It’s unlikely that anyone will have a need for ‘Circus photography’, but if I can deliver this from one fixed point, I could so much more with a broader brief.
I have just returned from wintering in Central Southern Italy, where the Apennine range of mountains runs down the spine of Italy. The visual subtlety of winter mountain landscapes in low cloud conditions, can have a silent almost ethereal quality to it. The beauty here is evasive and almost impossible to fully capture on Nikon. And a complete ‘whiteout’ absolutely impossible, beyond displaying a white page. Even those that do not ski, can non-the-less, still fall in love with ‘white’. This journey has been invaluable research, for my next ‘Mountain Photography course’, which you can see at ‘Italian photo courses’.
These photos were shot nearby the beautiful mountain town of Pescocostanzo, where I am hosting my ‘Mountain Photography Course’. Set in the Abruzzo region of central southern Italy, this ‘undiscovered’ gem sits at an altitude of 1,400 metres. With paved and cobbled streets, old houses and a history of lace making, the town provides a perfect photographic backdrop. ‘Pesco’ is very much a loved ‘secret’ of Romans and local Italians alike. The area boasts four Michelin restaurants, with little more than 1,200 residents in the town itself. And so I am including lunch each day at one of these excellent mountain restaurants, with my Italian photography holiday course. ‘Pesco’ is not just a photo opportunity, it’s a perfect base for discerning foodies, skiers, walkers and of course photographers! You can see much more of my ‘Mountain photography course’ by clicking here.
The Hotel I have selected is a classic ‘Castello’ style hotel, although not quite a ‘castle’ as we might imagine. However it is both a beautiful and classical Italian building, untainted by modern embellishments and full of original details. This hotel on it’s own is full of photographic treats, and enough to keep you busy from arrival to departure!
by Roland Blunk
I’ve seen and photographed their glorious spiral staircase before, but I couldn’t help but click again in more detail.
by Roland Blunk
The medium perfectly suits portraiture, as colour somehow becomes an unnecessary distraction, intruding on the subject of the photo. More on this here…
by Roland Blunk
Don’t we all, deep down, truly despise conformity. Who’s spine does not quiver at the sound from Mozart’s ‘Figaro’ being blasted over the prison tannoy in ‘Shawshank’, or Schoolboys being coaxed into standing on their desks in ‘Dead Poets’.
Without art, we are not human. The ability to imagine and to take that imagination and turn it into reality, is one of the things that is really unique about humanity.
When Dylan wrote ‘Hard rain’ in the summer of ’62 at the impossibly young age of just 21, he opened the window for creative liberation within everyone, taking people out of their entrapment and into a wider utopia.
Oh, what’ll you do now, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, what’ll you do now, my darling young one?
I’m a-goin’ back out ‘fore the rain starts a-fallin’
I’ll walk to the depths of the deepest black forest
Where the people are many and their hands are all empty
Where the pellets of poison are flooding their waters
Where the home in the valley meets the damp dirty prison
Where the executioner’s face is always well-hidden
Where hunger is ugly, where souls are forgotten
Where black is the color, where none is the number
And I’ll tell it and think it and speak it and breathe it
And reflect it from the mountain so all souls can see it
Then I’ll stand on the ocean until I start sinkin’
But I’ll know my song well before I start singin’
And it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard
It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall
By Roland Blunk, well just the blog. Dylan wrote the lyrics, although I would be happy to claim them!
I am going to inform them that placing fashion branding on the outside, rather than tucking it behind the collar, is the way forward. If this goes down well, I am going to suggest that since there is more visible surface area on the outside, the logo should be at least ten times that of their concealed predecessors. And finally if they buy into this idea, I am going to suggest that they should price their garments at least double that of their ignorant competitors. Oh and of course there will be a small fee for this advice, as well as time-travel expenses.
by Roland Blunk
I was invited by the ‘Friends of Beccles’ to give a talk two weeks ago on my Suffolk photography and graphic design career. I discussed some of my current photographic work on this site, as well as past design assignments. This included the BBC, the Royal Shakespeare Company, the V&A Museum as well as local businesses.
Above: A design id proposal for a Suffolk Health Club.
Above: A cover design for the ‘Radio Times’ from the BBC’s programming magazine heyday, with a circulation of 3 million+.
Below: Three Royal Shakespeare Company promos.
I was very pleased to received rather splendid feedback from a ‘full house’. I have since been invited to present another Suffolk photography and graphic design lecture next year. What the audience said:
“Thoroughly enjoyed last night. He was brilliant”
“I would like to say what a delight and huge pleasure it was to hear Roland Blunk speak of his work and his passion in photography. Thoroughly entertaining evening”
“May I take this opportunity to express my thanks to Roland Blunk for the fascinating talk he gave . . . to his photographic and design work . . . I found myself totally absorbed in the variety and expertise of his work”
by Roland Blunk
“Neil McGregor, the then Director of the National Gallery, was a passionate supporter of reproductions. He believed firmly that, just as it can take a few listens before a new piece of music really takes hold of us, so, often, we need to spend time with great art before we feel its power. It was heartening to those of us in the publishing company to think that someone who was sent one of our postcards might feel just a little of the power of the original – and that in fact their encounter with the real thing might be enhanced by spending time with a copy.
Because nothing compares, does it, with that moment when you see for the first time an original work you have only ever known before in reproduction. I’ve never forgotten the stunned joy I felt when in Vienna I unexpectedly came across Bruegel’s ‘Hunters in the snow’, a print of which had hung on the wall throughout my childhood. The sheer thrill of the work’s palpable presence, its numen, was overwhelming. What’s more it was thrilling to know where the painting actually lived, what wall in which room of what building it called home – and it was thrilling, too, to understand the scale of it for the first time.”
by Roland Blunk picture by err Bruegel
A couple of months later, I went back to the exact same location, time and day of the week etc., with the idea of reshooting it with my Nikon. No sooner had I raised my lens, than I found myself encircled by a group of dubious ‘compadres’, wanting to know why I was photographing ‘their’ street, rather than as they suggested, Capri. They just couldn’t see what I could see!
by Roland Blunk (iPhone pic)
I’m sitting outside a bar in the centre of our town here in Campania, Italy. It’s pleasantly relaxing under blue skies and a perfect ambient temperature of around 24c, as I reflect on the hard work that has gone into my new website. Yes and I feel I can now just about call myself a photographer. Phew!
There’s been a photographer lurking in me for as long as I can remember. My uncle Peter was a fanatic, with all the gear to go with the passion. More thoughts on this later…