Freelance photographer Iain Macmillan perched on a stepladder in the middle of Abbey Road on 8 August 1969. Using his Hasselblad camera with a 50mm wide-angle lens, aperture f22, at 1/500 seconds, he took six shots of the Beatles walking across the zebra crossing just outside their studio. One of these images was selected as the cover for their last-recorded album, Abbey Road.
The chosen shot, and the outtakes (one sold for £16,000 in 2012), have been copied, mimicked and admired ever since. Snoopy and the Simpsons have walked the crossing, as have multitudes of Beatles fans. In fact, the crossing has now been allocated Grade II Listed Building status by English Heritage, despite it not being as old as normal for this protection.
Given its fame, I suppose I should not have been surprised to find the image decorating a street wall in Camaguey in Cuba. It certainly made me stop, and with a local guy standing in the neighbouring doorway it just shouted out “shoot me”.
Copyright Debbie Smyth, 1 January 2018