Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Brighton Sunny, Bleak History and Water Buffalo

"Sea Green" :- Some decent weather over the last few days provided me with the chance to capture Brighton bathed in sunlight. This was shot from the Western arm of the marina during an extra low tide which gives the impression that I was skimming over the water like a bird. I was most definitely on solid ground at the time.

"Back of Beyond" :- This was shot on a public right of way on farmland behind the 11 century church of St Wulfran's in the village of Ovingdean on the south coast of England. The village is mentioned in the Domesday book (written in 1086) along with the church. The entire area is steeped in history and the remains of a medieval manor house were discovered in a field not far from where this image was shot.

"Kwai" :- Six water buffalo ("Kwai" in the Thai Language) attempt to keep cool by laying in the water a nearby reservoir up in the mountain region of Omkoi in northern Thailand. These were actually our water buffalo, they are all male apart from the beautiful white one. My wife, brother in law, stepdaughter and in laws could all simply walk up to the buffalo with no trouble at all. If I got any closer than this shot they would have been up and away. For some reason they simply didn't like me, I have no idea why.

Al Photography © Justin Hill

Monday, 29 April 2013

Light Refraction, Skeletal Love and Leading Lines

"525" :- Light refraction and reflections on the side of a yacht berthed at Brighton Marina on the south coast of England. The plimsoll line on the boat is wonderfully reflected in the blue / green sea water that finds itself trapped and becalmed within the safety of the marina walls and lock gates.

"The Expanse" :- The skeletal remains of the West Pier (Brighton, UK) are a subject and theme that I return to time and time again. The pier holds some huge childhood memories for me (I actually remember going on it several times before it was closed to the public in 1975) and I have grown to love it in all it's various guises over the years. This image was captured a few days ago on the 25th April 2013 from the deck of Brighton Pier.

"Channeled" :- A shot from within Brighton's enormous marina but no boats or water in sight with this image. Just concrete and metal on view. The recesses in the walls on the right are doorways that lead to and from the free multistory car park. There's also a pedestrian walkway / subway that cuts through the complex giving safer access to the other side with it's cinemas, casino and gym. The rails on the left are to stop cars and pedestrians from dropping a few feet over the edge. It's a very humdrum and bland part of the marina but it's visually interesting if you look at it the correct way. At the very end of this channeled footpath you can just see an obligatory abandoned shopping trolley.

All Photography © Justin Hill

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Cast Iron, Cast stone and Casting Glance

"It All Stops Here" :- This image turned out to look more dramatic than I'd anticipated. I was strolling along the boards and planking of Brighton Pier and heading back towards the seafront when I stopped and grabbed this shot of the ornate railings and the shadows they were casting. What I had overlooked was the fact that there was a hazy sea mist rolling in which has added an ethereal look and feel to the image and is a much added bonus. Thought about processing this as a black and white but chose in the end to leave the color in with it's subtle tones.

"Bailing Stone" :- A cargo of salt water and pebbles sits in the base of a small boat on Brighton beach (England). It's an indication of just how far the English Channel can make it up the beach when it's high tide during rough and stormy weather.

"Spotted" :- I thought I'd been clever and sneaky. I had seen the monk walking through the temple grounds on the other side of the wall. So I sped up my pace on the sidewalk outside and got ahead of him. I came to a opening in the wall that had a padlocked iron gate over it but there was enough space to get my camera through and line up he shot waiting for the monk to walk past the opening. The minute he appeared I took my shot. It was only afterwards when I checked to see what I'd got that I realised he'd got wise to my move and looked straight at me as he walked past. So much for my covert moves...I'd been spotted! This image was captured at "Wat Mahawan", a whitewashed temple on Thapae Road in the ancient city of Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand.

All Photography © Justin Hill

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Wet Geology, Panoramic View and Moody Boozer

"Sea & Rocks" :- An afterthought shot that turned into a better image than I had expected. A tumultuous English Channel thunders down onto rocks at Ovingdean Gap, England. I love the subtle grey / blue hues of this image and the fact that no other color is anywhere to be seen. I was originally going to process the image as a black and white but decided in the end to let the natural look of it speak for itself.

"Seaside City" :- The seafront of the city of Brighton as seen from the end of its famous Victorian Pier. A shot that would not have been possible a few months ago as there was a large children's fairground ride / attraction sitting in the space y9ou see here and blocking part of the view. What was really handy for me was that the area was taped off to stop the public from wandering in so I was able to set up the tripod and get a wonderfully clear shot of the benches, railings, sea and city without fear of some indifferent or highly unaware tourist getting in my shot. The shadow in the bottom left is cast from the large Victorian Carousel.

"Pitcher & Piano" :- The Pitcher & Piano is situated in King's Road near the seafront in Brighton, England. I managed to capture this late afternoon shot just as the sun was thinking about setting so it was casting great light and throwing some wonderful shadows on the historic architecture. Once again I got lucky due to the lack of (illegally) parked cars, through traffic and pedestrians / tourists.

All Photography © Justin Hill

Friday, 26 April 2013

Very Alien, Very Dark and Very Bright

"Long Winged Mantis" :- This beautiful and extremely alien looking creature was captured way back in March 2006. I was sitting watching TV and doodling in my drawing book / sketch pad when it flew into our house (high up in the mountains of Omkoi in Northern Thailand). I put my book down on the table in front of me and watched the mantis fly around the room a few times and then much to my surprise it came to rest on the very drawing pad that I'd just put down. Grabbing my camera (which wasn't too far away...it never is) I grabbed this image knowing that the white paper would make an excellent background. I hasten to add that the out of focus bright pink hair clip on the table was not mine.

"Under & Below" :- A non conventional image of Brighton's famous Victorian pier. It's a view that many tourists don't get to see and it's taken from an area that few dare to enter. Below the main Pier entrance and underneath the metal belly of the structure there's a wide walkway that's reasonably hidden from view. Vagrants and homeless sometimes take shelter there after dark. Tt's dimly lit by natural light during the daylight hours and dimly lit at night with a few bulbs glowing so you have to have your wits about you. Then there's the smell, a stale olfactory numbing mix of seaweed, salt, rust, iron and a few other things that I shall politely omit from my description.

"The Carousel Organ" :- The brightly painted "Golden Gallopers" Carousel sits on the beach of Brighton on the south coast of England. It's an original Victorian Carousel that still gives thrills and provides enjoyment to both young and old. The following information is taken from *Golden Gallopers Carousel By Jennifer Drury* :- _The ‘Golden Gallopers’ on Brighton seafront was built in 1888 by Frederick Savage at his workshop in Kings Lynn. At the beginning of its life it toured the North of England for over twenty years before being bought by an American enthusiast who shipped it to the USA. It was returned to England in 1990, when it was bought and restored by Mr Corbin of Wiltshire. Owen Smith, the current owner, bought the carousel in 1997, and it has been on Brighton seafront from Easter to September every year since then. At the end of each season the carousel is de-constructed to facilitate an essential programme of six months renovation and repair. All parts are inspected for safety and repainting and re-varnishing carried is out._ You can read Jennifer Drury's full article here :- Golden Gallopers Carousel

All Photography © Justin Hill

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Cold Sculpture, Changing Times and Iron Support

"In the Name of Art" :- A very moody capture of the recycled cast iron beach sculpture "Passacaglia" by Charles Hadcock on Brighton beach, England. This was shot around 3pm on a sunny and surprisingly warm afternoon. Patches of snow were still hanging on for dear life and the beach was empty of life apart from one lone photographer...me.

"Marine Parade Steps" :- An old Victorian area of Brighton with elements of the 20's and 30's thrown in. The modern monstrosity on the right was built back in the 90's and a 1800's bandstand on the terrace was demolished to make way for it. Makes me shudder to think how the council are happy to give planning permission for things like this and also be quite happy to tear down history at the same time. Back in Victorian times the (then) wider terrace was also home to a skating rink and a café. There's an image of the old bandstand (and these very stairs) here :- Bandstand

"Two Faced" :- A floodlit late evening shot of the cast-iron arches of Madeira Terrace along Madeira Drive on the famous seafront of Brighton, England. They were built and completed in 1890 and are still looking in fine condition and are still doing the job they are designed to do (which is support the upper terrace and look ornate and exquisitely Victorian). They used to sit in the darkness when night fell but they have since been illuminated and look wonderful all lit up.

All Photography © Justin Hill

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Thin Reptile, Beach Access and an Ornate Hall

"Green Vine Snake (Ahaetulla Nasuta)" :- This is a shot that I managed to capture way back in 2006 in the front yard (you can see how close it was to the house) up in the mountains of Omkoi in Northern Thailand. We spotted it purely by accident and one of the first things I did was to go and grab my camera from inside the house and grab a few shots of it. It's a Green Vine Snake (Ahaetulla Nasuta) and it's diurnal (awake by day and sleeping at night) and mildly venomous.You can read more information about the species here :- Green Vine Snake

"Beach Slipway" :- Captured down on the beach at Ovingdean Gap on the south coast of England. The slipway gives access to and from the sea and beach for those wishing to launch out towards the horizon. Day wa giving way to night and you can just see the moon (right of center at the top of the image) looking down on us. I love it when I have the beach to myself, I can spend hours just wandering around in silence with the camera.

"Concorde 2 Original Entrance" :- Down along Madeira Drive on the Eastern end of Brighton's famous Victorian seafront there's a music venue called the Concorde 2. This beautiful listed Victorian building was originally a shelter hall which was intended to accommodate visitors during inclement weather. The famous Madeira lift was constructed at the same time and the two were inaugurated on 24 May 1890. When descending in the Madeira lift you exit within this ornate hall. Since then this Victorian building has housed tea rooms, has been a notorious bikers cafe and an amusement arcade. For the last couple of decades it's been Brighton's premier live music venue and has played host to some of the biggest bands on the planet. The White Stripes, PIL, The Scissor Sisters, Marillion and even The Foo Fighters have played within this exquisite hall. You can find out more about the Concorde 2 on their website :- Concorde 2

All Photography © Justin Hill

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Fractals & Fibonacci, Old Sanatorium and Angry Channel

"Wooden Frost" :- This image was captured nearly a year ago (where's that year go?) back in May 2012. I often find myself looking in all directions when I am out with the camera for fear of missing something. One direction that many forget to look in is "up". Tilting your head skywards makes you see things that everyone else misses. Quite often the historical value of buildings and architecture becomes more apparent when you look up as the integrity of the structure is still intact higher up whereas things get altered a lot at ground level. Anyway, on this particular day I happened to look up at the trees and suddenly noticed a pattern that I had seen many times before. The way the branches and twigs were fanning out in a fern like manner made me see that nature repeats things all the time and I'd see this fern like pattern evolving before my eyes before when watching ice forming on a window pane. Even looking at the image now I can see a very strong correlation between the growth of trees and the spread of frost and ice. Fractals and Fibonacci in everything.

"French Convalescence Home" :- This is (or rather was as it's now a residential development called The French Apartments) the French Convalescent Home in the city of Brighton, England. It was a seafront sanatorium and rest home built in Brighton on behalf of the French government. Baron de Courcel (the French Ambassador to the United Kingdom) laid the first stone for the building on 5th October 1895, it was opened in 1896 and finally finished a couple of years later in 1898. You can read more about it's history and architecture here :- French Convalescence Home

"Breaking Waves" :- Here's an image I captured from the Eastern arm of Brighton Marina. It was actually a relatively mild and sunny day but the English Channel had other ideas and was putting on a show of power by hammering the beach and coastline. If you follow the chalk cliffs down towards the center of the image, just before the dip you can make out a small black structure sticking up. That's "Beacon Mill" (also known as the Rottingdean Windmill) and the very same windmill that you see feature in many of my images.

All Photography © Justin Hill

Monday, 22 April 2013

Carriages, Port and Plough

"Trains" :- This was a rather wonderful bit of luck as I was wandering about yesterday (Sunday 21st April 2013). I've crossed the tracks many times at Hove Station (on the South Coast of England) via the pedestrian walkway and every time the view has simply been rails and lines. This time I was delighted to find four trains sitting idle side by side and not a figure n sight to get in the way of my shot! Bliss. So the camera lens was wedged through the metal mesh that's there to stop idiots from throwing things (including themselves) onto the tracks and the shot was in the can! Spot on. Processed this very day and uploaded immediately as it's a shot that I find visually compelling.

"Harbor Life" :- Newhaven harbor on a dreary grey day back in 2012. It looks like a sleepy little place but the harbor is constantly busy and is also one of the major ports for the ferry to France. This part is very run down and in places completely derelict. It's a great place to walk around when you have a camera in hand!

"The Plough on the Pond" :- I love the village pond in Rottingdean (England). I used to visit the village as a child with my mother's Aunt and would often stop here and feed the ducks. Once the evening has settled in it looks so picturesque with the Plough Inn lit up and reflecting in the still water. A perfect English village scene.

All Photography © Justin Hill

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Pastel Skies, Sans Water and Light Portal

"Tangerine Dream" :- There's not a lo I can say about this image, I'd rather like to let it speak for itself. Captured on the hill near my house looking West (obviously). Mother nature paints the sky with pastel hues and gentle colors. The clouds weren't that brooding at all, it was the dying sunlit that backlit them and gave them this appearance.

"Waiting for the Tide" :- Low tide at Cuckmere Haven is Sussex on the south coast of England. The entire area is a magnet for walkers, beachcombers and holiday makers as it's one of the most picturesque places along the coastline. The house on the upper left of the shot is one of the famous coastguard houses that you often see photographed from the other side with the white cliffs in the background.

"Floodlit Door" :- This door can be found under the bridge by Brighton Train Station in Trafalgar Street (England). I just happened to be passing as the spotlight was turned on and grabbed the opportunity for a quick shot (would have been rude not to). I have no idea where it leads to or what lays on the other side but it looked intriguing enough to merit a capture.

All Photography © Justin Hill

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Cliff Top Bench, Clouds Over Land and Coastal Sunset

"Corrosion & Erosion" :- High up on a cliff top near Saltdean on the south coast of England. This bench waits patiently for someone to come along and rest their limbs while taking in a view over the English Channel. The salt air has taken its toll on the metal work and the sea is doing its best to slowly erode the coastline away and push us all further inland.

"Keep Breathing" :- A very simple but powerful image of clouds over farmland in the village where I live. It's a very rural area but just the other side of the hills is the vast and sprawling city of Brighton and it's counterpart Hove. Just a 15 minute drive from here puts me in the countryside and we are surrounded by many historical villages.

"Hazy Horizon" :- I was lucky to get this shot. 'd been on the beach earlier and nothing much was happening so had headed into town to shoot a few images there instead. after an hour or so of aimlessly wandering about I decided to call it a day and head off to a pub. For some unknown reason I decided to walk along to the pub via the beach so headed back down to the seafront. This is the view that was waiting to meet me as I arrived. I certainly had not planned it that way. I ran like a winged rodent from hades across the beach to get a better position and this was the resulting capture.

All Photography © Justin Hill

Friday, 19 April 2013

Far Encounters, Historic Front and Bygone Days

"Take Me" :- White light and dark brooding skies over the English Channel put on a show for the residents of the city of Brighton (England). I found it hard not to think that the light was from some huge mothership trying to beam us all up! It's a powerful display of nature and I sat there for some time watching the light beams dance and change as the clouds moved on the wind. The sea looks so cold and forbidding.

"The Terrace" :- Madeira Drive in Brighton (England) is famous for all it's Victorian splendor and trimmings. Major construction work was started in 1795 to protect the cliff face and ensure the safety of the buildings along Marine Parade (behind the higher railings on the upper left of this image). Work carried on throughout the 1800's and eventually finished in 1890 with the addition of the cast-iron Madeira Terrace (from where this shot was captured) behind which is East Cliff. In the center of this shot you can see the majestic Madeira Lift (Elevator) which was constructed at the same time as the Terrace. The lift was inaugurated on 24 May 1890.

"Kick" :- This area was once occupied by a large outdoor swimming complex. In the 1800's it was an inn and a few houses overlooking cliffs to the east of Brighton. The cliffs were dangerous and known as a black spot due to various Victorians falling over the edge and to their deaths. In 1936 an outdoor Art Deco Lido was constructed and remained on site until it was closed in 1978 and demolished a year later in 1979. The site now sits empty and derelict with only rumours flying around about it's redevelopment. It's become an area well used by Graffiti artists and on the odd occasion is used for displays and exhibitions etc.

All Photography © Justin Hill

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Script For a Jester's Tear 2013

Taken from the World record breaking 2DVD/ 3CD live release 'Clocks Already Ticking'. Filmed, Recorded & Manufactured 'live on the night' at the Marillion Weekend in the UK on 12 April 2013. Still as powerful as it ever was. Steve Hogarth puts in a terrific performance and vocal as he delivers those mind blowing lyrics written by Fish back in the very early 80's.


Iconic Arches, Modern Milepost and a Bit of History

"Ascend Into Light" :- This is a capture of the old Victorian arches, terrace and steps located along Madeira Drive on the seafront at Brighton, England. They were constructed in 1890 and have become an iconic and famous part of the seaside city. The shot was taken around 10 am on the 6th April 2013 (just a week or so ago).

"Tail" :- Not a tail at all but one of the Millennium Cycle Route mileposts that's located along Brighton seafront (UK). This one can be found near the Volk's Black Rock railway station. The minute I looked at the pictures I'd captured it was obvious to me that this one should be processed as a monochrome image. The stark black silhouette of the milepost was thrown forward beautifully by the white wispy clouds out over the horizon and I also liked the lighting on the old railings.

"Engineers Builders Merchants Iron Founders" :- This fascinating bit of history can be found on the corner of Trafalgar Street and Station Street in Brighton, England. I have made several attempts to find out more about the building but have failed each and every time and the internet appears to be fruitless regarding information too. The streets in this area are all near to Brighton Train Station so many works and foundries were in located within them and one of the streets is actually called Foundry Street after the huge Regent Iron Foundry that was once in North Rd (that foundry provided much of the iron that was used in the construction of both of Brighton's famous piers and was demolished circa 1926). This building appears to be 1920's or 30's due to its windows, ornate ceramic tiles and lettering. I don't think it's any older than that even though it's in an old Victorian part of the city.

All Photography © Justin Hill

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Long Lane, Wooden Protection and Victorian Beauty

"Boundary Passage" :- Boundary Passage is exactly what its name implies as it sits on the old parish boundary between Hove and Brighton on the south coast of England. It's a very long and thin passageway that connects Lansdowne Road to Western Road, I am unsure of its age but Brighton and Hove are ancient so I'm guessing that the boundary line and this passageway are also pretty old and predate the 1800's and Victorian times.

"Thank You For Everything " :- This long wooden structure jutting out into the water is to stop boats, swimmers and anything else in the water from cutting across the slipway to the Lifeboat House on Shoreham Beach, Sussex, England. If their state of the art Lifeboat is called out and launched it's going to shoot out and down into the water at some considerable speed so it's vital nothing is in the way.

"White Room" :- Victorian architecture and splendour. This is a section of Brighton's famous pier which was was designed by R. St.George Moore and opened to the public in 1899. Inside this beautiful building is an amusement arcade which send all senses reeling with it's flashing lights and constant noise. Outside it's tranquil and relatively peaceful.

All Photography © Justin Hill

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Windswept, Gang of Gulls and Royal Stonework

"All Weathers" :- This was captured up on top of the hill and around the back of the old 11th Century St Wulfran's Church in Ovingdean, England. It was incredibly bleak, windy and extremely cold. The trees and surrounding area tell their own story as everything looks windswept and weathered due to the lack of shelter from the elements.

"Congregation" :- The title refers to the group of gulls all standing together on the end of the breakwater by the waters edge. I liked the hard lines and angle of the 'wedge' against the soft sky, sea and straight horizon. I always forget just how big the gulls are in and around Brighton. They are huge and very used to crowds and people. They are brave enough to swoop down at times in an attempt to grab food from the hands of holidaymakers and day trippers on the south coast.

"Pavilion Pillars" :- A close up and more detailed section of Brighton's famous Royal Pavilion (former home and palace of home to the Prince Regent who went on to become King George IV) on the south coast of England. The "Pavilion" was built in three stages starting in 1787. It was the designer John Nash who redesigned and extended the Pavilion between 1815 and 1822 and it's his work that you sill see standing resplendent before you today.

All Photography © Justin Hill

Monday, 15 April 2013

Pier Reflections, Minimal Coast and Tunbridge Street

"Silver Seats" :- A morning shot on Brighton's Victorian Pier. The sunlight was bouncing around nicely and reflecting off the white panels and boards. It was only when I got back home and was processing the shot that I realised I'd caught my own reflection in one of the windows!

"Distant Pier" :- An unusual image of the pier from Brighton beach on the south coast of England. I was lucky that nobody was on the beach for this shot. It was captured on the far eastern end of the beach near Brighton Marina. I was tempted to process the image in color but after seeing it in black and white I decided to keep it that way as the strong lines seem to work better in monochrome.

"Warwick Road" :- This is a shot looking up Warwick Road which runs off the High St in Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent. The capture was an afterthought, I was walking down High Street on my way to "The Pantiles" when I caught a glimpse of this road (peripheral vision is a wonderful thing) so I stopped and went back for a look. I liked the 1700's look of it and the play of light as t bounced off the buildings.

All Photography © Justin Hill

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Be Seated, Brasserie and Chalk Sister

"Pew Light" :- This was captured inside a Church I'd never ever been in before. It's a Baptist Church on Gloucester Place, Brighton (England) and it was built in 1904. There's not that much that I can tell you about it but I do know that it was hit by a bomb during World War II and that the congregation themselves rebuilt the damaged walls. I'd gone in for a few reasons which were : 1 - It was the first time I'd ever seen its doors open 2 - There was a local photography exhibition inside 3 - I had my camera with me and couldn't miss an opportunity! Anyway ... I browsed around the exhibition for half an hour and then asked if it was ok to take a few shots of the interior. I loved the light hitting the curved wooden pews.

"Alfresco" :- The Grand Brasserie is located in Brighton Place within Brighton's very famous "Lanes" (the historic quarter and a labyrinth of winding alleyways). The window decal proudly boasts that they have "More than 50 European Beers". It wasn't so warm on the day that I captured this (around midday on 24 May 2012) so there weren't many people about and business was at a snail's pace. When it's summer and the sun is out roasting 'The Lanes' there's not a free seat to be seen anywhere as all the bars and restaurants are packed.

"Insignificant" :- An odd title for such an impressive chalk cliff face. However, the title does not refer to the cliff at all but is directed at us. Take a close look at the far left hand side of the chalk face (where it stops and hits the beach), you can just make out the small dark figure of an adult man which gives you a sense of scale to it all. This cliff is the start (or end depending on how you look at it) of the famous "Seven Sisters" in Sussex on the south coast of England. More information on the famous cliffs can be found here :- Seven Sisters

All Photography © Justin Hill