A Moment Of Reflection

Today is the second-last day of 2019 here in Australia and in a moment of reflection, I scanned one of our bookshelves (looking for something else) and came across some old copies of National Geographic.

Over time I have picked up the occasional copy, particularly if it has content that I would be interested in reading. I also have a couple of copies of Australian Geographic somewhere.

In flipping though the pages, it started to make me think of the ‘Golden Era of the Magazine…’ quality photojournalism and social documentation that the magazines of the past had given us.

Magazines like ‘LIFE, ‘National Geographic and similar that many excellent photographers (one of my favourites, Margaret Bourke-White comes to mind) and journalists contributed to for many years.

Each of the magazines delved into various different subjects, offering an insight into a way of life, historical facts and/or offer a subjective opinion which would enlighten the reader.


Yes, I know that information like this is available on the Internet, however, there is something magical in picking up an old copy of the aforementioned magazines and flipping though the pages. I just don’t get the same experience browsing the Internet.

Picking up a copy of an old National Geographic is like stepping back into a moment in time, particularly if they are capturing life in a town or city for example.

One of the National Geographic magazines I have was dedicated to the Australian Bicentennial in 1988. 31 years on it is fascinating to look back on an event that I experienced and think about how far we have come as a Nation since.

It was like opening up a Time Capsule, seeing prominent faces of the time and looking back at the cultural experiences of the time.

I could look up about the Bicentennial, Benjamin Franklin etc online and find multitudes of information but right now, I’m just enjoying stepping back in time, flipping through the pages of an old (quality) magazine and enjoying a rather nice cup of Tea.

Written by David Johnson
30 December 2019