Thursday, 31 October 2013

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