Monday, 19 November 2012

Purple Pavilion, Beach Grill & Natural Red Lines

"The Ice Palace" :- Well, this shot was a one in a million and I was very lucky to get it. Last week I traveled into Brighton (on the south coast of England) with the idea of trying to photograph the famous Royal Pavilion. Due to parking restrictions and charges I'd parked some way away so had a 20 minute walk before I even set eyes on my subject matter.

I knew that they'd set up an ice rink within the Pavilion gardens for the holiday season so headed down the side and around to the front in the hope of getting the shots I wanted. Well, I was dismayed when I found that the only view I could get was from the side as a huge unit had been built (where you paid to hire skates and get on the ice) and it was blocking off the rink. Right...time to rethink. I set up my tripod and camera and found a relatively tight angle to shoot from that was to the side of the Palace. It wasn't really what I wanted but it would have to do. I must have been there for at least 20 minutes grabbing various shots and taking in the atmosphere before a security guard wearing a yellow reflective jacket and brandishing a walkie talkie approached me from the unit and said "Sorry mate, you can't take photographs!".

I explained that I was from Brighton and that i'd photographed the Pavilion many times along with the thousands of tourists that take holiday snaps of it on a daily basis. "You're not allowed to photograph anyone here on the rink!", "Ah" I replied, "I'm not photographing anyone at all, it's the Pavilion that i'm interested in. I don't like photographing people, they tend to mess up my shots!" I said whilst grinning away at him and showed him a few shots I'd already taken (the joys of a digital camera). As we were having this exchange some other people that worked there had cleared the rink of all skaters and a large machine was being driven around to scrape and clean the ice. "They're good shots" he said, "Follow me" and he lead me through the complex and restaurant and through a set of double doors onto a viewing platform directly overlooking the rink that provided a straight on view of the illuminated Palace! I had about three minutes to grab a few shots whilst the rink was devoid of people, I was also trying to avoid the machine driving around cleaning the ice. After a few minutes I thanked him very much and made my exit.

The shot you see here is a stitched together shot from two photographs. One shot had more rink in whilst chopping off the top of the Pavilion and the other shot had more Pavilion but not much ice. It's a unique image. To be able to photograph the Royal Pavilion whilst it's floodlit and have an empty ice rink in the foreground without anyone on it in the center of the city of Brighton has got to be a chance of a lifetime. I'm pleased I got that chance!!!

"Reinforcement" :- The sun was out and so was the tide when I decided to walk to Saltdean on the south coast of England. Salt air was in my the lungs and the sound of gulls swooping around and screeching their way on the thermals filled my ears! It was a wonderful afternoon. The undercliff walk finishes at Saltdean, it's as far as you can walk along but because the sea had ventured some way away I was able to climb down onto part of the beach that's normally out of bounds. I had a good scramble about on the slippery rocks whilst somehow managing to keep my balance and explored the area. This washed up metal grill was wedged in among the chalk rock pile with seaweed draped over it. I thought it looked great so grabbed the shot!

"Rural & Rustic" :- A rich rusty red of heather forms natural 'tram lines' on a worn path down on the Cuckmere Estuary in Sussex, England. It wasn't easy taking this shot as someones bulldog decided to come and say hello as I was crouched down and he was jumping all over me and knocking the tripod over. Fortunately I love and adore dogs so put the shot on hold for 5 minutes and said hello to the dog and his owner who was most apologetic. I then had to wait what seemed to be an eternity as a group of ramblers decided that was the route they wanted to take and they were hell bent on taking their time walking along it too. As soon as it looked 'all clear' I grabbed the shot and moved on.

All Photography © Justin Hill