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My book of London


The concept for this book came to me whilst I was photographing aspects of London, for my ‘London Photography Courses’. My new and yet to be published portrait of London, makes the case that London is indeed the greatest city on Earth. I have devoted a year to photographing both the historic and the contemporary, the opulence and the decadence, the popular as well as the obscure elements of a city in constant evolution. This 300 page 10″ x 10″ hardback book, is a glimpse into that search in defining London’s greatness.

I am currently seeking an appropriate literary agent to present my book project to publishers. If you would like to take a peak then click here, but please consider that this is very much ‘work in progress’. New photography is added regularly, whilst text is mainly ‘dummy’ text and those shots I am unhappy with, will be replaced. Do expect a few ‘typos’ and any feedback would be welcomed. What follows here is my book intro, explaining the concept:

“As Samuel Johnson once famously remarked in 1777: “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life”. My portrait of London makes the case that whilst London is indeed the greatest city on Earth, there need never be a time for boredom here. This book is far from being a ‘blue sky’ city portrayal and still further from being an exhaustive exploration. However, it is a unique glimpse into what contributes to London’s greatness. Whilst many of London’s classic scenarios are displayed through fresh eyes here, there are also many more offbeat locations ripe for exploration.

Having grown up in London and returned half a lifetime later, I feel particularly well placed to view the city through ‘either end of a telescope’, both as a local and a visitor. This book delves into the story of a city that has evolved over two millennia, following the Roman invasion and subsequent birth of Londinium in AD 47. Towns, villages and even hamlets once sedately set in open countryside, have long since been woven into our higgledy piggledy cacophony of contemporary city life, with Georgian, Regency, and Victorian ‘grand planning’ enriching its history over recent centuries.

However my book is not solely about our environment, as I also reflect on the city’s unique infrastructure, its pomp, its heritage and the extraordinary creativeness of its inhabitants. For example, having invented underground rail travel in the mid-1860’s, London’s transport system has long since set the tempo for such travel with innovative architecture, distinctive branding, ground breaking cartographic design, whilst together with the Royal Mail and the Household Cavalry, daring to embrace red.

We British have always been a creative species. Our culture, has delivered Shakespeare, Turner, Dickens, the Beatles, JK Rowling and more recently Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Being inherently creative is almost a part of the British psyche; to invent, to be unique, to dare and to squeeze so much from our tiny kingdom.

As an island nation, chance has ensured our individuality endures, with London being the living embodiment of that idiosyncratic presence. Whilst other cities undeniably exhibit breathtaking beauty, magnificent modernity, ravaged ruins, staggering skylines and even flooded streets, London’s greatness lies within its unparalleled diversity.” By Roland Blunk

Roland Blunk(http://www.rolandblunk.com)
Throughout my career, I have been privileged in being commissioned by so many influential clients. Having discovered photography and graphic design before the digital revolution, the possibilities for visual expression seem almost magical to me, as we live our lives together with daily miracles and wonderment. My design and photography skills were learnt in their original pre-digital form. Slow, sometimes laborious, but wonderfully rewarding. Consequently I am forever in awe of the kit I have at my disposal. My main camera is a Nikon D4, which I use with either AF-S 14-24mm 2.8; AF-S 24-70mm 2.8 or AF-S 70-200mm 2.8 Nikon lens. I process my work on a MacBook Pro, so I can shoot, download, evaluate and post-produce my work, before posting it from anywhere and to anywhere within minutes of shooting. I have travelled through time from being Roland Blunk, a 60's London art student, using my parents' attic as a first 'dark room', to using the world as my studio and that really is a miracle to me. I studied design and photography in the late sixties, at what was then Hornsey College of Art, London. Life, after a series of drab boarding schools, was exciting to say the least. Jimmy Hendrix played upstairs at the Manor House pub, James Brown at Cook's Ferry Inn and Charlie Mingus at Ronnie Scott's, to name a few local distractions. I followed this by studying graphics at the LCP and the huge irony surrounding my design studies, concerned my exclusion from applying for the 'Graphic Design' degree course'. As I left school at the age of sixteen to study at 'Hornsey', I skipped my A's and so studied on the LCP's diploma course. A couple of years after leaving the LCP, I was thrilled when Tom Eckersley head of graphics at the LCP, and one of the foremost poster designers and graphic communicators of the last century (Google him), answered my application to lecture, with the news that he loved my letterhead design. Consequently I was offered a visiting lectureship, on the same degree course that I was not welcome to study on! Now let's keep that one quiet. My clients have included: Action Aid Arista Records The Arts Council The BBC The British Council The British Tourist Authority The Crafts Council The Design Council Eversheds Solicitors The Guardian Haymarket Publications Her Majesty's Stationery Office Hoeseasons Holidays The Institute of Chartered Accountants The Institute of Contemporary Arts Island Records The Longman Publishing Company The Manchester City Art Galleries The National Portrait Gallery The Opera Babes The Royal Shakespeare Company The Scottish Development Agency 'Sotogrande' Spain The V&A Museum I have lectured at major art schools in Great Britain including 'Central Saint Martins' London, and my work has been reproduced in the Swiss graphic publication 'Graphis' Annual, The 'Designers & Art Directors' Annual and 'Modern Publicity' Annual. I was nominated to 'Fellowship' status of the 'Chartered Society of Designers' in the mid 80's. In 2002 I qualified as a 'Snowsport England' ski coach (level 4) coaching instructors at the 'Norfolk Snowsports Club'. Each season I worked in both Austria and Italy as a freelance Alpine ski guide, with an 'Internationaler Verband of Snowsport Instructors' (IVSI) licence.