« It Came! | Main | The Hundred-Shot Barrier »

Friday, 19 March 2010


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

The world will be a poorer place without him.

paging through the crazy cameras he made, one thing I think will always be true: film is infinitely cooler than digital.

I'm not certain but Peter Gowland may have been the first glamor photographer I recognized. By that I mean the first photographer whose name I associated with a genre...long before I gave a spit about photography.

My gawd, when I first started looking at his photographs, I went nuts with envy.

He was a brilliant person.

Well, this hurts and don't. I bet he had a good life. Peter was one of a kind. Photographer extraordinaire and accomplished inventor and craftman. This 3 things in many way its what any photographer should thrive to achieve. Photography is all that.

I purchased a couple of his twin-lens 4x5's through the years. He was always upbeat and curious when I'd call him about finding the right lenses to mount on his cameras, or find the best way to use them on location. Fascinating guy. Loved life. He loved to find out how people were using his cameras, so he could constantly improve them. I was a fellow camera-tinkerer for a while, and we'd compare ideas on the phone. I began to think of him as my Photo Grandfather. My heart sank when I saw the Obit notice yesterday. He was a fine man.

I once interviewed Peter Gowland for an article in Petersen's Photographic Magazine. As others have noted, he was a true gentleman, gracious, and self-effacing. What struck me most was the contrast between his glamourous image--he was tall and handsome in a Baywatch sort of way--and his upbringing as a child of the Depression who had also served in the armed forces during WWII. This gave him a nothing-goes-to-waste, tinkerers mentality. I remember him showing me a rolling light stand whose base had come from the remains of an office task chair.

As for his photographs, they're not so different in style and content than what you'd see if you click the "joyful nudes" link on TOP's home page. Select poses less revealing of the reproductive organs, convert them to black and white, and you've got classic Peter Gowland glamour shots. As the saying goes, "The more things change, the more they stay the same."

The King of Jayne Mansfield photos. It's a sad day for the world of photography.

Rest in peace.

I was never really crazy about his photos, but man, he had a terrific life even without my approval ;-) Well done, Mr Gowland.

I nearly bought one second hand and hence come to his web site. He is a very handsome man.

Someone mentioned "joyful nudes". I have a bit worry quite sometimes now as my eye always found something quite adult content on the left column of TOP. No, it is not about the joyful nudes but about the beautiful landscape picture. It might be a bit abstract but could I say that it is too explicit for the office?

He will be missed, but the photography remains.

"A life lived well" is the expression that comes to mind after viewing his website. What an industrious, clever, loving and fun person he was.

Just this week I enjoyed reading a few of Peter Gowland's regular columns that appeared in Popular Photography in the early 1960s. His youthful and very handsome face beams down at the top of each page. In one article he disclosed how he had enabled the naked model to float in the water by stretching two lines of monofilament nylon beneath her (one line held by "the willing client"). In the May 1962 issue he urged girls who hoped to become models to get outside and exercise and not lead a life of dissipation with late nights, smoking and sitting around eating. The article was accompanied by a low-angled shot of a model in a one-piece swimsuit that caught the eye of my partner, who said "Wow, what a sexy shot!"

He also mentions his dislike for what he called the current trend towards thinness in models. He still sounds up-to-date.

A life well lived.

We've been talking about imaginary cameras recently, but this dude imagined cameras then went out and built them. And what cameras!

I have spoken with Peter and Alice several times over the last few years. He just finished my 8x10 a few months ago - perhaps the last camera he made. Words can't express my sadness right now.

The comments to this entry are closed.



Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 06/2007