Thursday, 31 October 2013

Prints Of Darkness - Original CGI Creations

Halloween seems like the perfect time for me to shout about my collection of dark and mysterious images that I have collectively called the "Prints Of Darkness". No photography or hand drawn creations here as each one has been painstakingly modelled, lit and rendered within a 3D computer generated environment. Some were created with a set idea in my head whilst others were created by letting them dictate the direction and flow in which they wanted to go. So if you click on the image below titled "BANG!" it will take you to my Pinterest page with all the poster and prints displayed for you. If you click here on the purple "Prints of Darkness" it will take you to the entire collection in my online store which includes mousepads, smart phone covers etc etc. Happy Halloween Folks!

The Eastbourne Pier Company, Step Aside and Iron Dolphins

"The Eastbourne Pier Company" :- There's something that really captivates me with this shot and I have no idea why. There was nothing particularly different about the day other than it was sunny for a change and not chucking it down with rain like it normally does. Maybe it's the composition and subject matter and the fact that I appear to have caught the angle "just right" but then again that's a matter of opinion and everyone sees and looks at things differently. Which is just as well as t would be a very boring world otherwise. So this is the Pier at Eastbourne on the south coast of England. It was officially opened on 13th June 1870 and is 1,000 feet (300 m) in length. Over the years it's had various different structures built on it and has undergone various changes but it's still managed to retain all the Victorian elegance and beauty that it was given in the first place. In May 2009 the Pier was given a Grade II listing and at the same time was on sale for £5.5 million.

"Step Aside" :- A shot and capture from the side of the stairs within the Hotel Johnel which is located in the town of Hennef / Sieg in Germany. As stairs go there was nothing special about them, no ground breaking design or clever integration with the building but I loved the stark, harsh light that was ripping through the glass block window in the wall and knew at the time that it would make a great image...especially if I processed it as monochrome. All the bars and angles seemed to come together nicely too. Everything was either up or down, side to side or at a 45° angle. It fitted in with the way I see the world.

"Iron Dolphins" :_ Do you see them? Iron Dolphins. The Victorians had the happy clicky silvery grey mammals incorporated into the design of the seafront and promenade railings in Brighton, England. I can tell you the age of the lower terrace, iron arches, Madeira Lift and hall below (now the Concorde 2 music venue) as it's well documented that they were all built in 1890 but I have searched and looked far and wide on the internet and cannot find any mention of when the famous Brighton railings were first put in place. Like much of the famous seaside resort they have become iconic (along with the turquoise paint and colour scheme that Brighton has adopted for as many years as I can remember) and are something that is immediately recognisable as Brighton. The Aquarium used to have several dolphins, I remember being taken there as a child in the 70's to watch them 'perform' in exchange for a small fish or two (the dolphins ... not me) but I have to say I was pleased when a stop was put to it all and the dolphins were released somewhere where they could swim without fear of bumping into a glass wall. On a curious note if you count two from the left on the railings you'll notice that the third round section does not contain a couple of dolphins but has a Knights Helmet in situ instead. This is because the Victorians got too clever for their own good and assumed that "Brighthelmstone" (the original name for Brighton) referred to a bright helm(et) and therefore had the odd one stuck on the railings too.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Gentle Lapping, Tower Light and Straight and Narrow

"Gentle Lapping" :- A view from Shoreham Beach looking out across Shoreham Harbour on the South Coast of England. Just off center and slightly to the right the old Shoreham Redoubt (Fort) can just be seen. It was completed in 1857 and was built in fear of the French attacking. It was later used as an Emergency Coastal Battery (with searchlights and artillery) during WWII. The harbour itself is still still in use to this day and sees many container ships going to and fro on a daily basis.

"Tower Light" :- What a vertigo inducing shot to try and capture this proved to be! The tripod was set reasonably low but not so low that I couldn't get down and see what I was aiming at. So I crouched down and bent my head at an angle to see what the framing looked like in the back of the camera, span out a little and promptly lost my balance ending up on my behind on the ancient and very cold stone floor. Try again. So this is the tower that's above the Chapel of St Michael (the Sailor's Chapel) within Chichester Cathedral in West Sussex, England. The tower is one of two west facing towers which are joined / connected by a gabled bay. The Cathedral's history dates back to 681 but the present Cathedral that you see today was begun in 1076 and was consecrated in 1108.

"Straight and Narrow" :- A village road high up in the mountains of Omkoi which is part of the Province of Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand. No ordinary village road either as this was the village road that ran directly past my front door and the view you see in this capture was what I used to see on a daily basis as I drove the motorbike to the next village to pick up supplies as well as a few cold Beer Changs for the fridge!

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Fear Factor, Low Bridge and Safe Haven

"Fear Factor" :- I've been saving this shot for a while now as it was taken back in March during a cold snap (you can still see snow on the ground) but I knew it would make for a good post nearer Halloween. The tree can be found in Stanmer Park on the outskirts of Brighton in Sussex, England. Due to the lighting, frosty weather, time of year and my processing it took on a malevolent and evil look and appeared to be reaching out as if to grab anyone that was foolish enough to pass near it. I love Stanmer Park, it's chock full of grand old trees and packed to the brim with scenery and history while providing some well needed open space and greenery.

"Low Bridge" :- This is a shot of the old bridge that crosses part of a tributary to the River Adur in Shoreham, Sussex, England. The shot was taken during July 2012 and just after a very wet week or two so the water level had swollen and risen dramatically. The road that crosses it is the Brighton Rd (A259) which will (if you keep heading West) take you into the town of Worthing before continuing onto Littlehampton and the Historical City of Chichester.

"Safe Haven" :- It seems like an appropriate time for me to post this image. For the last couple of days or so I have seen various news agencies throughout Europe use photos of Brighton Marina during the storm that we have just endured and come through. The images depicted huge and violent waves smashing against it's protective arms as the sea raged and attacked its defences. It served its purpose well and as far as I know all boats moored up and berthed within its walls came through the serious squall unharmed.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Monday, 28 October 2013

Driveway Mirror, Chichester Cross and Burgundy Road

"Driveway Mirror" :- A mirror mounted on a wooden post sits at the entrance to a concealed driveway in the village of Ovingdean, Sussex, England. It's essential too as the village road is narrow and winding and not all the through traffic is as slow as it should be. There's also the added thrill of animals to take into account as the farm is nearby so cows are sometimes herded down and through this road and riders on horseback often ride through this way too. The village has a long and interesting history attached to it as it's mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 twice and in entry one it clearly states "Households: 5 villagers. 5 smallholders. 4 slaves." which is interesting. The Village Church is still standing and in use and dates from the 11th Century.

"Chichester Cross" :- This is the famous Chichester Cross which stands at the crossroads / junction where North Street , East Street, South Street and West Street meet in the City of Chichester in West Sussex, England. There's an inscription carved into the stonework that states that the market cross was built by Edward Story who was the Bishop of Chichester from 1477 to 1503. The dates and time in which it was built are disputed a little as others think it may have been built whilst Edward IV (28 April 1442 – 9 April 1483) was on the throne. Having said that it still means that the Chichester Market Cross was constructed in the 1400's! It was nearly demolished in the 1800's but was saved when a different part of the street was widened.

"Burgundy Road" :- This is the slip road on the edge of Brighton that leads under and down Brighton Marina. It's not the most photogenic of subjects but there was something about it that made me stop on my walk and capture the shot. The colour of the road was one factor, as were the yellow and white lines, shadows and walls etc.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Drift Away, 900 Years of Glory and Fuzz Cat

"Drift Away" :- A few pieces of driftwood lay scattered on the pebbled beach at between the villages of Ovingdean and Rottingdean on the south coast of England. It was 1st January 2013 and the air was crisp and sharp with every breath that I took. The reason I love this image so much is because the clouds appear to mirror the white surf as it invades the beach.

"900 Years of Glory" :- Captured just a few days ago in Chichester, a cathedral city in West Sussex, in South-East England. This is a shot and capture of the southern side of Chichester Cathedral with the cloisters and green also in view. The Cathedral was founded in 1075 and it's architecture is in both the Norman and Gothic styles. The Cathedral is also unique as no other English Cathedral has a free-standing medieval bell tower and double aisles. It's also one of only two medieval English cathedrals which are visible from the sea.

"Fuzz Cat" :- Captured in Oxford Place, a small side road that runs between Ditchling Road and London Road in Brighton, England. A heavily graffitied wheelie bin sits across a heavily graffitied doorway. The two completely random and separate works of art and vandalism had somehow come together in perfect unison. The afro haired woman stands above and behind the title "Fuzz Cat" which not only made me stop in my tracks and take the shot but also put a huge smile on my face.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Between a Rock & a Wet Place, Light at the End and Sunshine Of Your Love

"Between a Rock and a Wet Place" :- I find something very calming about this image and I have no idea why. Maybe it's because I remember the day (and capturing the image) very clearly and the weather had that wonderful mild but warm feeling everywhere I wandered with a gentle breeze skipping by from time to time. The shot was taken at Brighton Marina on the edge of the city on the southern coast of England. The giant protective arms sweep around causing the sea water that enters to immediately flatten out and behave.

"Light at the End" :- This is shot from within the huge Victorian built bridge that's on New England Road in Brighton , England. When it was originally built it was just 20 feet wide but over the years it's been widened and altered until it's become the huge gargantuan and massive structure you see in my image. I like the way the traffic cones just catch a little of the natural light that was seeping in behind me. It's a dark and noisy place to stand...especially when you're in the middle of the road!

"Sunshine Of Your Love" :- One of those days and shots where all the elements came together at the right time to create an incredibly breath taking image. The burned out iron ruin of the West Pier stands forlorn and dejected just off the beach of Brighton (England) as the sun dips down on the horizon causing the English Channel to glow in its light. The clouds were scudding over and enhancing the spectacle and the entire show was over within a few minutes. Lucky for me I just happened to be on the beach ... in the right place ... with my camera!

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Friday, 25 October 2013

Staying Warm, Village Road and Old Steine Gardens

"Staying Warm" :- I remember taking this shot very clearly as this cute dog had put a huge smile and grin on my face. The shot was captured on the corner of Ratpakinai Road and Phra Pok Klao 3 Alley in the ancient and historical city of Chiang Mai in the North of Thailand. Even though the sun was out there was a chill in the air so the dog had his jacket on and was sitting out in the sun in an attempt to warm up a bit.

"Village Road" :- This is the road that drops down into the old and original part of Ovingdean Village near Brighton, England. The village has a couple of listings and mentions in the Domesday Book which was written in 1086 and a few years ago they also discovered the remains of an old Medieval manor under Hog Croft Field which is directly next to the 11th Century St Wulfran's Church. In the distance you can just see the downs and farmland stretching and rising up. If you walk along the public bridleway up and over the land you'll find yourself on the edge of Brighton itself.

"Old Steine Gardens" :- The thirty-two feet high Victorian fountain (inaugurated on 25 May 1846) stands resplendent in the middle of the Old Steine Gardens in Brighton, England. The gardens themselves were originally a large open green space with a stream running through the middle in the fishing village of Brighthelmstone (the name went through various changes through the centuries and eventually became Brighton). From the 1700's onwards the area started to transform and take shape as the small fishing village slowly turned into a seaside resort which was favoured by Lords, Ladies and Royalty.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Convolvulus Hawk-moth Caterpillar

Anyone for Pimm's, Reeds and Eastbourne Bandstand

"Anyone for Pimm's" :- Captured just opposite Regency Square and down on Brighton's lower promenade near the ruins of the West Pier on the south coast of England. by the old pedestrian subway there's a small cafe that sells the normal sort of things you'd expect in a seaside resort. Ice creams, crisps (potato chips), chocolate (candy) bars as well as coffee and tea etc. By the looks of it they'd been grabbing a bit of sun between customers and had left their bright red deck chair out which looked very vibrant against the dark foreboding depths of the subway.

"Reeds" :- Evening on the bank of Lake Siutghiol in Mamaia, a resort on the Romanian Black Sea shore and a district of Constanța, Romania. The thin black line running across and through the image is actually Constanța itself on the other side of the lake. 'd been standing by the waters edge for over 30 minutes watching the sun go down and grabbed this shot as an afterthought before I turned and made my way back up to the van.

"Eastbourne Bandstand" :- This is a capture of the bandstand on the seafront of the East Sussex coastal town of Eastbourne, England. It's a beautiful bit of architecture with a large attached colonnade that gently curves around and also has multi levelled viewing decks. This particular bandstand is unique, there is no other like it in the UK. It was designed by Leslie Rosevere and built in 1935 and originally seated 3,500 (now it only seats 1,600 due to modern health and safety laws).

So they have recently "done it up" over the last couple of years and I was amazed to discover their idea of restoration when I paid it a visit a few months ago. If you look at this image I captured you can clearly see that there's now a huge and ugly iron girder frame in place that supports the elegant roof. No gentle 1930's curves or lines. No aesthetically pleasing design. Just a square, ugly, cream coloured monstrosity that juts out and screams visual abuse at you. Just what were they thinking of?

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

1800's Bridge, Glass Blocks and Get In Lane

"1800's Bridge" :- This is the a shot and capture of the old swing bridge at Southease in Sussex, England. The bridge was originally built in the 1880's and is apparently the second bridge to have been constructed at this location. The last time it was actually in operation and opened was in 1967 even though it still has its swing mechanism intact. The bridge has been given a Grade II listing.

"Glass Blocks" :- An interesting image of the glass window blocks that let natural light in on the stairs between floors of the Hotel Johnel in Hennef /Sieg, Germany. If you look carefully just to the right of center you can make out the spire of the neo-Gothic Parish church of Saint Simon and Judas. The tower stands at a height of 74 meters and is the highest church tower in the Rhein-Sieg-Kreis. Hotel room boredom induced me to go walkabout with the camera in search of visual treats which was when I stopped on the stairs and grabbed this image.

"Get In Lane" :- This is the pedestrian path and bicycle lane that's just on the Eastern edge of Brighton. To the left of this shot there's a large and deadly drop (hence the fencing) from the cliff top with Brighton Marina sprawling out way below at the bottom. The white line is an attempt to keep cyclists and pedestrians segregated but due to the technology in this day and age most don't even see it because they are too busy staring into their iPhones.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Wood Watchers, Ship to Shore and Rickety Bridge

"Wood Watchers" :- These majestic trees can be found standing at the back of Stanmer Manor deep within Stanmer Park which is located along the Lewes Road (A270) on the edge of Brighton, Sussex, England. The history of the park goes back centuries but it only really started to come into its own during the 1700's when the manor house was built in 1722. Stanmer Park is the largest open park within the Brighton area.

"Ship to Shore" :- An evening of surreal calmness befell Brighton several months ago in July. The sun was taking in its applause and bowing on the way out leaving us with one last colourful display before giving the night a turn. The atmospherics were just right. The English Channel is usually rough and a mixture of dark greens and greys but for some reason on this eve it was flat and a wonderful shade of blue / green which was also reflecting a lot of the sunset. Brighton sat there basking in its own history and fame knowing it had already earned its rightful place on the English coastline.

"Rickety Bridge" :- Hidden away up in the mountains of Omkoi in Northern Thailand there's a small and very beautiful waterfall. I'd been trying to go several times but each and every time something would get in the way and the afternoon out would be aborted. Then when I least expected it I found myself on a motorbike and being shown where it was on a gloriously hot and sunny afternoon. The journey took about 45 minutes from the house and was along a long and winding, switchback road which passed many rice fields and palms. When we got there we grabbed a bite to eat from the packed lunch I'd taken along and then explored a little. This handmade uneven bridge was near where we sat to eat, it wobbled from side to side slightly when you walked across it which made you not want to have to walk back again but left you no option. It was an idyllic and wonderful afternoon.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Reeve & McIntyre, Emirates Festival of Literature 2014

Monday, 21 October 2013

Kingston Bridleway, Beneath The Wheel and Morti

"Kingston Bridleway" :- A most wonderful and beautiful part of the Sussex countryside captured as I walked over the downs from the town of Lewes back to the village of Ovingdean (near Brighton) on the south coast of England. The stretch of land I was walking on in this shot lays between Lewes and Kingston village. All in all the walk took me (approx) two hours but that was with me stopping along the way to capture various images and take in the scenic views (and get my breath back at times).

"Beneath The Wheel" :- The title says it all really. This is a shot and capture of Brighton's famous Victorian Pier as seen from underneath the platform that supports the giant Brighton Wheel. It had been raining hard so everything was damp and wet which added to the grey moodiness of the entire day. It was cold too and this image somehow conveys the dankness of it all which was surprising due to the fact that it was early July 2012.

"Morti" :- A seriously moody and atmospheric scene which stopped me in my tracks the second I entered the Cathedral. This was shot just inside the entrance of the Catedrala Ortodoxa Sfanta Treime (Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral) in the city of Arad in Romania. The Cathedral is relatively new to Arad as its foundation stone was laid in 1991 by the bishop (Timotei Seviciu) of Arad . The cathedral was consecrated by the patriarch Daniel on 6 December 2008 and on 28th November 2009 it became an archiepiscopal cathedral. Once inside its a cavernous giant of a structure which is half concrete and half brightly painted and ornately decorated.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Snowmans Land Cards

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Gate, Primordial and St John's Path

"Gate" :- A gated public footpath leads up and over farmland on a warm and sunny afternoon on the Sussex coast of England. It will take you (approx) one hour to walk from here to the historically filled Brighton with its piers, pavilions and lanes. I walk (a slightly different route) at least once a week into town and back and it's a very pleasant walk providing the weather is behaving.

"Primordial" :- Slippery rocks and chalk covered in seaweed wait for the tide to return at Ovingdean Gap near Brighton, England. The rock pools in between provoked memories of clambering around barefoot as a child with bucket in hand looking for crabs or sea anemones. It's a peaceful place to while away a few hours, very tranquil with just the sound of the sea backed by the odd cry and squawk of a gull.

"St John's Path" :- This is the Church of St John the Baptist in Crawley, a town and borough in West Sussex, England. It dates from the 13th century and is the oldest building in the town centre but only one wall still remains of the original ancient Church. It's built of Sussex limestone and is just one of twelve Grade II listed buildings in the borough of Crawley.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Rest & Shade, Artizana and Sunset & Trees

"Rest & Shade" :- Brighton & Hove promenade and seafront is full of Victoriana and history. It's impossible to venture anywhere without stumbling over something of historical interest or importance. The seating and shelter that you see in this image has provided rest and shade for those walking along "the prom" since the 1800's and it's one of many that you will find on the seafront overlooking the English Channel. Interestingly enough once you get to the boundary where Brighton finishes and Hove takes over the design of the Victorian seating booths changes slightly. To the right of this image you can clearly see the remains of the old West Pier.

"Artizana" :- Shot and captured in Sydney Street which is part of the North Laines in Brighton, England. During the week the area is relatively busy but open to traffic. However, the weekend's very busy with tourists, day trippers and locals milling about and some of the roads close to traffic altogether and the shops put many of their goods outside giving the place a slight "Portobello" feel. This image was taken during a hot spell back in May 2013 and show some clothes and bags of a rail outside Artizana.

"Sunset & Trees" :- Early evening on the bank of Lake Siutghiol in Mamaia, a suburb of Constanta in Romania. Earlier in the day I'd stood on the shore of the Black Sea looking out at the constant stream of cargo ships on the horizon so this view at the lake was a much more picturesque and pleasant way to watch the daylight fade.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

The Christmas Bear

I want to take a little time to introduce you to the incredibly wonderful work of +Paul Stickland who's a seriously multi talented artist known for his Children's book illustrations, pop up book work and his scratchy and dark trolls, cats and crows etc. Well a few years back Paul created and illustrated a most beautiful book titled "The Christmas Bear" and now his stunning illustrations are available for purchase in his intriguingly named "Strange Store". If you're looking for something a little different this Christmas that evokes a sense of wonderment and innocence then look no further.

The Christmas Bear Posters
Santa Claus Study Posters
The Christmas Bear Print
The Christmas Bear Lamps
The Christmas Bear Desk Lamp

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Friday, 18 October 2013

Hut on the Lake, Within Arad Station and December Sea

"Hut on the Lake" :- I spent many hours sitting by this man made lake enjoying the view, wildlife and tropical heat. This is Ang Kep Nam Ban Dong, a reservoir in the village of Ban Dong, Omkoi in Chiang Mai province, Thailand. It was (approximately) a 15 minute walk to the lake from the house, when I used to get in the way or under their feet and was told to "Go somewhere!" I'd grab my camera and stroll up to this beautiful and scenic place. I'd stay for a few hours, chasing dragonflies, butterflies, lizards and crickets in the hope that i'd get some decent shots which thankfully I did over time. It was an idyllic little haven of peace and tranquility.

"Within Arad Station" :- An interior shot of the train station in Arad, the 12th biggest city in Romania. Interestingly enough Arad had one of the first music conservatories ever in Europe. Anyway, Arad Central Railway Station is the second largest railway station in the western region of Romania and was designed by Hungarian architect Ferenc Pfaff back when Arad was once a part of the Kingdom of Hungary. The station officially opened in 1858. Considering it's the second largest in the western region it's surprisingly small and rather bare with just three platforms and very little else. The interior was rather stark and hard hitting but did feel very imposing and seemed to make you know your place within it all and tow the line.

"December Sea" :- I've had this image on file for nearly two year as I captured it back in December 2011 on a very cold , wet and wintery day. The English Channel was a grey / brown sludgey colour and looked very uninviting as it churned and splashed around. The storm out to sea had affected everything for miles as the wind was strong with salt and you could feel an uneasy electricity in the air. Just as i'd set up and was about to take the shot a small orange strip of light broke through between the clouds and sea. Perfect timing.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Stair Carpet, Church of St Peter and H2O

"Stair Carpet" :- This is a shot and capture of the main stairs in a building where my friend has an apartment in Hove (England). Apparently the building used to be a hotel and the upstairs hallway seems to back up that story as it connects through to the building next door and does indeed look very much like a hotel corridor. I have since also found out that Aaron Sassoon (brother of Sassoon David Sassoon, who was an Indian-born English businessman, banker and philanthropist) once lived here in the 1800's. The Sassoon's presence in Brighton was spoken about by the M.P., Henry Labouchère, who said Brighton was, 'a sea-coast town, three miles long and three yards broad, with a Sassoon at each end and one in the middle'. The Prince of Wales (later to be King Edward VII) often came to Brighton to see the Sassoons. It's also been mentioned that the Sassoons also helped the Prince of Wales organise secret meetings with his mistress, the actress Lillie Langtry in Brighton. I wonder if the Prince of Wales ever walked up these stairs?

"Church of St Peter" :- The Church of St Peter can be found in the village of Southease in Sussex, England. Southease belonged to the Abbey of Hyde, Winchester, and the church is mentioned in a charter of King Edgar, dated 966 AD therefore the Church is most definitely ancient. What makes it different from many Churches in England is that it has (as you can see) a round tower. There are only three round tower Churches in Sussex and they are all reasonably near to each other (St Michael's in Lewes, St John's in Piddinghoe and then St Peter's n Southease). The reason the towers were built (by the Saxons) like this is hotly disputed. One theory is that stone was hard to find and / or quarry in the area and that the flint that was used instead made it hard to construct corners so they were forced to build them round. We shall never know why they were built this way but they do possess a more fairy tale quality when the towers are round.

"H2O" :- Water. Loads of it. Apparently 326 million trillion gallons of it (which is roughly 1,260,000,000,000,000,000,000 liters) can be found on our planet. Of that 98% of the water on Earth is in the oceans and undrinkable because of the salt. That leaves just 2% of fresh water for our consumption. 1.6 % of the planet's water is in the polar ice caps and glaciers. Approximately 70 percent of the Earth's surface is covered in water and and the average depth of the ocean is several thousand feet (about 1,000 meters). Even your own body is 65% water!

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill