offered which, needless to say, was completely mutual.’

David Bowie paints the coving of his ground-floor flat at Haddon Hall in silver paint by Michael Putland

David Bowie paints the coving of his ground-floor flat at Haddon Hall in silver paint, Beckenham, 24 April 1972. Taken just after the recording of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, before its release on 6 June, 1972

Julie Grahame, Director of Retna NY

‘Michael was first my boss, then my business partner and dear friend. My mentor. We met in 1989 when I interviewed for a job at Retna UK. It was apparent that Michael respected and elevated women in ways that I had not encountered before. He was so open and non-judgmental, with a thirst for photography, and for life and people in general.

We worked with hundreds of photographers, and he supported them too, making sure that if there were jobs around that the younger ones got them. He wasn’t interested in ego or competing. Michael was always respectful of the people he had photographed and perpetually humble about his own photography.

In 1992 I moved to Retna New York to “kick some ass” and Michael would visit regularly. He taught me how to be an ethical businessperson, and to do the monthly accounts on the back of an envelope.’

Jazz singer Marie Naffah portrait

Jazz singer Marie Naffah – one of the last assignments Lorraine did with Michael before he became ill

Matthew Butson, VP, Getty Images

‘Michael’s last book, The Music I Saw, is a fitting testament to his craft over six decades and he never failed to acknowledge the great part that fellow music photographer and future business partner David Redfern played in developing his career. David and Michael’s paths crossed many times covering gigs during the sixties and they became firm friends.

It was David who helped Michael gain access to the hallowed ground that was BBC Television Centre and ultimately to Top of the Pops and The Old Grey Whistle Test. In those days, access to the stars was considerably easier than it is today. Michael’s charm and impeccable manners enabled him to connect with the many musicians who provided the soundtrack to our lives.

‘Whether covered in foam and nearly suffocating for The Rolling Stones It’s Only Rock’n’Roll video shoot, or simply knocking on David Bowie’s door whilst Bowie was decorating his home in Beckenham (in full Bowie regalia, paintbrush in hand), Michael was at ease with the great and good and developed relationships with many of the stars he shot over the years, not least Bowie whom Michael shot in 1973 at the first concert on the fabled “Ziggy Stardust” tour at Borough Assembly Hall in Aylesbury.’

Kylie Minogue at the poetry Olympics Royal Albert hall London 1996

Kylie Minogue at the poetry Olympics Royal Albert hall London 1996 Australian pop singer and actress Kylie Minogue attends the Poetry Olympics at the Royal Albert Hall in London, 1996.

Edu Hawkins, music photographer

‘It is the enormity of Michael’s kindness, humility and generosity of spirit that radiate most from his images. People liked him. He put them at ease and they were comfortable in his presence. Michael’s pictures tell us as much about the person behind the lens, as the people in front of it.

The essence of good music photography is the same as the essence of good music – communication of personality, moment and feeling always wins over technique. To my mind, Michael was a bluesman with a camera.’

Tribute to Michael Putland two years on 2

Michael’s last book, The Music I Saw, is available to order from www.michaelputland.com

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The Mazamas, 100+ years ago ~ Photography News

The Mazamas, 100+ years ago ~ Photography News

July 19, 2018 /Photography News/ Have you ever wondered what your great-grandfather did for fun? While some undoubtedly whittled their lives away, others were out conquering the wilderness. If you’re from Oregon, ol’ grandpa might have even been part of the Mazamas.

On top of Mt. Hood, the original 105 charter members of the Mazamas founded their organization 124 years ago, on 19 July 1894. Since the organization’s founding, the Mazamas have fought for environmental preservation, built a number of lodges, named Mt. Mazama, and, of course, promoted and taught basic climbing education.



Mazamas hiking trip to Mt. Rainier. Creator: Kiser Photo Co. Date Original: 1905. Original Form: Gelatin silver prints. Original Collection: Gerald W. Williams Collection

Mazamas hiking trip to Mt. Rainier. Creator: Kiser Photo Co. Date Original: 1905. Original Form: Gelatin silver prints. Original Collection: Gerald W. Williams Collection

Image Title: Mazamas hiking through the snow on Mt. Rainier. Creator: Kiser Photo Co. Date Original: 1905. Original Form: Gelatin silver prints. Original Collection: Gerald W. Williams Collection

Image Title: Mazamas hiking through the snow on Mt. Rainier. Creator: Kiser Photo Co. Date Original: 1905. Original Form: Gelatin silver prints. Original Collection: Gerald W. Williams Collection

Image Title: Mountaineers in ice cave, Paradise Glacier, Mt. Rainier. Date Original: 1920. Original Form: Gelatin silver prints. Original Collection: Gerald W. Williams Collection

Image Title: Mountaineers in ice cave, Paradise Glacier, Mt. Rainier. Date Original: 1920. Original Form: Gelatin silver prints. Original Collection: Gerald W. Williams Collection

Image Title: Mountaineers on top of Mt. Snoqualmie. Date Original: 1915. Original Form: Gelatin silver prints. Original Collection: Gerald W. Williams Collection

Image Title: Mountaineers on top of Mt. Snoqualmie. Date Original: 1915. Original Form: Gelatin silver prints. Original Collection: Gerald W. Williams Collection

Image Title: Man with motion picture camera near glacier, Mt. Rainier. Creator: Kiser Photo Co. Date Original: 1905. Original Form: Gelatin silver prints. Original Collection: Gerald W. Williams Collection

Image Title: Man with motion picture camera near glacier, Mt. Rainier. Creator: Kiser Photo Co. Date Original: 1905. Original Form: Gelatin silver prints. Original Collection: Gerald W. Williams Collection

Image Title: Mazamas or mountaineers group at Paradise Inn, Mt. Rainier. Date.Original: 1920. Original Form: Gelatin silver prints. Original Collection: Gerald W. Williams Collection

Image Title: Mazamas or mountaineers group at Paradise Inn, Mt. Rainier. Date.Original: 1920. Original Form: Gelatin silver prints. Original Collection: Gerald W. Williams Collection

Photographs courtesy of the Oregon State University.

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Reviewing the Fujifilm 23mm f/2 After Four Years of Ownership

Reviewing the Fujifilm 23mm f/2 After Four Years of Ownership

Fujifilm has some undoubtedly impressive lenses in their line-up, across several mounts, but this little prime could well be near the top. Here is a review by one photographer who has been using it for 4 years.

Any person who has read a handful of my article will likely know my love for Fujifilm. While my workhorse is still Sony, the camera I use for the sheer love of photography is the Fujifilm GFX 50R (although it does get used for work too!) I’ve never been particularly effective at unpacking what it is about Fujifilm cameras I enjoy so much, but they seem to just click with me. In fact, a few times I’ve debated migrating completely.

In their line-up, there are multiple lenses that are well-revered amongst photographers. One of which is the Fujifilm XF 23mm f/2 R WR lens. You could be forgiven for being a touch confused as to why it seems to dominate its much faster sibling, the XF 23mm f/1.4 R LM WR, but it does. The f/2 is half the price of the f/1.4, though the latter is still only $899.95. I haven’t used both lenses, so I can’t compare, all I do know is that the general consensus about the f/2 is that it is a brilliant lens.

In this review, Eren Sarigul, an excellent street photographer from my little island in the U.K., talks about his experience with the lens over the four years he has owned it. The fact that he has used it for four years is enough to indicate it’s not going to be a negative review, but his shots with it and reasons for enjoying it make the video well worth watching.

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New ‘5D’ Disc Storage Can Store 500TB of Data for 13 Billion Years

New ‘5D’ Disc Storage Can Store 500TB of Data for 13 Billion Years

New ‘5D’ Disc Storage Can Store 500TB of Data for 13 Billion Years 3

A new high-speed laser writing method claims that it can pack 500 terabytes (TB) of storage onto a single CD-sized glass disc. That equals somewhere in the neighborhood of 125,000,000 photos.

Researchers from the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom say they have developed a fast and energy-efficient laster-writing method that can produce high-density nanostructures in silica glass. They say that these tiny structures can be used for the long-term storage of five-dimensional (5D) optical data that is 10,000 times denser than the optical disc storage technology used for Blue-Rays.

Yuhao Lei, a doctoral researcher, says the new method encompasses two optical dimensions plus three spatial dimensions, hence the “5D” name. This new approach can write at tpeeds of about 230 kilobytes per second. This speed isn’t particularly fast when compared to SSD or even HDD writing speeds that are commercially available, but given the large amount of data that can be written to a single disc, it’s likely to be fine for data that is intended for backups or long-term storage.

“The physical mechanism we use is generic,” Lei says. “Thus, we anticipate that this energy-efficient writing method could also be used for fast nanostructuring in transparent materials for applications in 3D integrated optics and microfluidics.”

This particular method has been demonstrated before, but the speeds at which Lei and her team of researchers have achieved is what makes it useable for real-world applications. With the new method, the details of which are described on Optica, the researchers were able to write five gigabytes of text data onto a silica glass disc about the size of a standard CD with what they describe as “nearly 100% readout accuracy.”

New ‘5D’ Disc Storage Can Store 500TB of Data for 13 Billion Years 4

As noted by Engadget, this type of storage medium could withstand temperatures up to 1,000 degrees Celcius and last 13.8 billion years at room temperature without degrading. Both factors are significant upgrades over current long-term storage options. That’s nearly indestructible from the standpoint of what normal data storage has to put up with, but it’s not clear how fragile the disc is to something like dropping.

They say that with the writing density available, the disc would be able to hold 500 TB of data which could be written to that single disc in about 60 days (if writing in parallel). That sounds like a long time, but given the amount of time it can take to upload and download data remotely even with good internet, two months of time for 500 TB of long-term storage isn’t terribly inefficient, and the robustness of the storage medium would make it more than worth it.

What’s more, the team is now working on ways to increase the writing speed of their method to make it feasible to use outside of a laboratory. If that speed can be increased, they will have developed a small and practical method for long-term data storage.


Photo credits: Yuhao Lei and Peter G. Kazansky, University of Southampton

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‘Orbital Planes’ Series Documents 30 Years of the Space Shuttle Program

'Orbital Planes' Series Documents 30 Years of the Space Shuttle Program

'Orbital Planes' Series Documents 30 Years of the Space Shuttle Program 5

Roland Miller is a photographer who has focused his lens on U.S. space exploration programs over the course of the last 30 years. His latest series and book, Orbital Planes, is a visual presentation of the entire decades-long journey.

Miller’s full series of photos will be encompassed in a 200-page photo book called Orbital Planes: A Personal Vision of the Space Shuttle and will be released in the fall of 2022. It is being published by Damiani Editore in Bologna, Italy.

He says that the book is a visual presentation of his journey documenting and interpreting the Space Shuttle, including the orbiters, rockets, and manufacturing, testing, and launch facilities located around the United States. Along with the photos are his accounts of interactions with the Space Shuttle program and its personnel.

'Orbital Planes' Series Documents 30 Years of the Space Shuttle Program 6
Port Side T-0 Umbilical Panel
Space Shuttle Endeavour
STS-134 OPF to VAB Rollover
NASA Kennedy Space Center, Florida
'Orbital Planes' Series Documents 30 Years of the Space Shuttle Program 7
External Tank and SRB “Stack,” STS-133
High Bay 3
Vehicle Assembly Building
NASA Kennedy Space Center, Florida
'Orbital Planes' Series Documents 30 Years of the Space Shuttle Program 8
Launch Belly View
Space Shuttle Discovery, STS-133
Launch Pad 39A
NASA Kennedy Space Center, Florida

“I approached this subject in a hybrid style of documentary and abstract imagery to tell a more complete story,” he says. “My hope is that Orbital Planes will give the reader their own personal view of the Space Shuttle and the technology and facilities that helped it fly.”

Miller started documenting the Space Shuttle program when he was teaching photography at a college near Kennedy Space Center, and in 2008 put in significant and concentrated effort into documenting the final years of the program. He says that Orbital Planes is the result of that work and contains images from that 30 year period, with an emphasis on the final years of the program before it was decommissioned.

'Orbital Planes' Series Documents 30 Years of the Space Shuttle Program 9
RSS Rolled Back
Space Shuttle Discovery, STS-133
Launch Pad 39A
NASA Kennedy Space Center, Florida
'Orbital Planes' Series Documents 30 Years of the Space Shuttle Program 10
Launch of STS-129
Space Shuttle Atlantis
Vehicle Assembly Building Roof
NASA Kennedy Space Center, Florida
'Orbital Planes' Series Documents 30 Years of the Space Shuttle Program 11
Commander’s Console
Space Shuttle Endeavour
Orbiter Processing Facility 2
NASA Kennedy Space Center, Florid

In order to offset costs related to producing the book and to offer prints of selected images from the project, Miller has launched a Kickstarter for the project. As part of the crowdfunding campaign, backing options include signed copies of the Orbital Planes book, images from the book in a variety of sizes, and copies of Miller’s other two space photography books: Abandoned in Place: Preserving America’s Space History and Interior Space: A Visual Exploration of the International Space Station, the latter which was co-authored with Italian astronaut, Paolo Nespoli.

Interior Space was successfully funded on Kickstarter in 2020.

'Orbital Planes' Series Documents 30 Years of the Space Shuttle Program 12
Fuselage Flag and Wing
Space Shuttle Discovery
Vehicle Assembly Building
NASA Kennedy Space Center, Florid
'Orbital Planes' Series Documents 30 Years of the Space Shuttle Program 13
Aft with Tail Cone
Space Shuttle Discovery
Vehicle Assembly Building
NASA Kennedy Space Center, Florida

The finished book will be printed on what Miller describes as high-quality paper and will be 11.7 x 9.8 inches in size, hardbound with 200 pages and 150 color photos. All books sold through the Kickstarter will be signed copies. Any prints offered as rewards will be printed on high-quality archival paper with pigment inks and will also be signed.

Mulitple reward tiers are available for the book which starts at $55 and range as high as $1,500, all of which can be perused on the Orbital Planes Kickstarter.

'Orbital Planes' Series Documents 30 Years of the Space Shuttle Program 14
ISS Airlock and Hatch
Space Shuttle Discovery
Orbiter Processing Facility 1
NASA Kennedy Space Center, Florida
'Orbital Planes' Series Documents 30 Years of the Space Shuttle Program 15
Exhaust Port Detail
Space Shuttle Main Engine Testing
A2 Test Stand
NASA Stennis Space Center, Mississippi

Disclaimer: Make sure you do your own research into any crowdfunding project you’re considering backing. While we aim to only share legitimate and trustworthy campaigns, there’s always a real chance that you can lose your money when backing any crowdfunded project.


Image credits: All photos by Roland Miller and used with permission.

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Park Cameras celebrate 50 years with Imaging Festival 2021

park cameras imaging festival promotional banner

Events in person are back at Park Cameras as their Imaging Festival returns in October 2021! Celebrating their 50th year of trading as an independent photo retailer, Park Cameras are laying on a whole range of free photo seminars for you to attend with the aim to inspire and teach customers about new aspects of photography they may not have previously considered.

Over the last decade, the Imaging Festival has been a regular fixture on the photographic calendar that photo enthusiasts from all over the country have looked forward to attending, and the entire team at Park Cameras are delighted that the environment has now allowed for the event to be hosted once again.

park cameras imaging festival promotional banner

In addition to this, by visiting on the day, you can get hands-on with some of the latest gear to have been announced, including the Canon EOS R3, Fujifilm GFX 50S II and the compact Ricoh GR IIIx.

The Imaging Festival will be held on Saturday 2nd October at their Burgess Hill store in West Sussex, and Saturday 9th October at their Central London store, located just off Oxford Street.

Learn from the experts and bag an incredible deal

The Imaging Festival has been carefully curated to suit photographers of all levels – whether you’re a beginner, enthusiast or a use photography to make a living, you will leave the day feeling inspired.

Park Cameras have two of the largest photographic stores in the country with dedicated areas to allow customers to try out the latest products available on the market.

At the Imaging Festival, their own expert staff will be joined by technical experts from over 20+ of the largest photographic brands including Canon, Sony, Fujifilm, Olympus, Panasonic, Hasselblad, Sigma, Tamron, Zeiss, Epson, Vanguard, 3 Legged Thing, H&Y and many more. Visit on the day and they’ll help get your questions answered, no matter how obscure they might be!

Canon EOS R3, Fujifilm GFX 50S II and Ricoh GR IIIx.

Upon visiting the Imaging Festival, it’s also a great opportunity to take a home a bargain as there will be a wide-range of exclusive in store only deals to take advantage of, on both cameras and lenses, but also accessories such as tripods, bags, filters and binoculars.

There will also be a number of talks from professional photographers focussing on various topics including how to give your images impact, how you can try out new genres of photography, and how photography can help with your mental health from top experts such as David Clapp, Glyn Dewis, Chad Gordon Higgins, Ron Timehin, and Paul Sanders.

Places can be booked by visiting www.parkcameras.com/imaging-festival.

With so much going on throughout the day, at their Burgess Hill store, Park Cameras have also teamed up with local charity St. Peter and St. James Hospice to offer refreshments including tea, coffee and some light bites.

There will also be the opportunity to enter their raffle and win some fantastic prizes with all proceeds going towards the hospice, who provide expert and compassionate care to adults in Burgess Hill, and the surrounding towns and villages.

Park Cameras celebrate 50 years with Imaging Festival 2021 16

The team at Park Cameras are really looking forward to seeing photo enthusiasts at the Imaging Festival 2021, but appreciate that things are a little different at the current time. However, they have taken steps to ensure that customers, brand representatives and employees enjoy their time at the store, but also feel safe and comfortable.

They will have hand sanitising stations located around the store and are encouraging the use of face coverings when visiting. You can learn more about the procedures they have put in place by visiting their website.

With all this in mind, a visit to Park Cameras on the 2nd October (Burgess Hill) or 9th October (London) will not only be worth it, you’ll pick up some great tips and tricks to improve your photography and it will save you money on a range of your favourite photographic kit, too!

To keep updated with everything that will be taking place at both Imaging Festivals and to book your free seminar place, simply visit www.parkcameras.com/imaging-festival. This is a date that anyone with an interest of photography, from a beginner to professional surely cannot miss!


About Park Cameras

Established in Burgess Hill, West Sussex in 1971, Park Cameras are one of the UK’s leading independent photographic retailers, serving the needs of all photographers, from enthusiasts to professionals, and have built an enviable reputation for outstanding customer service.

In 2008 Park Cameras opened a new purpose-built showroom at their West Sussex headquarters, offering an incredible range of photographic equipment. With a clear emphasis on touch and try, the showroom is a flagship outlet for many of the leading photographic brands, with customers able to try a massive range of the latest photo products.

Friendly and informative staff are on hand to provide help and assistance, whilst the Fujifilm lab and in-house print centre provides customers with a wide range of developing and printing services.

November 2013 saw another milestone in Park Cameras history as they opened a brand new store in Central London, run with the same ethos as Burgess Hill, with the aim to become London’s best camera store.

In 2021, Park Cameras was transitioned to an Employee Ownership Trust. Being beneficiaries of the trust will ensure our staff drive a new level of enthusiasm and commitment to our customers. We will always strive to make Park Cameras the most inspiring place for everything photographic, for any level of photographer and videographer.

Park Cameras is an authorised Canon Pro Partner, Nikon Professional Dealer, Olympus Premium Dealer and Sony Digital Imaging Professional Retailer and home to over 15,000 products from more than 50 of the world’s leading photographic brands.


Further reading

Park Cameras now employee-owned, reports strong sales despite lockdowns

“Lots of customers wanting conversations”: Park Cameras

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Photographer reunited with lost camera found after 12 years

Traveler DC-XZ6 camera found after 12 years

Ken Critchley has been reunited with a camera he lost 12 years ago, after Mike Price found it on a walk in the North West of Scotland. Both Ken and Mike are photographers and hikers, and on a separate walk, 12 years later, Mike ended up on exactly the same spot where Ken lost his camera.

The camera no longer worked, but the memory card worked perflectly, and thanks to Ken taking a photograph of his name, address and contact details, Mike was able to reunite Ken with his camera and photos!

“I was delighted to see some of the pictures from a memorable trip”, says Ken. “Losing the camera on the very last hill day brought on a depressed mood almost like a bereavement”.

Mike has shared photographs from the camera, as well as more details on how the camera was lost, plus how and where it was found below.

Traveler DC-XZ6 camera found after 12 years

Traveler DC-XZ6 camera found after 12 years


Lost camera found after 12 years in Scottish peat

A digital camera has been found twelve years after it was lost in a remote part of North West Scotland. The small digital camera fell off Ken Critchley’s belt while he was beginning the last day of a two-week hiking trip back in July 2009. “I stopped to adjust my trouser belt” recalls Ken. “I’d missed a belt loop and it didn’t feel right”. A few minutes later he stopped again to take a picture and realised his camera was missing. He searched the area for half an hour, returning the following day to search for another hour but found nothing. “I ended up totally deflated”, says Ken. “I drove home to Wigan, mourning the loss of pictures from a wonderful trip that included the Isle of Skye, the Torridon hills and the surrounding area.”

Ken's route in orage, Mike's in blue

Ken’s route in orange, Mike’s route in blue, and where the camera was found

Twelve years to the month after Ken’s loss, Mike Price was exploring North West Scotland alone in July 2021. “I was hiking and camping in the area very spontaneously” he says. “I’d been in very low cloud much of the time. It had been pretty grim so I decided to stay off the summits that day.” Unable to cross the Gruinard river that drains Loch na Sealga, Mike had climbed the opposite way to reach the Inverianvie river and its impressive waterfalls. “There were no footpaths but I picked up a deer track” recalls Mike. “The mist lifted briefly and revealed a small lochan so I stopped to take a photograph and check my map”. He noticed something at his feet. “It was so bizarre”, he says, “I felt I was in the middle of nowhere, wondering if anyone had ever been there, and then I noticed this small black case stuck in the peat.” Mike picked it up and was surprised to find a digital camera inside.

The recovered camera after being left for 12 years

The recovered camera after being left for 12 years

Once home, Mike was able to remove the camera’s memory card. “I was surprised that the camera wasn’t in worse condition” he says. “It wouldn’t respond to power but the memory card was as if new”. Inserting it into his computer he found photographs and their date. With great foresight, Ken had taken a photograph of his name, e-mail address and phone number. Ken, now 80, still had the same phone number so Mike was able to return the memory card.

The Quiraing on Skye by Ken Critchley

The Quiraing on Skye by Ken Critchley

“I was delighted to see some of the pictures from a memorable trip”, says Ken. “Losing the camera on the very last hill day brought on a depressed mood almost like a bereavement”.

Overlooking Glen Elchaig by Ken Critchley

Overlooking Glen Elchaig by Ken Critchley

“The coincidence seems incredible”, says Mike. “We were on completely different routes which happened to cross at the exact point where Ken dropped his camera. I find it hard to believe. I only stopped there by chance, as did Ken.”

“I’m overjoyed” says Ken. “I now have 72 pictures from a fabulous two-week trip, which I thought I had lost forever.”

View of Lochan Giubhais by Mike Price where the camera was found

View of Lochan Giubhais by Mike Price – where the camera was found

The area of North West Scotland in which the camera was found is about half way between the coastal towns of Gairloch and Ullapool, an area known as Wester Ross. More specifically, the location referred to is in the Fisherfield Forest, a largely remote and treeless area of hills, mountains, lochs, rivers, peat and bog.

An experienced hiker, Ken has climbed all the notable peaks of Scotland including the ‘Munros’ by 1990, all the ‘Corbetts’ by 2006 and was well on his way to completing the ‘Grahams’ (completed in 2014). That day his objective was the remote hill called Beinn a’ Chàisgein Beag, classified as a ‘Graham’ it rises to 682m above sea level.

Ken Critchley has Munroist No. 727 at the Scottish Mountaineering Club.

Also an experienced hiker, London-based Mike Price has an unusual track record of finding strangers’ lost items, including a pair of spectacles, a spectacle lens, several sets of house keys, and a set of car keys. This is his second camera find.


A donation has been made in Amateur Photographer’s name to Blood Cancer UK in lieu of a fee for the contributor. 

It’s not the first time a lost camera has been reunited with its owner, but it’s perhaps one of the longest lengths of time between being lost and found, at 12 years, and it’s a good job Ken made sure to include his details on a photo on the camera!

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Photographers share their 9/11 story Twenty years on

Photographers share their 9/11 story Twenty years on

Twenty years after the 9/11 tragedy, Amy Davies looks back at iconic images from the event, and some of the photographers share their stories


Marcy Borders by Stan Honda

Photographers share their 9/11 story Twenty years on 17

Freelance photographer Stan Honda had been contributing to the press agency AFP for five years at the time of the attacks. Living in Manhattan, he was able to get to the scene quickly to document what was going on. He describes that morning here:

‘One of the other AFP photographers called me and suggested I get downtown. I took the subway line from close to where I live down to the city hall exit. While I was in the subway, the second plane had crashed. So, when I got out, there were hundreds of people just standing looking at the Twin Towers.

There was smoke coming out of both of them, which confused me because I had only heard about the first crash. ‘We had no idea what was going on – this was in the days before smartphones. For AFP, I would cover lots of the business and Wall Street stories, so I knew my way around the area pretty well. I started to make my way towards the World Trade Center, and there were probably thousands of people running against the direction I was going in. It was probably the most chaotic day I’ve ever experienced.

‘Eventually I found some phones in a bank. We had cell phones, but the service had been out, so I managed to contact my boss here in New York, and also another colleague in Washington DC who filled me in. At one point I decided that the people were really the story. I tried to concentrate on getting pictures of people escaping, helping each other, trying to get out of the area and so on.

‘I was photographing the first tower when it started to collapse and there was this giant cloud of smoke and dust, and a noise like a train. I was photographing people as they were running out of that, and suddenly it became like night – you couldn’t see anything.

I was near a building with a lobby and there was a police officer pulling people in off the sidewalk for shelter. I went in there, and after about a minute, this woman walks in completely covered. ‘She sort of paused just for a second and I took that one frame and that was it.

‘At the time I didn’t think it was anything real special, but later, after I walked back to our office in Midtown – by then the public transport options were all closed – it was kind of striking to see it. It was kind of eerie, almost like something from Pompeii where the person is just white or grey. I think it resonated so well and got used so much because people can relate to the picture.

‘For news photos like this, we rarely find the identity of the person. A few months after September 11, her family called the AFP Washington office and identified her as the woman in the photo. The editors contacted me and a reporter in the New York city bureau, we were eager to find out who she was. We finally met Marcy at her Bayonne, NJ, apartment. It was a relief to see that she was physically fine.

We heard her story and I photographed her in a calmer setting. She worked for Bank of America on the 81st floor of one of the towers and managed to escape with other office workers. Unfortunately, she was still frightened of returning to lower Manhattan and was scared when hearing airplanes flying overhead. I lost touch with her and was sad to hear of her death from stomach cancer in August 2015.’


Raising the Flag at Ground Zero by Thomas E. Franklin

Photographers share their 9/11 story Twenty years on 18

This is perhaps one of the most famous photographs to come from the events of September 11. Hugely recognisable, it was used as the front page of The Record the following day, on 12 September, 2001. It was also put out on the Associated Press wire, used in newspapers and publications around the world.

One of the reasons why the photograph became so famous is that it was compared to the ‘Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima’ photograph, captured during World War Two by Joe Rosenthal. Franklin’s photo shows firefighters from Brooklyn (George Johnson, Dan McWilliams and Billy Eisengrein) erecting a flag cut from a yacht docked in the yacht basin in the Hudson River at the World Financial Center.

The photograph was taken from a distance using a telephoto lens, at around 5pm – less than eight hours after the towers had collapsed. Franklin stated that he was about 150 feet away from the firefighters, with the debris seen in the background about 90 feet behind them again. To get to the location, Franklin had hitched a ride on a tug boat across the Hudson River, arriving at the scene after both towers had collapsed.

When he saw the firefighters, he was with the famous war photographer James Nachtwey, who also went on to produce a body of work relating to the attacks. Speaking to Politico about the picture, Franklin said, ‘This picture did not stand out to me. The three men raising a flag paled in comparison to thousands of people dying and two buildings falling to the ground. I can’t even say this is the best picture I ever took – but it is the picture with the most meaning.’

As well as being used in a variety of publications both at the time of the attacks and in the 20 years since, the photograph has had a lasting legacy in other forms. It was used for a ‘Heroes 2001’ stamp by the US postal service, and there has been at least one statue commissioned replicating the shot. The actual flag itself went missing shortly after being raised, but it was recovered several years later.

The photograph is now a part of the permanent collection of the Library of Congress, and it has received dozens of other awards. In 2002, Franklin was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for his photographs from September 11, including this shot. It was also included in Life magazine’s list of 100 Photographs That Changed the World. It was used to raise money for charity on several occasions, with a 2002 autographed original print selling for almost $90,000 at Christie’s Auction House, with the proceeds being donated to two 9/11 charities.


World Trade Center Attack by Mario Tama

Photographers share their 9/11 story Twenty years on 19

New York-based photojournalist Mario Tama was one of the first photographers on the scene. He describes the panicked situation on that fateful morning.

‘I was at home in my apartment in the Lower East Side, when my editor called me in a very frantic voice to tell me that a plane had hit the World Trade Center and I needed to get to Lower Manhattan. So, I grabbed my gear and quickly headed out the door. When I got to the corner of Chrystie and Delancey [streets], I was able to see the Twin Towers and the big jagged hole in the North Tower, where the first plane had struck. I remember thinking to myself, “This is war.” I tried to hail a few cabs near that corner but had no luck, so I ran down from there to the scene.

‘That morning, before the towers collapsed, was managed chaos. I remember seeing people heading out away from the buildings towards me as I made my way there, some in shock, some bleeding, nearly everyone trying to somehow get home. As I got closer to the perimeter of the towers, I encountered more and more photographers and members of the media, and many of us were trying to get under or even into the towers.

Photographers share their 9/11 story Twenty years on 20

Something that we are often taught in photojournalism school is the famous Robert Capa line, “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you aren’t close enough”. The police kept us a bit away from the scene and probably saved a lot of photographers’ lives that day, including mine.
‘I tried to make my way around the police barricades and walked around Trinity Church to head up Greenwich toward the South Tower – when I heard a sharp sound, looked up, and saw the South Tower begin to collapse above me.

At that moment I was transformed from a photojournalist into just another New Yorker running for their life as the tower collapsed. I made it a couple blocks before the tornado cloud of dust subsumed myself and two other men, at the edge of a parking garage. Daylight turned to night and quickly into a blackout where it felt like the world had stopped. Manhattan had disappeared. One or two of the men said prayers. Somehow, after a while, the dust began to settle and a bit of light started to filter through. We were alive.

Photographers share their 9/11 story Twenty years on 21

‘I remembered telling myself that I had been thrust into history and I needed to document it, that was my job; I told myself, over and over, “just do your job”. The camera was a shield that day. I had a pretty new digital set-up of Canon 35mm cameras, I think it was the D30 – which was 3.1 million pixels.

Having digital was hugely advantageous because I was able to walk from Ground Zero back to our office, on Varick and Canal [street], and drop off my cards to our picture desk, who were able to get those images out quickly to the world. Our picture desk team were amazing that day – they could have left and gone home but they stayed and sent our pictures out.

Photographers share their 9/11 story Twenty years on 22

‘I haven’t really looked through the images yet for this anniversary, but I usually do a few days ahead of time. I’m sure I will. I’m just not ready yet. It takes a bit of mental preparation. In some ways, the emotions can become raw again when I go through the images. I’m not surprised we are still talking about it, it was a moment in our history that should never be forgotten. I hope the photos speak to that.’


Manhattan From Ferry by Tom Stoddart

Photographers share their 9/11 story Twenty years on 23

We have featured much of the work of Tom Stoddart over the years here in AP. His image above was taken almost a week after the attacks, when the Staten Island Ferry reopened for the first time. He describes what it was like in the days following September 11:

‘I was in London when the attacks actually happened, so it took days and days to get there. Everyone was saying “don’t go, there’s no point”, but it was just something I had to do. I think if memory serves me right, I had to get there via Niagara Falls because all of the air space was closed over New York.

‘Like all the rest of the photographers, I was spending lots of time just walking around trying to make sense of this event. For about a week, I was just literally walking around seeing what I could get, photographing all kinds of things. Since this was the first time the ferry was open, I expected there to be lots of photographers on it, so I was very surprised when there was only myself and one other guy.

‘It’s a picture I really like. The people in the photograph were able to resume their commute, but they’re faced with a scene that is changed from the one they’ve seen for years. It was absolutely silent as the ferry moved towards Manhattan, and there was still lots of smoke and dust in the air. Everyone was very, very still. Some people were praying.

‘Whenever I look at the picture, it brings back a lot of memories for me. I remember how quiet it was, and the enormity of it. People were looking at this space where the Twin Towers used to be and realised that their daily commute would never be the same again.

‘I’m not really sure how the picture was used at the time – if at all – but it didn’t matter. Other photographers had already done a lot, I wasn’t expecting to get lots of publications publishing my stuff, but it was just something I had to do. I was shooting film too, there was no rush to develop it because there were wall-to-wall photographers. I’m sure those who were in New York at the time of the attacks had a different experience from those of us who arrived later chasing the story.

‘I think I only shot maybe two pictures in the entire time I was there – about two weeks – that I thought were worthwhile. My feeling was – and is – that if you go and get even just one picture that you appreciate or that you like in terms of the event, it’s worthwhile, so I was happy to get the picture.’


Further reading

JFK photos revealed after negatives lost in 9/11 attacks

Getty: Photojournalism is not dead

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Photo Series Documents 51 Years of The World Trade Center Site

Photo Series Documents 51 Years of The World Trade Center Site

Photo Series Documents 51 Years of The World Trade Center Site 24

Photographer Camilo José Vergara has created a set of 52 images that pay homage to the victims of the September 11, 2001 Attack on New York City, by looking back at the site over the course of the last 51 years.

The series is being released as the 20th anniversary of the attacks approaches in the coming weeks.

Camilo José Vergara is recognized as one of the nation’s foremost urban documentarians and was honored with a National Humanities Medal by President Barack Obama in 2012 and was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2002. His photographs — which were acquired by the Library of Congress, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and the New Museum of Contemporary Art, among other institutions — have been the subject of numerous exhibitions, books, essays, and lectures.

“Few urban districts in modern history have been more discussed than Lower Manhattan, and the World Trade Center (WTC) has held a prominent place in accounts of the area since it was completed in 1973. Radio Row, a viable neighborhood, had to make way for the Twin Towers, which were widely criticized on both aesthetic and political grounds; many regarded them as soulless behemoths and arrogant symbols of American imperialism. But their destruction brought a kind of horror not previously seen in the United States, and triggered years of wars and political instability in distant countries.

The full series that is on display as part of an exhibition The National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. — which the Museum says is dedicated to those who perished and those who responded to the attack that took place 20 years ago — features 52 total images that look into the half-century that has passed since the original World Trade Center was constructed. Vergara began taking interest in the area in 1970, two years after initial construction began and three years before the twin towers would open.

Photo Series Documents 51 Years of The World Trade Center Site 25
View west from St. Paul’s Chapel with the Twin Towers under construction, Broadway and Fulton Street, New York, New York; 1970. Courtesy National Building Museum, © Camilo José Vergara.
Photo Series Documents 51 Years of The World Trade Center Site 26
View west from St. Paul’s Chapel, Broadway and Fulton Street, New York, New York; 2001. Courtesy National Building Museum, © Camilo José Vergara.
Photo Series Documents 51 Years of The World Trade Center Site 27
View west from St. Paul’s Chapel with One World Trade Center under construction, Broadway and Fulton Street, New York, New York; 2011. Courtesy National Building Museum, © Camilo José Vergara.
Photo Series Documents 51 Years of The World Trade Center Site 28
View west from St. Paul’s Chapel, Broadway and Fulton Street, New York, New York; April 10, 2021. Courtesy National Building Museum, © Camilo José Vergara.

“I closely followed the construction of the towers, watching heavy trucks bring in steel or haul away dirt amid the noise of jackhammers and clanging metal. As they rose to become the tallest buildings in the world, I regarded them as a wild expression of mistaken priorities in a troubled time,” Vergara says.

“More than half a million Americans were fighting in Vietnam, and many parts of New York were crumbling, segregated, poor, and violent. This reality shaped my early encounters with the towers, and I tried to convey my feelings by photographing them with homeless people in the foreground, or in harsh sunlight that turned the buildings into gleaming blades. It seemed impossible that I would outlive them.”

Photo Series Documents 51 Years of The World Trade Center Site 29
View east across the Hudson River from Exchange Place, Jersey City, New Jersey; July 4, 1978. Courtesy National Building Museum, © Camilo José Vergara.

Vergara says that eventually his initial resentment faded, and he began to see them as great human creations.

“As I traveled farther away to photograph the towers from distant boroughs, they seemed to lose their solidity and become mysterious, fantastic, and alluring. I liked seeing them in the background of my photos as they rose above houses, waterways, vegetation, junkyards, expressways, and elevated trains,” he says.

Photo Series Documents 51 Years of The World Trade Center Site 30
View east from downtown Newark, New Jersey (in the foreground from left to right: the Lefcourt Newark and National Newark Buildings); 1992. Courtesy National Building Museum, © Camilo José Vergara.
Photo Series Documents 51 Years of The World Trade Center Site 31
View west to Jersey City from Battery Park City, New York, New York; September 11, 2011. Courtesy National Building Museum, © Camilo José Vergara.

“On September 11, 2001, the WTC area went from being a place symbolizing pride and power to one of smoking rubble and death. There has been much rebuilding and renewal since then, including several landmarks designed by star architects built to the north, east, and south of the land once occupied by the towers.”

Photo Series Documents 51 Years of The World Trade Center Site 32
View west from the Brooklyn Bridge capturing the annual September 11 “Tribute in Light,” a commemorative art installation that recreates the shapes of the towers, Brooklyn, New York; 2017. Courtesy National Building Museum, © Camilo José Vergara.

Vergara has photographed not only the area that became the original twin towers but also the rise of the new skyscrapers that were built around the memorial spaces that honor those who died in the attacks.

The National Building Museum says that Vergara’s most recent work captures the effects of the Coronavirus in poor, segregated communities across the New York metropolitan area.

Photo Series Documents 51 Years of The World Trade Center Site 33
View north across New York Harbor to Lower Manhattan from The Staten Island Ferry; 2021.
Courtesy National Building Museum, © Camilo José Vergara.

“The tallest, darkest, and most fortified tower, One World Trade Center, stands disconnected from the memorial, the museum and the rest of the complex. Now, many fear that a remote workforce engendered by the pandemic will continue to haunt this largely empty district. And so yet another chapter in the history of the area begins.”

Photo Series Documents 51 Years of The World Trade Center Site 34
Visitors outside the 9/11 Memorial Museum, New York, New York; 2021. Courtesy National Building Museum, © Camilo José Vergara.

The exhibition which features Vergara’s full collection of images can be seen at the National Building Museum from September 4, 2021, through March 6, 2022.


Header image: View west from the Manhattan Bridge, Brooklyn, New York; November 1979. Courtesy National Building Museum, © Camilo José Vergara


Image credits: Photos by Camilo José Vergara, provided courtesy of the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.

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Sony Alpha 7R II Appears Finally Discontinued After 6 Years

Sony Alpha 7R II Appears Finally Discontinued After 6 Years

Sony Alpha 7R II Appears Finally Discontinued After 6 Years 35

According to the product listings from multiple retailers, the Sony Alpha 7R II has finally been discontinued after six years of production even though it had been technically replaced by both the Alpha 7R III and Alpha 7R IV in recent years.

As noticed by Sony Addict, the camera is now listed as no longer available by, for example, Adorama:

Sony Alpha 7R II Appears Finally Discontinued After 6 Years 36

The camera is listed as an active product on Sony’s official website, however, though stock is limited. It is possible that, as was the case with the Alpha 9, dealers have marked the camera as no longer available or discontinued because they are no longer able to purchase additional inventory. If this is the case, any remaining stock of the camera will be the last available as new models.

The Sony Alpha 7R Mark II, which was known as the a7R II at the time before Sony quietly altered its naming conventions in the last year, was originally launched on June 10, 2015. It was the world’s first backside-illuminated 35mm full-frame sensor and was also capable of shooting 4K video.

The company touted that the camera had 399 phase-detection and 25 contrast-detection autofocus points that resulted in up to 40% faster autofocus performance. The updates to the autofocus algorithm made the camera capable of following action and keeping it sharp much better than the original a7R, and while it struggled with processing those high-resolution images without collapsing under the weight of the data and it still had battery life issues, it was still the best camera Sony had ever made.

Sony Alpha 7R II Appears Finally Discontinued After 6 Years 37
Mount Jefferson, Copyright Jaron Schneider | Photo captured on the Sony Alpha 7R II

While Sony would continue to manufacture and sell the Alpha 7R II for six more years, the company would also launch its successor and that camera’s successor in that time.

The Alpha 7R III was announced in 2017 and improved on the formula yet again, this time making long-standing complaints in mirrorless about battery life, processor performance, and autofocus speed completely irrelevant as the camera continues to be one of the better options a photographer can purchase even four years later.

In July of 2019, Sony announced the Alpha 7R IV, the world’s first 61-megapixel full-frame camera that again took everything that the previous model did well and made it even better.

Despite those improvements, it was argued that even though it had been superseded by a newer version, the Alpha 7R III was still the smarter buy. 61-megapixels is a lot, and few photographers need that kind of resolution.

While Sony has a history of maintaining the availability of older camera models at a lower price than new options for years after a replacement has been announced, its relative age and the ongoing parts shortage may have been responsible for Sony finally waving goodbye to the Alpha 7R II. In early August, Sony also discontinued the original Alpha 9.

Should Sony provide more information about the Alpha 7R II, PetaPixel will update this article accordingly.

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