Before we start, we need to declare a personal interest in this particular book. The author is a very good friend of ours – in fact we’ve blogged about him previously in our Friday Folks series.
Over a period of five years, Paul Floyd Blake regularly photographed sixteen young athletes in the build up to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. His work documents a unique time in British history, and captures the development of a generation of sportspeople as they grow from childhood to adulthood within the intense world of elite sport.
Blake’s restrained and subtle portraits offer an alternative to conventional sports photography, with its emphasis on dramatic moments of action. Instead, his images pay tribute to the long slog towards glory that is not usually seen or celebrated, whilst excerpts from the athletes’ own writings offer insights into their personal hopes and fears. Blake’s approach emphasises the individual’s own story and motivations beyond the values and structures of competitive sport, as the title Personal Best suggests. Of the athletes that Paul selected for the project five years ago, three have been selected to take part in the London 2012 Olympics.
The book includes texts by curator Pippa Oldfield (Impressions Gallery, Bradford) and Professor Jonathan Long (Leeds Metropolitan University).
£20.00 + £5.00 P&P
Hardback, 112 pages, 50 colour plates
285mm x 245mm
To order your copy please email PersonalBest@photographer.net