Light Vision

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Light vision : Australia's international photography magazine 1977-78 was a bi-monthly Australian photography magazine.[1]


Light Vision magazine, subtitled ‘Australia’s international photography magazine’, was launched in September 1977[2] and though it lasted only eight issues, it made a more lasting impression on Australian photography than previous periodicals.[3][4][5]

Editor Jean-Marc Le Pechoux (1953—), who had studied at Stage Experimental Photographique and who, from 1971 to 1974, was a freelance photographer in Paris, came to Australia and taught at Photography Studies College in Melbourne from 1974 to 1976.[6] Deciding to make the southern city his home, he recognised the need for a high quality magazine. He taught himself the trade of editor/publisher and set up Light Quest Publications at 75 Wilson Street, South Yarra. It was largely a one-person operation, with assistance from Kalli Pulas and never more than four paid casual staff.

The magazine[edit]

Identified by photojournalist Geoff Strong as “that haute couture of Australian photographic magazines”,[7] Light Vision was glossily printed in Australia,[8] reproducing photographers' prints full page, and tackling photographic theory in essays, and in reviews of such contemporary texts as Susan Sontag's On Photography (1977). However, as a result of the cost of such support for local industry, its cover price was $5.00 which was at the high end of affordability at the time ($A30 equivalent in 2018).[9] Its cost, and its removal after issue 4 from the stock of the bookshop of a major public gallery on the basis of an unfavourable book review, contributed to its early demise.[3]


During Creative Camera editor Peter Turner’s  visit to Australia in 1977[10] he met Jean-Marc Le Pechoux and significantly, Max Dupain’s The Sunbaker was featured on the covers of both Light Vision and Creative Camera in 1978,[11] with Dupain himself contributing an essay in Light Vision issue 5.[12] Such exposure, and that of the young Bill Henson in two issues[13] raised the profile of Australian photography in the UK.[14] The magazine played a role in setting Australian photography and photographers in an international context[2] and in publicising their work overseas[15] in a quality publication.[16][17]


  1. ^ Light vision : Australia's international photography magazine, Light Quest Publications, 1977, ISSN 0314-867X
  2. ^ a b Visual Studies Workshop (1977), Afterimage, 5, Visual Studies Workshop, p. 133, ISSN 0300-7472
  3. ^ a b Print Letter No.25 Jan/Feb. 1980, Vol 5, No.1, 8-9
  4. ^ Downer, Christine. "Photography in Australia: a select bibliography." History of Photography 23, no. 2 (1999): 192-197.
  5. ^ Ely, Deborah. "The Australian centre for photography." History of photography 23, no. 2 (1999): 118-122.
  6. ^ Browne, Turner; Partnow, Elaine (1983), Macmillan biographical encyclopaedia of photographic artists and innovators, Macmillan ; London : Collier Macmillan, ISBN 978-0-02-517500-6
  7. ^ Bennett, David; Agee, Joyce; Victorian Centre for Photography; Strong, Geoff (1988), The thousand mile stare : a photographic exhibition, The Victorian Centre for Photography Inc, ISBN 978-0-7316-2054-8
  8. ^ Australian Book Review, Issues 1-27, 1978, p.33. P. Isaacson Publications.
  9. ^ calculation January 2018
  10. ^ Gaskins, Bill 'PHOTOGRAPHY IN AUSTRALIA’. The British Journal of Photography, Mar 10, 1978; 125
  11. ^ Batchen, G. (1995). Max Dupain: Sunbakers. History of Photography, 19(4), 349-357.
  12. ^ Online version of the 1978 essay originally published in Light Vision issue 5 provided by Gael Newton
  13. ^ Light Vision, Nos. 6-7, 1978.
  14. ^ Batchen, Geoffrey (2000), Each wild idea : writing, photography, history, MIT Press, p. 100, ISBN 978-0-262-26789-2
  15. ^ Sontag, Milar, Brohaugh, Carroll, Frobisch, Lamprecht, . . . The Nikon Manual. (1978). Photography. Communication Booknotes, 10(1), 16-19.
  16. ^ Ennis, Helen (2007), Photography and Australia, Reaktion Books, p. 115, ISBN 978-1-86189-323-9
  17. ^ Pam, Max, 1949- (1989), Visual instincts : contemporary Australian photography, AGPS Press, ISBN 978-0-644-10597-2CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)