Saturday, 22 September 2012

Sundown, Tea & Some Deep Thinking

My first image for today is titled "Sol". It was another case of right time, right place. Admittedly I'd headed down to the beach and pier as I knew the day was coming to a close and that the sun would be dropping in the West. One of my favorite times to be out with my camera is during that strange transition between day and night. What I had not banked on or expected was that the sea would be so far out. Normal tides in Brighton (on the south coast of England) don't recede so far out, it's extremely rare to get a glimpse of sand at the best of times. So I was blown away by this vast expanse of shimmering and reflective sand. The pier looked very strange standing on it's spindly little legs, it was practically naked without the sea wrapped around it. I'd wandered around a while taking shots and that's when I turned around and saw this. Perfect!

"The Steyning Tea Rooms" is the quaint title of image two. Steyning is a small town in the Horsham District of West Sussex, England and has existed since the Anglo-Saxon times. Even though it's a relatively small town Steyning has four pubs, an Indian restaurant and a wine bar. Sir Laurence Olivier, the renowned actor, had a home near Steyning where he died in 1989 at the age of 82.

Last image from me today is "Fantasia". On the end of Brighton's famous Victorian Pier there's a fun fair. It has a few thrill seeking rides, some old standards and a few especially for children.The "Fantasia" is for young children, it's a mini train ride that goes around and up and down and around and up and down and around and up etc etc. I liked the colors and the glow that it was emitting as the sky started to bruise and the electric blue of our atmosphere was beginning to give way to the blackness of night. So I set up my tripod and camera in a good spot and went to take the shot and then stopped doing what I was doing quickly. A couple had decided that the perfect place to stop and look at the the ride would be way away from it but directly in front  of my camera ... about two feet away, blocking all the view completely. So I waited...and waited. They moved and I set about getting the shot once more and stopped quickly. What seemed to me to be several hundred (probably only about 20 though) foreign student all with backpacks thought it would be the perfect time to walk in front of the camera, as slowly as they could whilst all shouting at the same time at each other. stopping. Starting. Stopping again. Running back. Shouting some more etc. I waited...and waited. I heard some laughing and noticed a member of staff from the pier watching me trying to get my shot. Whilst I was waiting and playing this ritual game of "When can I take my shot?" it struck me just what it was I was trying to photograph. The vision in front of me was of many happy young children excited to go on the ride which was counteracted by the vision of many miserable looking parents and guardians who were visibly bored out of their skulls. Not a single adult was smiling anywhere, not one. i thought it a shame that they too were once happy, smiling, laughing children and it made me wonder where all that happiness and excitement had gone over the years. Is it knocked out of us as adults? Are we too grown up to have fun anymore? Are we afraid to be seen to be having fun for fear of being branded "Children"? I have no answer. By the time I'd thought that the way was clear ahead of me so I grabbed the shot and moved on. It did however leave me with one other thought and feeling...about myself. I am more than happy to be branded a "child" or "immature" or even an "idiot" if that means I am smiling, laughing and still have a sense of wonder in the world. That makes me well off and a far better person than all the miserable looking adults and "grownups" that I saw out that night. Maturity is not what it's cracked up to be at all!

All Photography © Justin Hill