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 undeniably 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 motion. This 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 welcome.
Here is my book ‘Intro’:
As Samuel Johnson famously once commented 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 undeniably the greatest city on Earth, there need never be a time for boredom here. This book is far from being a ‘blue sky’ city portrait and still further from being an exhaustive exploration. However it is a unique glimpse into what contributes to London’s greatness. While many of London’s classic scenarios are here within, there are 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 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 fabric of contemporary city life, with Georgian, Regency, and Victorian ‘grand planning’ enriching its history over the past three 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. 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, for example, has delivered Shakespeare, JMW 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 plot.
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 extraordinary beauty, magnificent modernity, ancient ruins, staggering skylines and even flooded streets, London’s greatness lies within its unparalleled diversity.
By Roland Blunk