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Tony Hall’s East End Panoramas

In the sixties, Tony Hall bought a Horizont camera of Russian manufacture that was designed for taking panoramic photographs and he used it to take these magnificent pictures of East End streets. Originally trained as a painter, Tony Hall became a newspaper artist in Fleet St and pursued photography in the afternoons between shifts.

“He’d always been passionate about wide-angle lenses, it was his landscape painter’s background – he had a painter’s eye,” Libby Hall, Tony’s wife revealed to me, “When he was sixteen, his paintings were accepted for the Royal Academy but he wanted to do something different, so he gave it up in favour of commercial art and photography.”

The Horizont camera had a lens that rotated in sync with the shutter to create a panoramic view, but they were unreliable and, when the lens became out of sync with the shutter, patches of light and dark appeared on the image. Tony bought three cameras in the hope of getting one to work consistently and in the end he gave up, yet by then he had achieved this bravura series of pictures which emphasise the linear qualities of the cityscape to dramatic effect.

“Tony loved tools of all sorts and he always said that if you had the tool you could work out how to use it,” Libby recalled, “He was very frustrated by the Horizont, but he was very pleased when it worked.”

It is the special nature of Tony Hall’s photographic vision that he saw the human beauty within an architectural environment which others sought to condemn and, half a century later, his epic panoramas show us the East End of the nineteen sixties as we never saw it before.

Click on any of the photographs below to enlarge and enjoy the full panoramic effect.

Corner of Middleton Rd & Haggerston Rd

Haggerston Rd

Old Montague St & Black Lion Yard

Old Montague St

Hessel St

Corner of Lyal Rd & Stanfield Rd

Corner of Lyal Rd & Stanfield Rd

Bridge House, Tredegar Rd

Sclater St

Leopold Buildings, Columbia Rd

Pearson St & Appleby St

Corner of Well St & Holcroft Rd

Hackney Rd

St Leonards Rd

St Leonards Rd

Photographs copyright © Libby Hall

Images Courtesy of the Tony Hall Archive at the Bishopsgate Institute

Libby Hall & I would be delighted if any readers can assist in identifying the locations and subjects of Tony Hall’s photographs.

You may also like to read

Tony Hall, Photographer

At the Pub with Tony Hall

At the Shops with Tony Hall

Libby Hall, Collector of Dog Photography

The Dogs of Old London

This post first appeared on Spitalfields Life | In The Midst Of Life I Woke To, please read the originial post: here

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Tony Hall’s East End Panoramas


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