Fascinating new TV series airs on life and history of the rock & roll photographer

ICON: Music Through The Lens
(Image credit: Gered Mankowitz / Deborah Feingold)

Sky Arts is to air a six-part series on rock and roll photography – showing the work, techniques and history of life of the top music photographers. Aired over six one-hour episodes on Freeview, the program features interviews with over 50 of the world’s best-known music photographers –  alongside musicians, gallerists, music journalists and social commentators.

Produced by Cinefromage & Eagle Rock Films each episode of of Icon: Music Through The Lens  examines an individual facet of the genre in detail from life on the road, the evolution of the album cover, the acceptance of music photography as fine art, the impact of the digital revolution and more. 

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Acclaimed music director Dick Carruthers, who has worked with a vast range of artists including The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Beyonce, and Black Sabbath, has teamed up with legendary music photographer Gered Mankowitz and photographic agent Andy Saunders to take an intimate look at the medium using iconic images that defined musical genres and eras.

Some of the photographers interviewed alongside Gered Mankowitz about their work in music include: Jill Furmanovsky, Kevin Westenberg, Terry O’Neill, Kevin Cummins, Bob Gruen, Rachel Wright, Deborah Feingold ,  Neal Preston, Roger Sargent, Dean Chalkley, Mick Rock, Danny Clinch and Rankin to name but a few. There is also a contribution from Baron Wolman (best known for his images of Jimi Hendrix), who sadly passed away earlier this week.

Jimi Hendrix on stage in San Francisco in 1968,  photographed by the late Baron Wolman, who died earlier this week (Image credit: Baron Wolman)

Leonard Cohen and Suzanne Vega, photographed by Deborah Feingold, 1989. (Image credit: Deborah Feingold)

Madonna, photographed by Deborah Feingold, 1982. (Image credit: Deborah Feingold)

Sharing eye-opening insights from a musician’s viewpoint are Alice Cooper, Craig David, Nick Mason from Pink Floyd, Glen Matlock of the Sex Pistols, Ziggy Marley, Metallica's Lars Ulrich, and Dizzee Rascal and many others.

The photographs themselves however are the real stars of the show, with thousands of astounding images illustrating this story throughout, complemented by specially commissioned music and classic tracks. 

Rolling Stones 'Out of our heads' album cover, 1965. Shot by Gered Mankowitz (Image credit: Gered Mankowitz)

Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart photographed by Gered Mankowitz for the cover of the Eurythmics album "Revenge" in 1986 (Image credit: Gered Mankowitz)

Jimi Hendrix photographed by Gered Mankowitz in his London studio in 1967 (Image credit: Gered Mankowitz)

Gered Mankowitz, photographer, series curator and executive producer says, “Icon: Music Through The Lens is an important moment for music photography providing context, focus and understanding of the impact it has made on popular music over many decades. Being able to talk in real depth to such a wide range of amazing photographers and to hear their experiences and insights has been an incredible privilege and I am very proud that we have now captured the definitive story of their amazing work and contribution.”

The series premieres on the free-to-air Sky Arts TV channel today 6 November at 10pm (GMT) – with all six episodes being available to watch now through the Sky TV app (check out the full details of how to watch) 

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Chris George

Chris George has worked on Digital Camera World since its launch in 2017. He has been writing about photography, mobile phones, video making and technology for over 30 years – and has edited numerous magazines including PhotoPlus, N-Photo, Digital Camera, Video Camera, and Professional Photography. 

His first serious camera was the iconic Olympus OM10, with which he won the title of Young Photographer of the Year - long before the advent of autofocus and memory cards. Today he uses a Nikon D800, a Fujifilm X-T1, a Sony A7, and his iPhone 11 Pro.

He has written about technology for countless publications and websites including The Sunday Times Magazine, The Daily Telegraph, Dorling Kindersley, What Cellphone, T3 and Techradar.