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Biba Outfit Photographed On The Sussex Downs by John Hooton

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Biba Outfit Photographed On The Sussex Downs by 

I was a young fashion photographer’s assistant who had also photographed racehorses trained by my father. ITV heard the story and wanted to interview me with pictures of girls and horses. In this picture shot for Biba’s, a world famous boutique in Kensington High Street in the 60’s, I decided to combine them both.

I borrowed the 20mm lens and the 250 exposure back from my boss, John Cowan, whose studio was used in the 1966 cult film Blow-Up and set off for Sussex. The 20mm lens had only just been introduced and was the first of it’s kind.

Technical Details:

Camera: Nikon F
Lens: Nikkor UD Auto 20mm f/3.5
Motor Drive: 250 Exposure Back
Film: Bulk Ilford FP4
ASA: 200
Exposure: 1/250 at f/5.6
Developer: D76

© 1966 John Hooton Photography

Retired Professional Photographer, web designer, software developer, still dabbling in photography and all things technical!

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  • micheleirene
    micheleireneabout 6 years ago

    This is nothing short of Classic John…something to be proud of!

  • Thank you Shelly. It’s interesting to see how the fashions have changed. Note the riders are not wearing hard hats or helmets. That would be forbidden in this day and age.

    – John Hooton

  • Maximus
    Maximusabout 6 years ago

    sorry to sound old fashioned, but that’s real photography. :)

  • Thank you Maximus. It was certainly a different era from a technical point of view. Never the less, like today, it was the end result that was the only thing that really counted.

    – John Hooton

  • ©FoxfireGallery / FloorOne Photography
    ©FoxfireGaller...about 6 years ago

    OMG Biba, that is a moment back to the future.

    What a stunning photo and the added commentary just brings it even more to life.

    Beautiful. You lived the life many on RB wished they could

  • You remember Biba CJ?! It was THE place for a girl to go shopping in the 60’s. Didn’t break the bank either. Cash was king and credit cards hadn’t been invented! Thanks for your comment, happy to take you to the twilight zone. :-))

    – John Hooton

  • Colin J Williams Photography
    Colin J Willia...about 6 years ago

    A classic shot John !

  • Thanks Colin. Are fashion photographers as adventurous today as they were in this era? We were always in search of exciting pictures, smoke bombs, aeroplanes, trampolines in the street to get models airborne, it was a great to get out of the studio!

    – John Hooton

  • ©FoxfireGallery / FloorOne Photography
    ©FoxfireGaller...about 6 years ago

    I remember Biba from the mid 70’s. I was a follower of fashion in those days.

  • maka1967
    maka1967almost 6 years ago

    Excellent work! So atmospheric.

  • Thanks Maka, much of the atmosphere was early morning mist!

    – John Hooton

  • jwinman
    jwinmanover 5 years ago

    wow! cool shot!

  • Quite dangerous too if I remember rightly. With this lens exaggerating distances, my instructions to the riders was “as close as possible”. They cleared by about 18 inches. Luckily the model had her back to them and was unaware of the impending peril! On this occasion my only direction was “DON’T MOVE!”

    – John Hooton

  • jwinman
    jwinmanover 5 years ago

    no kidding!

  • blamo
    blamoover 5 years ago

    I am was around 11 when this was taken everyone i have spoken to from thoose days seem to have very fond memories of the time .I see Barbera hulinuki the Biba founder a couple of years back in London at a co i used to freelance for she is still going strong in America and does a lot of interior design work
    Beautiful retro image

  • It really was a great time. In 1966 I had the privilege of witnessing the making of Blow_Up the cult Antonioni film about a photographer who inadvertently photographs a murder. It was filmed at John Cowan’s studio during my last year there as his assistant.

    – John Hooton

  • blamo
    blamoover 5 years ago

    great film recall seeing that in the 70’s ZP
    And this multi camera shoot and slow mo supurb filmsoundtrack

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