Friday, 31 May 2013

Gunns Florist, Bar Stools and Dark Days Indeed

"Gunns Florist" :- A bright and sunny view of Gunns Florist store situated on Sydney Street in the city of Brighton, England. It's always got a cheerful and colorful frontage with flowers stacked up and displayed outside on the pavement / sidewalk. Once again I was timing things as best I could to avoid anyone getting in the shot. If anyone knows Sydney Street well enough then they'll know how well I did to not get any people in this shot...especially in the bright and hot sunlight, it's an area of Brighton that's always full of people.

"Bar Stools" :- A shot of the moody bar inside the "Six Bells" pub in the village of Chiddingly in Sussex. The village itself is mentioned and listed in the Domesday Book (written in 1086) and the pub gets its name from the six bells that are within the bell tower of the church that's just a couple of minutes walk away. I don't know much of the pubs history itself but I do know that it was already a bar as an "Innkeeper" is listed in records as running the place in 1851. Many moons ago on the 8th August 1987 the band I was in "Gamut" played a gig here in the barn / bar that's attached to the pub. Live music is still played there each and every weekend and the bar itself has a wide selection of drinks available as well as (imho) the best pub food you'll ever find. It's renowned as a 'bikers' pub (especially at weekends) as the drive to get out there on the village roads is a great run but not too far away from the towns of Brighton, Lewes and Hailsham etc.

"Dark Days Indeed" :- Captured from the cliff top at Ovingdean Gap (East of Brighton) on the south coast of England. It was blustery, cold and a severe dampness seemed to be creeping through everything. The Gulls were out in force and making the most of the thermals that the incoming storm was producing as the wind came of the sea slamming into the chalk face that violently rose up. Needless to say nobody was out and about at all, no joggers, dog walkers or beachcombers ... just a lone figure at a 45ยบ angle battling with the wind on the top of the cliffs trying to get his shot!

All Photography © Justin Hill

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

15th Century Window, Chosen Path and Looking Slick

"15th Century Window" :- This window can be found in the Southern wall of the Church of St Peterin Southease, Sussex, England. It's dated as being from the 15th Century which sounds very old until you realise that it's relatively new compared to the Church itself which is documented as already being in existence in 966 AD (nobody knows when it was actually built). I was originally going to process the image as black and white but then decided to keep what little colour there was as it seemed the make the image more moody.

"Chosen Path" :- A public bridleway runs alongside farmland near the village of Telscombe in Sussex, England. It's a very peaceful place to wander around as there are no main roads nearby at all and it's a reasonably remote area. Considering I have lived nearby for so long this was the first time I had ever set foot in Telscombe village as it's not the easiest place to get to. I had parked my car just off the main coast road and had walked a good 45 minutes in order to get there, grabbed a few images and then set off on the walk back.

"Looking Slick" :- An unusual shot of Brighton Marina bathed in sunlight as it's normally under a grey blanket of cloud. Because of the weather conditions on this particular day the water was a vivid azure blue and very still. Multi colored traces of oil were making patterns on the surface of the water in the foreground. It was a very serene scene.

All Photography © Justin Hill

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

In the Limelight, Old Swing Bridge and More Than a Lifetime

"In the Limelight" :- Yet another case of being in the right place at the right time. I had parked the car at Brighton Marina (UK) and decided to walk the mile or so to the pier and grab a few shots along the way. Not long after I'd not set off ambling along the beach some light managed to break through the clouds and hit the water right at the end of the pier. Without even thinking about the camera was thrown into action before the scene had chance to change.

"Old Swing Bridge" :- Captured while standing on the old swing bridge (looking East) at Southease in Sussex, England. The bridge is from the late 1800's but has not been swung open since 1967. Way before bridges crossed the river Ouse a small Ferry was the usual way of getting to the other side.

"More Than a Lifetime" :- This is one seriously old graveyard. No one knows when the church was built but there are records that clearly state that the church and the grounds it stands on were already in existence in 966 AD which is a full 100 years before the Norman Conquest and the famous "Battle of Hastings" in 1066.

All Photography © Justin Hill

Monday, 20 May 2013

The Cuilfail Tunnel, Victorian Angles and Weeping Willows

"The Cuilfail Tunnel" :- The Cuilfail Tunnel was opened in 1980 and is a 430 metres long tunnel on the A26 at Lewes, Sussex, England. Before the construction of the tunnel all traffic had to pass through the ancient and historical town of Lewes which caused heavy congestion, traffic jams and tailbacks. The tunnel cuts through a large chalk hill in the Cliffe area of the town and makes journey times far quicker.

"Victorian Angles" :- Part of the underside of the old Victorian built terrace that runs along Madeira Drive on Brighton seafront, England. Amazing to think that it was built in 1890 and is still a solid and strong construction. It must have looked beautiful in its day just after its completion. Its still a thing of beauty now and has become an iconic part of Brighton's front and appeared in many films over the decades.

"Weeping Willows" :- I was lucky to get this shot as I could have quite easily walked past without even noticing it. I had driven out to the village of Southease in Sussex (England) to take a look at the old church (966 AD) and grab a few images. Afterwards I decided to take a walk down to the river and on the way back I noticed a pond tucked away behind a hedge and fence. On closer inspection the fence had a style set in it so I knew that public access was available. After negotiating the fence this was the scene that was waiting for me. An idyllic haven of peace and tranquility bathed in sunlight with nobody around.

All photography © Justin Hill

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Old Green Door, Another Planet and Life in the Mountains

"Old Green Door" :- A part of brighton that many don't get to see as they simply walk past without noticing it. This old Victorian building and door are at the end of Trafalgar Court which is a small cul-de-sac just off the bottom of Trafalgar Street in Brighton, England. I don't know for what purpose the building was originally used for or of its history but the colors of the door and brickwork and the angles make for a great and interesting image!

"Another Planet" :- Low tide on the beach at Telscombe, Sussex, England. A strange alien looking landscape that's been built up over thousands upon thousands of years to be then slowly eroded away and knocked back. It's a shame that time travel is not possible as I would love to go back and set up a camera with timed exposures for one a year and then return to present time and pick it up now. Running the images together to form a visual flick book of how the cliff faces grew and fell over centuries would be an incredible thing to see and observe.

"Life in the Mountains" :- Captured high up in the Northern mountains of Thailand in a region known as Omkoi. The air is fresh and apart from the odd truck or motorbike all you can hear is the wind and a distant dog bark or crow from a cockerel. This was my home for a long time and I grew to love and adore it. I would often take the motorbike out on a run and simply 'follow my nose' as I wound up, down and around the mountain roads with my camera as the sun beat down on my back. I miss it dreadfully.

All Photography © Justin Hill

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Wait Forever, On The Rocks and Electric Arcade

"Wait Forever" :- This was captured a week or so ago high up on Telscombe Tie near the village of Telscombe itself in Sussex, England. I had walked half an hour or so to the village from the coast so the light was beginning to fail as I got nearer. This view and scene was too good to walk past without taking a shot.

"On The Rocks" :- I took this shot while waiting to see what the sun was going to do as it approached sunset. It was chilly and blustery and I had shrunk down to half my size behind a few rocks to try to shelter myself from the elements. Three attempts later I had managed to roll a cigarette and then took another eight or nine attempts to light it. It was at that point I decided to grab this image and make my way home. The sun, as it turned out decided to do nothing as it simply dropped down below the horizon without putting on a show of any kind!

"Electric Arcade" :- This is the "Imperial Arcade" (built 1923–24) in Brighton, England. All its Art Deco grandeur and design seems to have been lost over the years as t gave way to modern looking signage and boring shop fronts.

All Photography © Justin Hll

Friday, 17 May 2013

Spritz, King & Queen and Land Stops Here

"Spritz" :- A vivid flower bed of Tulips brighten up the Old Steine in Brighton (UK) The Spritz tent that's behind them is part of the Brighton Festival (4 — 26 May 2013) and is one of a set of three (the Spielgeltent, the Aperol Spritz Social and the Spiegel Garden Bar) collectively known as the Spiegel Garden situated on the Old Steine.

"The King & Queen" :- This is a shot of The King & Queen pub on Marlborough Place in Brighton, England. The building looks ancient but it was in fact built in the 1930's. However, a pub called the King & Queen has stood on the site since 1779. This 18th-century pub was, in turn, converted from a former farmhouse and is now a Grade II listed building for its architectural and historical importance.

"The Land Stops Here" :- A dramatic scene from the cliff top at Ovingdean Gap on the south coast of England. Heavy storm clouds threaten the calm of the evening and turn the surface of the English Channel into a mercurial seascape.

All Photography © Justin Hill

Thursday, 16 May 2013

The Art of Seduction, Strange Structure and Bike and Basket

"The Art of Seduction" :- Captured back in November 2012 on a cold and wintry Brighton beach on the south coast of England. The sun was setting directly behind the ruins of the West Pier creating a surreal and highly beautiful scene.

"Strange Structure" :- I have no idea quite what this structure was built for nor what it's used for now but it's certainly an odd little building built into the steps on Brighton seafront near Duke's Mound (UK).

"Bike and Basket" :- I have no idea why I keep photographing bicycles around the city but they have some sort of visual pull when I see one and find it hard to walk past without grabbing a shot. This one was wonderful as it had a real wicker basket on the front and was leaning up against the old Victorian iron railings of Brighton's seafront promenade with the English Channel in the background.

All Photography © Justin Hill

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Dressed Clock, Minimal Marina and Winter Churchyard

"3pm Shirts" :- This is the famous Victorian Clock Tower and landmark situated in the center of Brighton on the south coast of England. It was built in 1888 in commemoration of Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee and is listed as a Grade II building for its architectural and historical importance. You cannot see much of it in this shot as it's been covered in shirts as part of the Brighton Festival (4 — 26 May 2013). An award winning artist named Kaarina (from Finland) urged local residents to donate their shirts to become part of the project after she ran out of clothes for the giant outdoor "artwork" installation. The artist is (apparently) the toast of the European art scene having received rave reviews for her open space commissions. Needless to say it has been met with mixed reviews here in the city with many local residents saying it's an outrage to do such a thing to a well loved structure and at such a cost too! I was crafty getting my shot of the tower and it's shirt covering. All photographs I have seen have been from street level but I went to the top floor of a local bookshop that overlooks the clock tower and captured it through their window!

"Level Water" :- Wet feet once again as I captured this shot of Brighton Marina (UK) and a distant Yacht out on the horizon. I find that the image has quite a surreal and ethereal quality about it as well as being slightly futuristic and alien.

"Yew Cold" :- The Churchyard of St Wulfran's in the village of Ovingdean (UK) during snowfall back in January 2013. Both the village and church are mentioned in the Domesday Book (compiled and written in 1086). It was bleak, blustery and bitterly cold. All sounds were muffled and I appeared to be the only fool out and about in such atrocious weather.

All Photography © Justin Hill

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

St Ann's Well Gardens, It Ain't Got That Swing and Bird's Eye View

"Light & Shade" :- This was captured nearly a year ago on the 25th May 1012 during a wonderful heat wave that had Britain firmly in its grasp. Making the most of the sun and the warmth I had gone on a bit of a trek around Brighton and had ended up in Saint Ann's Well Gardens in Hove where this image was shot. Love the browns and earthy shadows mixing with the many shades and hues of the lush greenery.

"Water Under the Bridge" :- This is an image of the old swing bridge at Southease in Sussex, England. It's fairly recently (2009) been granted Grade II listed status. The bridge was built in the 1880's but it has not been opened since 1967 even though the swing mechanism is still in place. The village of Southease lies between the towns of Lewes and Newhaven.

"High Above the Drive" :- Captured late April (2013) around 6 pm on Brighton seafront. The Victorian Madeira Lift / Elevator juts out from the upper Marine Parade thus allowing a unique viewpoint looking down onto the old terrace (built in 1890) and along the lower seafront road of Madeira Drive. To the right of the image you can see a few of the grand Regency, Georgian and Victorian buildings that look out over the English Channel. The Brighton Pier is caught in stark silhouette and looks relatively small from this deceiving viewpoint because it's actually a third of a mile long which is 524 metres or 1,719 ft.

All Photography © Justin Hill

Monday, 13 May 2013

Pedestrian Subway, Minimalism and Victorian Views

"Blinded by the Light" :- Even in broad daylight a sense of foreboding and unease is felt once you are within the walls of this subway in Brighton (England). There's nothing aesthetically pleasing about the construction or design and the sounds that echo around mix with odorous and pungent smells creating a heady mix of dread and fear. Having said that it's a great place to be if you have a camera with you as it's full of angles, textures, shadows and light. I was still pleased to get out alive though!

"Dewpond" :- This is an old dew pond high up on Telscombe Tye (an area of open land with the status of common, extending from Telscombe village to the coast), Sussex, England. It was early evening and I was walking back to where I had parked the car ( a good 30 minute walk) when I spotted the pond and the reflections it was creating. In my mind I could see it as a monochrome image so set about trying to capture what I had envisaged.

"A Stand for a Band" :- A shot of the English Channel as seen from the old Victorian Bandstand on Brighton seafront, England. Recently restored the "Birdcage" (as it affectionately known) is regarded as one of the finest examples of a Victorian bandstand still surviving in England. She was constructed in 1884 and has been battered by the coastal weather conditions ever since. She probably has quite a few stories to tell.

All Photography © Justin Hill

A Real Space Oddity

A version of David Bowie's Space Oddity (with a few lyric changes), recorded by Commander Chris Hadfield on board the International Space Station. Over one million views already and counting. This has got to be the greatest music video ever made...


Sunday, 12 May 2013

Rising Chalk, Seaside Snacks and Historic Background

"Beginnings of a Sister" :- The title I have given this image seems very odd at first until you understand what it is and where it is that you are looking at. This was captured at Cuckmere Haven where the Cuckmere Estuary meets the English Channel in Sussex, England. As you can clearly see (on the left hand side) the chalk suddenly rises up out of the ground from nowhere forming a very large and long set of cliffs. The cliffs are famous and are known as the "Seven Sisters" so what we have here is the "Beginnings of a Sister".

"The Great British Take Away" :- Souvenir shops, bars and cafes are found in abundance along the seafront in Brighton (England). They line the city coast providing trinkets, sticks of rock, alcohol and of course the traditional English seaside meal of fish and chips. This was captured a week or so ago on 3rd May (2013) along Madeira Drive. The sun was warming things up nicely and providing some strong shadow play on the paving.

"Children's Flower Stall" :- There's something a little eerie about this image and I can't seem to put my finger on it. Makes me think a little of the tale of the "Pied Piper". Anyway, this is a capture of St Peter's Church in the village of Southease. It's unknown when the church was founded and built but it is known that it was already in existence in 966 AD due to a royal charter by King Edgar the Peaceable which states that the church and some land had been granted to the Benedictine monks. The charter is now in the British Museum but a copy resides within the church itself. You can view an online version of the charter here :- Charter . On this particular day there had been some village stalls set up on the village green and a couple of children had picked some wild flowers and were being most industrious by trying to sell them. One of them asked me "Would you like to buy something?" as I wandered past so I stopped and had a little chat with them and ended up parting some cash in exchange for some flowers which I delivered later to my mother. I captured this shot on the way back to the car after all the stalls had been packed away. Only the little wild flower stall remained with the church providing an ancient and beautiful backdrop. The children were nowhere to be seen...

All Photography © Justin Hill

Saturday, 11 May 2013

A Place to Rest, Light Pools and Glowing Streets

"Picnic Table" :- Captured up on the Beacon Hill Nature Reserve near the village of Rottingdean on the south coast of England. The windmill (Beacon Mill) was built in 1802 and has become a landmark in its own right over the last century.

"Shining Example" :- This is a shot of the beach at Telscombe (a few miles East of Brighton), Southern England. The tide had retreated out as far as it was going to and was on the turn. The sun was still relatively high in the late afternoon sky which was causing all the reflected light to turn the surrounding rocks into shadows and darkness.

"City Sunlight" :- This old lane connects the Old Steine with East Street in the city of Brighton. I had tried several times to find a name for the lane but it does not appear to have one at all. The sun was setting on this late August day and the last warm light was flooding down various streets and bouncing off the walls creating interesting shades and shadows.

All Photography © Justin Hill

Friday, 10 May 2013

Village Life, Strange Construction and Holy Spirits

"Mountains of Omkoi" :- This was my village and home when I was in the Kingdom of Thailand. High up in the mountains we were several hours drive away from the city of Chiang Mai. It was an idyllic and rural working Thai village full of paddy fields, chili fields and tomato fields. Livestock out grazing in the afternoon sun. Bugs and insects filling the air and reptiles slithering or dashing about. I loved it all and embraced the villagers too. I miss it all so very much.

"Alien Fortress " :- In all the years that I have lived in brighton and walked along its beaches I have never noticed this breakwater before! It's located between Banjo Groyne and Brighton Marina and it looks radically different from all the other groynes and breakwaters along the coastline. I have tried to find out information relating to its construction and age but have drawn a complete blank. I have no idea why it looks so different from the others but it makes for a great image!

"The Font" :- This is the interior and bar of The Font (formerly known as The Font & Firkin). The building itself has an interesting history as it was once a 17th century Nonconformist and Union Chapel. On it's outside wall there is still a memorial tablet dedicated to the memory of a preacher named Henry Varley. On this particular day I happened to walk past and noticed the bar was empty of customers and went in to ask if I could take a few shots of the interior. The bar staff very l kindly said I could and also said they'd hide around the corner (in the kitchen) so they would not get in my way or photobomb me. The pub and bar is located in Union Street in Brighton's famous South Lanes.

All Photography © Justin Hill

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Serene Seaside, Faux Victoriana and 966 AD

"Sea Fairing" :- It was just the right weather conditions to capture this atmospheric and serene image of Brighton Pier on the south coast of England. It was 25th April (2013) and the seafront was awash with tourists and day trippers soaking up the sun that was bathing the city. There was a sea mist out on the horizon and the salt water hardly had a ripple on it. The Carousel on the pier dates from the late 1800's and the Helter Skelter has been on Brighton Pier since 1977, replacing a far older one which was destroyed in 1972.

"Iron Stairs" :- A reasonably modern iron fire escape that's obviously been designed to look far older than it actually is. This can be found on the side of a restaurant that's located within Brighton Marina (England). I liked the repetition and filigree iron work of each step.

"Pulpit View" :- I captured this image just a few days ago on Monday 6th May 2013 and it's got some seriously ancient history attached to it. This is the Church of Saint Peter in the small village of Southease in Sussex, England and it's a Church with over one thousand years worth of history! I couldn't possibly word it any better than the text from the Church Website (St Peter's) so here's a couple of snippets from it :- "At one time it was larger with an extended chancel and probably two aisles or transepts. Both were demolished, perhaps at the time of the Black Death." and "We know there has been a church at Southease for over a thousand years: in 966 King Edgar granted the church to Hyde Abbey in Winchester. The original charter is in the British Museum and a copy is on display near the door; Southease must have been quite a flourishing church and village with a thriving herring fishing industry, recorded in the Doomsday book as being one of the largest in the area." There is no record of when the church was built and / or dedicated but that charter verifies that the church was already standing in 966 AD. The pulpit that the book is resting on is Jacobean (1603–1625), the organ was built around 1790 and is a fine example of an 18th century chamber organ and if you look carefully you can just make out some artwork on the end wall and right hand wall, the artwork is from the 13th Century. You can feel the age of this place, the history floods through its pores.

All Photography © Justin Hill

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Blustery Eastbourne, Bleak Farm and Victorian Way

"Food Available" :- Captured a year ago on a cold and wet afternoon in the town of Eastbourne during the month of May (2012). I decided to head down to the blustery and windswept beach and found myself taking a brisk stroll on their old pier. This was shot at the far end near the old theatre, the bench seating is devoid of life while a dark and menacing sea can be seen through the windows and glass petitioning.

"Trees & Barn" :- A harsh looking rural scene shot near the farm in the village of Ovingdean, England. It was actually a pleasantly warm and sunny day but the hard ground and lack of greenery on the trees lent themselves towards me going in hard with the processing and choosing to go with the monochrome option.

"Red Line" :- This is the underside of the small bridge (or tunnel if you happen to be walking through it) that connects Brighton Station to Queen's Road (England). It was constructed in the (mid to late) 1800's and the original iron work can be clearly seen and has been made a feature as it supports the road above while resembling a giant's rib cage. The red line on the right hand side is actually a doorway set into a recess. The woman walking down bathed in white light was an added bonus.

All Photography © Justin Hill

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Record Holder, Railway Bridge and Fantasy World

"Running On Water" :- Images can be deceiving...this one is. It looks as though I am the only one out in the sun on Brighton's Madeira Drive but it was a subtle blend of timing and waiting for the window of opportunity that created the image free of people and vehicles. In actual fact it was very busy (as usual) and I was waiting for a gap in pedestrians and traffic to coincide in order to get the shot I was aiming for. This is an image of Steve Ovett's statue which was erected in 2012 just before the Olympics commenced here in the UK. Steve Ovett was the gold medalist in the 800 metres at the 1980 Olympic Games held in Moscow (Russia). He also set world records for the 1500 metres and the mile run. In 1978 he broke the UK record for 2 miles (3,219 m) which he still holds to this day. Mr Ovett was born in Brighton and lived here for many years, he now lives in Australia.

"4.7 m" :- A boring title for a relatively boring subject matter. The mundane reality of modern living. This is a shot of the Sackville Road railway bridge in Hove, England. It was originally built circa 1839 when the road that ran through it was much narrower and not in constant use. As the rise of the motorcar grew in popularity the bridge the old bridge was considered to be a nuisance and hindrance due to the bottleneck it caused and also it low height and small width (busses could not pass under). In August 1926 reconstruction of the bridge commenced and a new steel bridge was installed in just a few hours one Sunday morning! The Ministry of Transport made a grant towards the costs of the new bridge on the condition that the level of the roadway must be lowered by 12 inches to provide minimum headroom of 16 feet.

"The Lost Kingdom" :- The United Kingdom was once a green and pleasant land along with many other countries on the rest of the planet. Slowly the greenery has been eaten up and replaced by grey concrete and black tarmac. I thought "The Lost Kingdom" would make a great title for this image as it shows what we have lost in so many places and what we miss on a daily basis as we wander about our self made concrete jungles. The title also reflects a fairy tale / fantasy world where you'd expect to come across the odd Unicorn or Centaur. This was shot and captured yesterday (6th May 2013) afternoon in the village of Southease (between Lewes and Newhaven) in Sussex, England.

All Photography © Justin Hill