Behind The Scenes | London Uncovered
Peter Dazeley BEM FRPS – known simply as ‘Dazeley’ – is a celebrated London photographer renowned for fine art and advertising photography.
He is delighted to have been awarded The British Empire Medal in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list for 2017. The BEM was awarded to Dazeley for his services to photography and charity. In 2013 Dazeley was awarded a Fellowship from The Royal Photographic Society; a fellowship is the highest distinction of the RPS and recognises original work and outstanding ability
In the 1960’s at the age of 15, without any qualifications due to his dyslexia, Dazeley started his working life as a photographer. Through sheer hard work, passion and dedication to his art, after 50 years, he has reached the very top of his profession. Dazeley’s success has given him the opportunity to ‘Give Back’ donating his time and energy as a photographer, to many different charities. He also spends time mentoring and inspiring young photographers.
Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park © Peter Dazeley
Despite his full time commissioned photographic work taking up so much of his time Dazeley still finds time to work on a variety of fine art projects. Recently, in association with writer Mark Daly, he published his latest book London Uncovered (2016); a logical progression from their best selling book Unseen London (2014).
“As a born-and-bred Londoner I had tremendous fun recording my hidden London as it stands in the twenty-first century for my hugely successful first book Unseen London. Many readers of that book told me of their frustration and disappointment in being unable to visit some of the locations, especially those which had absolutely no public access; this gave me the idea to produce a sequel, featuring London’s lesser-known institutions, buildings, homes, shops, museums and attractions that are easily accessible, complete with access details and website information.”
Library at The Honourable Society of Lincolns Inn © Peter Dazeley
Collectively Dazeley’s images form a picture of a London, which is strange, gaudy, grand and inventive – an endlessly fascinating world city with its own unique charm. Beneath the covers of London Uncovered, you will find famous landmarks such as Apsley House No 1 London and The National Theatre alongside unusual museums, remarkable shops, historic homes and lesser-known locations such as the Charterhouse, Wilton’s music hall and the Rivoli Ballroom.
Rivoli Ballroom © Peter Dazeley
As the author of the book, Mark Daly explains: “‘Uncovered’ does not mean the disclosure of a private place, because these buildings and sites are all available to visit without special insider access. The common thread throughout is largely the photographer’s ability to uncover a fresh perspective on a special piece of London. The subjects are eclectic, encompassing buildings, monuments in plain sight and walks, with some places famous and others obscure.”
BBC Worldwide News recently interviewed Peter as he took a tour of some of the book’s locations.
Watch the video here
Old clients lasts at John Lobb Ltd. © Peter Dazeley
We recently caught up with Peter during a break from his busy workload to ask him a few questions.
Is London Uncovered part of a trilogy project?
I didn’t set out to shoot a trilogy, but I am just finishing my third book on the wonderful theatres of London, which has been tremendous fun to do and I’m really proud of it. It will be published by Frances Lincoln in September 2017.
What projects are you working on now?
My publisher and I are in discussion regarding a new project which I will start this year. Top Secret at the moment…
What camera equipment do you use?
London Uncovered was shot using available light and long exposures, to keep the ambience of the locations. My Nikon D810 coped beautifully with mixed lighting and very long exposures. As far as lenses go, I used the Nikkor AF-S 14-24mm ƒ/2.8G ED and Nikkor AF-S 24-70mm fƒ/2.8G ED.
My first book, Unseen London, was shot on a Hasselblad with an assistant, a laptop, a laptop stand, etc. and was very hard work. Shooting on my own with just a Nikon and tripod has completely reinvented the way I work.
Dazeley photographing St Pancras Renaissance Hotel in London © Peter Dazeley
You’ve been a friend and customer at Fixation for many years. To what extent do you rely on us for your work?
I have known Barry Edmonds (our Nikon service manager) for more years than I can remember. Way back when he was the genius at Nikon UK, who solved my problems. I am wildly dyslexic and constantly struggle with technical stuff. Barry and Fixation have always been there to help and support me. In this day and age it is wonderful to have a company who will go the extra mile for you.
St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, grand staircase © Peter Dazeley © Peter Dazeley
London Uncovered is available from all good bookshops and can be found online here
Dazeley was speaking to Tim Stavrinou. You can see more of Dazeley’s work on his website www.peterdazeley.com