Creative Camera & British Street Photography

Following my last blog which promoted the acquisition of photography art books rather than photographic kit, I would like to pay tribute to one of my favourite photographic publications ever.

Creative Camera magazine was published between 1964 and 1999 and was a cornerstone of British art photography, it was published by the Coo Press which was famed for racing pigeon publications.

I am old enough to remember being confronted by this publication and have to admit that as a teenager I found the imagery quite challenging and just did not get it !  Looking back I now realise that my visual photographic vocabulary was not developed well enough for me to even begin to understand or meet the the challenge of many of the early portfolios;  Ralph Gibson, Paul Rogers, Chris Killip and Homer Sykes:  all featured in the early days of Creative Camera along side historic photographers like HCB and Eugine Atget.

Colin Osman,Pete Turner and the legendary Bill Jay should all be commended for not only driving this quirky publication forward but for helping to lay the foundations of British Art Photography  and what we now know as British Street Photography against a background of technique based amateur photography publications and an establishment that had not embraced photography as art. The democracy of internet publishing was a long way off back in the 1970's, the golden period for this publication in my opinion.

Creative Camera magazines can still be found on internet auction sites alongside the 5 Creative camera year books which I believe are extremely relevant to 21st century UK street photography and may still challenge many photographers now.

Should you wish to understand how we got to where we are now and discover the publication that gave Martin Parr, Tony Ray- Jones and many others early opportunities to be seen by a wider audience you should become acquainted with Creative Camera you will be surprised by both the quality of reproduction and the vision of the contributing photographers.

The Sex Pistols were remodelling the musical values of Britain at the same time that Creative Camera was establishing photographic anarchy in the UK !


Keep it real !