1/25: Menen Gate / by Simon Mooney


It’s 25 years since I started out as a photographer and I’ve been thinking about the pictures that have been important to me. I took this one, of the Menin Gate in Ypres, Belgium, while I was on tour playing guitar with a band in the early 1990s. After the soundcheck, I went out for a walk with my new Nikon, turned a corner and was stopped in my tracks by the the Memorial to the Missing with its 54,000 names from World War One. I lost all sense of time as I tried to cover every angle but eventually wandered back to the venue. As I got closer and heard faint but familiar music, I thought it odd they were playing one of our records. Then I realised it was live, the band were on stage and I was late so the roadie was playing guitar. He was much better than me anyway and this frame really got me thinking I might be better at composing photographs.