Back to the Future

Captured on an Olypus OMD EM5 with Panasonic 45-200 lens
Captured on an Olypus OMD EM5 with Panasonic 45-200 lens

Back in the 1980’s there was a company in the UK called Athena. They had shops in many high streets and produced what at the time was amazing artwork for people to hang on their wall. I remember as a teenager having two pictures (purchased from Athena) of a Porsche 940 and Lamborghini Countach hung on my bedroom wall.

If you went into any of their branches they would have a huge selection of artwork and cards for sale with some of the most iconic (for the 80’s) images and there was nothing else like it. There was the famous image of the lady tennis player scratching her behind that I’m sure graced the wall of many a student bedsit. There was the image of a woman’s mouth biting a cherry as her lip dripped (not as gruesome as it sounds).

There were also images of spectacular and tranquil landscapes taken from far away exotic places such as Greek beaches and Monument Valley in the US – please remember that I was 21 before I could afford a trip beyond the UK and the world back then was not as small as it is today. I remember looking in awe at these images and wishing for 2 things:

  1. I could visit some of these locations
  2. I could take photographs that were this beautiful and amazing

This second point was rather unusual as at the time I didn’t do photography, although I had always wanted to try. The equipment was however far beyond what I could afford and in any case, everyone I spoke to about my desire told me how difficult it was to use an SLR and that I should forget it. Nothing like giving a kid encouragement.

So, why am I telling you all this?

Well, yesterday I created the image you see above whilst preparing an illustration for a book. Whilst this image is not my usual genera, I do like images of flowers and I quite liked this one having made my adjustments in Photoshop. In fact it looked great on screen and I decided to run off a quick A3 print on gloss paper to see what the printed image would be like. The result I thought was exactly what I wanted to create and perhaps this was a new direction in which to develop my style.

When my wife came into my office. I asked her if she liked the image. She paused and said “yes it’s nice”. Then she paused again and said “but it’s a bit retro”.

“What do you mean” I said, “RETRO?”

Her reason for thinking it was retro was because it “looks just like those images from the 80’s that Athena used to sell”.

I’m now wondering if I have finally achieved something that I have always subconsciously aspired to or if photographic tastes are about to go full circle.

I hope you like the image.


Version 2 minus a couple of distracting blobs
Version 2 minus a couple of distracting blobs

9 thoughts on “Back to the Future

  1. Hi Robin, This image is superb with such perfect sharpness. I hope that you do not mind me saying but I find the light coloured spots at top left & bottom right very distracting. Once I had seen them I could not get my eyes away from them. Regards Paul

    Sent from my iPad

  2. Athena!

    Don’t forget those annoying 3d images they used to sell. A bunch of squiggles that apparently was a picture of something. Bloody things never worked for me:)

    Its a very nice shot also:), but just to concur with the other comment that the coloured dots, especially the one top left are a little distracting.

  3. Back in the 1980’s? We still have an Athena down here in Exeter! Then again, maybe we are in a time warp… 😉

      1. Sadly the 3D posters have fallen out of favour. It’s mostly shots of tropical beaches and Lake District jetties at sunset these days!

  4. I used to love that shop. Me and my gang of girlmates from school used to go there at lunchtimes when we were about 17 and go and goggle at all the magiceye prints. I used to find it easy compared to everyone else too 😀 I really like your flower image ( I may have even considered purchasing in Athena if it was there now ha!)

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