Nigel Atherton looks back at past AP issues in our archive, this week we’ve selected the 21 February 1998 issue.

21 February 1998 cover

21 February 1998 cover

This week in 1998 AP was preoccupied with the nascent digital revolution. Our report from the annual PMA trade show in the US, from which AP had just returned, led with an interesting prototype: a drop-in electronic cartridge that would convert any 35mm camera to digital. ‘The Imagek electronic film system (EFS-1) was unveiled last week at the PMA show in New Orleans to a disbelieving press audience,’ we wrote.

21 february 1998 News Editor Steve Fairclough reports on the Imagek Electronic Film System

21 February 1998, News Editor Steve Fairclough reports on the Imagek Electronic Film System

‘The source of its incredulity was an innocuous cartridge that slots into the film chamber of a 35mm SLR or compact camera converting it to a 1.3MP digital camera.’ The press were, as it turned out, right to be incredulous – the device never made it to market – but our cover story reported on why press photographers had already started to go digital. The 14 photographers at PA currently shared a couple of £8,500 DSLRs based on the Nikon F90X, but everyone was waiting for the forthcoming Canon/Kodak D2000.

21 february magazine pages woman on a roof

I report on a windy fashion shoot on the roof of AP’s then-headquarters, the 30-storey Kings Reach Tower, with up-and-coming photographer Dean Chalkley

magazine page

My behind-the-scenes shots of the shoot

‘I’ve ordered 14 for our nine photographers in the UK,’ Reuters’s David Viggers told us. Meanwhile I found myself on the roof of AP’s 30-storey HQ on a terrifying fashion shoot with Dean Chalkley. I was supposed to be holding a Lastolite reflector but it was too windy so stuck to taking BTS shots. The fearless model, Jodie, perched on Pelican cases just feet from the edge, and even stood on the edge itself. Health & Safety would have had kittens, but don’t worry – the top two floors were inset from the lower floors so that if she had fallen, ‘the drop from the ledge was more like 30 feet than 30 storeys’.

A report on why the press is going digital in magazine

A report on why the press is going digital

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