Sunday, 13 April 2014

Searing Light, St John's Tower and Closing Up

"Searing Light" :- Another of those moments where things that are completely out of your hands all come together just at the right time as you 'click' and create an image. I knew the beams of light light were beginning to tear through the gap in the heavy clouds so I set up as quickly and as best I could without really keeping an eye on things and fired off the camera. What I hadn't banked on was that a gull would fly into shot just at the point where the beams really shone through with the old ruins of the West Pier (Brighton, UK) making a perfect and surreal background.

"St John's Tower" :- There are countless fairy tales, legends and old stories handed down over the centuries that tell tales of maidens locked in tall round towers. Most were in need of rescuing by gallant Knights on their trusty white steeds, some simply let their hair down or tied sheets together and the rest erred on the side of evil and plotted in their towers whilst staring into the odd full length mirror. OK, so this tower isn't one of 'those' towers at all but it looks as though it should be. It's a rare tower though as it's one of only three Norman towers in Sussex that were built round and not square (as was the Norman norm). This is the tower of St John's Church in the village of Piddinghoe in the Lewes District of East Sussex, England. The other two round towers also belong to churches and they can be found in Southease and Lewes, all three were built in the first half of the 12th century, are just a few miles apart and located in the Ouse Valley. Oddly enough the village of Piddinghoe does not have an entry in the Domesday Book (1086) but in 1220 it was documented that a "Piddinhoe Manor" had been in the hands of William de Warenne (5th Earl of Surrey - died on 27th May 1240). As for the round towers nobody knows why they were built that way and not square. There are various theories being put forward, many of which involve different 'experts' pontificating about a plethora of 'facts' none of which can be proven etc (as is the expected thing from experts). The bottom line is that we simply do not know, but they are wonderful to see.

"Closing Up" :- A twilight image of the beach cafe at Ovingdean Gap, the customers had long gone and they were just in the process of closing up for the night. I loved the orange / yellow light spill from the window on the front and side door so grabbed the shot before they had chance to shut everything. As many of you know I often walk this route between Ovingdean and Brighton (on the south coast of England) and only made my way home along here on Friday night which was a relatively close shave for me as last night (Saturday) a car somehow managed to leave the road and plunged 100 ft over the cliff. Thankfully the driver survived but I'm not sure that would have!

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill