On this day: October 20

The iconic Abbey Road photoshoot.
The iconic Abbey Road photoshoot.
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1938

Scottish photographer Iain Stewart Macmillan was born.

The Scottish photographer was born in Dundee

The Scottish photographer was born in Dundee

Dundee-born Macmillan was famous for taking the photograph for the cover of iconic Beatles’ album Abbey Road in 1969, showing John, Paul, George and Ringo striding over a zebra crossing.

On 8 August, 1969, photographer Iain MacMillan clambered 10ft up a ladder in the middle of north London’s Abbey Road and snapped a picture that would become a rock icon.

It was Paul McCartney who suggested the shot, which he sketched out on a piece of paper, during a lunch break outside the EMI studies. The four Beatles would be on the zebra crossing, with an extended perspective of the road diminishing in the background.

MacMillan decided the best result would be achieved if he sat on a step ladder, which they placed in the middle of the road while a couple of helpful policemen stopped the traffic.

He had little time to get it right, and he shot just six frames. But the photograph, which became the cover of the Beatles Abbey Road album, became an unforgettable image, a milestone of popular culture.

The artist died of lung cancer in 2006.