Book of the Week: Before the Olympics

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Is it too early to get Olympic fever? Plenty of photographers are out there shooting, building their portfolios and stoking the buzz for the 2012 London games, but one photographer named Peter Marshall has a 25-year lead on them.

In his book, aptly titled “Before the Olympics,” Peter has recorded the sites and buildings, many of which no longer exist, around Stratford Marsh in the Lower Lea Valley where much of the 2012 games will take place. His interest in the area was purely driven by his desire to capture a vanishing industrial zone – and he did so beautifully.

In his book, stark black and whites share spreads with color photographs, creating a haunting time capsule that shows the area’s defunct buildings and lonely waterways that were once home to thriving businesses and working ports. Fast forward two years to the shiny sports complexes and big crowds to come and the poignancy is clear.

By the way, many of you Blurbarians may know Peter from his widely followed blogs Re:Photo and My London Diary. Peter is an active member of the London Bloggers. Take a look at their site and you’ll find a recent interview with him where he shares blogging tips and talks about his books.

Big cheers, Peter. We love that you’re using Blurb to make lasting records of your work and our world. Thank you.

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