Mark Estabrook was born in Oklahoma and moved to Texas when he was 6. He developed his first roll of B&W film in his high school newspaper darkroom. Tom Tilton at Capitol Records asked Paul and Linda McCartney for Mark's first press pass in 1976 and they were kind enough to give him one. Mark began shooting concerts for papers in college thereafter. He signed up for an art class with Garry Winogrand without knowing who he was. It changed his life and the way he looked at photography forever. Star Trek's Gene Roddenberry convinced him to pursue aviation as a career alternative to the film industry during a visit to UT Austin in 1977. Roddenberry was a B-17 pilot in WWII. Mark received a Bachelor of Science in Radio-TV-Film at UT Austin in 1978.While achieving his flight instructor ratings in Dallas, he met CIA Director George HW Bush on May 7, 1979 at the Uiversity of Dallas where he encouraged Mark to apply for military flight training, which he did in 1980 and joined the Air Force. Mark and Bush had a private conversation about the Bay of Pigs and the Kennedy assasination. He obtained a Master's degree in Public Administration from the University of Oklahoma in 1987. He flew the E3A AWACS as an aircraft commander followed by 29 years as a FedEx pilot before retiring to work on a photography book about the 1970s in Texas and the 2014 Euromaidan Revolution in Kyiv, Ukraine. When he is not working on his books, he tries to update this website for people who are interested in the Ukrainians, their culture and their freedom from a totalitarian psychopath. Mark is convinced the American people have a lot to learn from the good people of Ukraine.
Incredible First Hand Photographs of the Ukraine Conflict by Photographer Mark Estabrook, Untapped Cities, 21APR2014
Bob Dylan Makes Another Comeback With a Little Help From ILFORD PHOTO
A film roll containing photographs of Bob Dylan has been unearthed and developed for the first time 31 years after it was exposed, thanks to UK based ILFORD PHOTO. “Try that with a hard drive,” says photographer.
October 1, 2009: Bob Dylan has made another critically acclaimed comeback, although this time it is his image rather than his music that is causing the excitement. 31 years after a concert in Fort Worth, Texas pictures of Dylan taken using ILFORD HP5 black and white film have only now been developed after gathering dust for over three decades.
Unlike Dylan, now 68, the photographs show no apparent signs of aging and provide a crystal clear view of Dylan on stage during the 1978 performance. For the photographer, Mark Estabrook, the fact that the pictures survived demonstrates the archival properties of traditional photography compared with digital files:
“The film lay dormant and undeveloped at various room temperatures until I discovered them when moving house recently,” he said. “I asked ILFORD PHOTO’s technical team how to develop the film and when I came out of the darkroom I was amazed how well the images had been preserved. It was as if I shot the show yesterday, with superb grain detail.”
“I have used various digital storage, from floppy disks to flash drives, since 1982 and a hard drive would never have lasted that long, let alone an inkjet print. The fact these pictures survived in the condition that they did is testament to the quality and longevity of silver halide photography. As I tell my fellow photographers: try that with a hard drive.”
ILFORD PHOTO has been manufacturing photographic products, from film to darkroom chemicals, since 1879 and the company remains one of the few brands surviving from the halcyon days of darkroom photography.
Marketing Director, Steven Brierley believes that finds like the Dylan pictures are helping analogue photography experience a comeback of its own.
“Images like these demonstrate the impact black and white pictures have to a new generation of photographers, as well as their capacity to last.”
“There is a romance and an verve to darkroom photography and real silver-gelatin prints that is actually heightened by the predominance of digital. It’s an ethereal quality that cannot be matched with digital prints,” he added.
The Bob Dylan film was kept in the original ILFORD PHOTO tin alongside shots of seventies rock and roll band Little Feat. Now an airline pilot, Mark Estabrook was a noteworthy rock and roll photographer during the seventies and the pictures will be included in a new book of music photography planned for publication next year.
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Sir Paul McCartney
Fort Worth, Texas
3 May 1976