Friday, 31 October 2014

Daily Doodle : Monster

Well today's sketch had a very open theme which was...Halloween. Obviously that left things pretty wide open and for a while my mind was full of witches, ghosts & ghoouls, skeletons, mummies and all manner of creatures of the night as i tried to work out what to draw. I ended up mucking around on a blank screen and after several aborted attempts this fine looking gentleman suddenly appeared. So here's "Monster"...

Circus, Backlit Cross and Stormy Coast

"The Moscow State Circus" :- This was shot nearly two and a half years ago on 29th May 2012 and has been sitting patiently on file ever since. This was the "Big Top" of The Moscow State Circus when it visited Brighton and pitched up in Preston Park. I like wandering around these places by day, they look different. At night they become magical and take on a different feel as they're all lit up. By day they are quiet and still but you know that all the talen that entertains at night is still around somewhere, it's just well hidden. But that of course also means that the clowns are still around somewhere too and that they are also hidng. Honk honk!

"Backlit Cross " :- A shot of the alter lit by natural light as it floods in through one of the windows high up within the church. This is part of the interioro of St Mary de Haura Church in Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, England. The church was founded in 1096 but much of it was built from 1105 onwards. It has stood in Shoreham for over 900 years and is one of the oldest Churches in the town. Due to it's incredible Norman architecture and its historical value the church is Grade I listed. When I ventured inside I found myself alone as I wandered around on its cold, hard stone floor. My footsteps echoing around as I made my way further in. There was an incredible feeling of weight and age all around me. You could feel the presence of the Normans that built this place of worship.

"Stormy Coast" :- Here's a view I know very well. This is the cliff top at Ovingdean Gap on the outskirts of Brighton. It takes (approx) 25 minutes to walk from the house to here whereupon I make my way down the winding set of steps in the cliff face and down to the undercliff walk where I can then walk the few miles left into Brighton itself. As you can see by the wall and stonework this was all built in the 1930's. On this day the sea was cold and the odd spot of rain was a warning that the ominous looking clouds rolling in were threatening a complete downpour.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Daily Doodle : Werepig

Piggin' heck it's a werepig! No preconcieved ideas for this one. Just a blank sheet of pure white paper and a pencil and half an hour or so later there it was in all it's porky glory. Thrown into the scanner and then digitally messed around with colour etc and hey presto a lycanthropic oinker.

Poles Apart, Thirties Steps and One Brighton

"Poles Apart" :- It's odd the way some things become iconic and a stronger symbol of what they once were. These cast iron posts on Brighton beach signify a time long since gone. They once carried the deks of the West Pier and held aloft Victorian Ladies and Gentlemen as they took in the sea air on an afternoon stroll. This is where Richard Attenborough filmed most of "Oh! What a Lovely War" (1969), a film that many regard to be his greatest. Tony Curtis and Sir Roger Moore fimed an episode of "The Persuaders" titled "Sporting Chance" (1973) in Brighton with a few key scenes shot on the pier. It was also the location shoot for two of the very British 1970's "Carry On..." films as both "Carry on at your Convenience" (1971) and "Carry on Girls" (1973) had scenes shot on the West Pier. Now all we have left are a few of the supports (many were recently removed to make way for the i360) and the old frame of the Theatre standing out to sea.

"Thirties Steps" :- These are the steps that lead from the promenade to The Whitecliffs Cafe and the tunnel that leads through the the Lido at Saltdean on the south coast of England. The steps, cafe and tunnel were all built in the 1930's. The undercliff walk was completed in 1933 and the building of Saltdean Tunnel commenced on March 27th 1933. The cafe dates from somewhere around 1937 as the previous building on the site was demolished around 1935/36. Because of all that information we can ascertain that this set of concrete steps was also built in 1933.

"One Brighton" :- This was once a very run down area of Brighton. I remember it as a child in the 70's. It was full of ramshakled looking warehouses and old railways sidings. The two warehouses that have stuck in my mind (for some unknow reason) are the old "COMET" warehouse (electrical goods store) and "John’s Camping" both of which were in New England Street, Brighton. So this shot is of private apartments and offices that that were built as part of the regeneration of the area now known as the "New England Quarter". It's hard to find something nice to say about the architecture and new, modern designs employed. They lack character and are nothing more than blocks with windows. Unfortunately Brighton is seeing a lot of this type of architecture which is a shame as none of it is in keeping with the historical elements of the City which made it famous. Bland and souless. The offices on the ground floor were empty at the time of shooting this but have since been sold and are now (finally) in use.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Daily Doodle : Zombie Mouse

Today we were given the task of sketching, drawing and doodling a "Zombie Mouse". With no preconceived idea in my head at all I jumped straight in and attacked the papaer with my good ol' fashioned pencil. This was the end resul once I'd scanned t in and addded the colour digitally.

Wet and Cold, Empty Terraces and North of the Bridge

"Wet and Cold" :- A December evening in 2013. It was dark, wet and miserable and for some unknown reason I had headed out with the camera and was embarking on a long walk into the City of Brighton from the village of Ovingdean. This shot was taken just on the brow of a steep hill that forms the major part of Ovingdean Road. The orange street lights were catching the wet tarmac and paving slabs and creating a very moody image.

"Empty Terraces" :- Well, what can I say about this image? This enitre area was redeveloped literally as we hit the new millenium. In 2000 this strange looking cylindrical structure took shape and opened as "Terraces Bar & Grill". It wasn't exactly in keeping with Brighton's historical seafront but it wasn't an absolute eyesore either. Now fourteen years on and we discover that the entire complex is to be demolished and replaced with a two storey modern eyesore that's essentially several oblong blocks that will become a 'Seafood restaurant' and a private members club with open air swimming pool. This ensure much of the terrace will be closed to the general public and it will also shut out much of the sea view from the coast road as part of the new design proposes a 67 meter wall along Brighton seafront. Today is the last day for objections regarding the plans. But I am sure big business and money will prevail as we watch Brighton slowly lose t's look and history to modern monstrosities and dubious deals.

"North of the Bridge" :- This shot was taken as I was standing on "Old Bridge" which connects East and West Looe in Cornwall. The view is looking North up the East Looe River with Trenant Wood on the left and St Martin's Wood on the right. Looe is a small coastal town and fishing port with a population of just 5,280. The town is steeped in history and is everything you'd expect a Cornish port to look like.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Daily Doodle : Pumpkin Boy

Today's Halloween themed topic for the daily doodle on Twitter (@Daily__Doodle) was "Pumpkin Boy". I had various ideas running around in my head for this one but in the end settled for a child with a carved pumpkin for a head. A bit obvious to go that way but sometimes the simplest works the best. The original idea was to sketch a child running with his hands mimiking claws with a pumkin stuck on his head. I drew the pumkin and the cafe on it and suddenly found myself adding a pacifier/dummy to it. Instantly the idea changed and I ran with it ending up with the mage that you see here now. This doodle is a tad different from the others as this ne was actually sketched out old school styly with pencil and paper. It was then scanned in where I cleaned up certain elements and added the color and lighting etc. So here he is...Pumpkin Boy.

Bridging the Gap, House & Sycamore and Orange Lining

"Bridging the Gap" :- A view from under a bridge that straddles the River Ouse as it wanders through the historical town of Lewes in Sussex, England. The bridge carries a section of road known as the 'Phoenix Causeway' over the river. If you let your eyes wander down you'll see a stack of barrels over a red brick wall. That's the famous Harveys Brewery which was founded in 1790. If you look beyoned that you'll see just down river a smaller and older looking crossing. That's the beautiful grade II listed "Cliffe Bridge". That bridge was built in 1732 and provides access to Cliffe High Street.

"House & Sycamore" :- This is a shot taken within the courtyard that's at the back of the ruined Nymans House. It's situated in a place called Handcross, Haywards Heath in the county of Sussex, England. It's now owned by the National Trust but it was once the home of the Messel family and particularly Anne Messel, 6th Countess of Rosse (1902-1992). Anne was a wealthy socialite who also happened to be the mother of Lord Snowdon who married Princess Margaret, sister of Queen Elizabeth II. Much of the house was destroyed by fire in the winter of 1947. It's a majestic looking building even though most of it now is open to the elements.

"Orange Lining" :- Shot nearly two years ago in December 2012. A mercurial sea at Ovingdean Gap reveals the rocks at low tide. The late afternoon suset was catching the clouds and dusting their edges with light. At this time of year it's utterly peaceful on this section of beach. All the tourists and noise they bring with them are three miles west of here in Brighton. This part of the beach is quite well hidden as the village of Ovingdean is set back from it and the subway that leads across to the steps is well hidden from the road. This is my hideaway.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Monday, 27 October 2014

Daily Doodle : Vampire Cat

This week there's a Hallowen theme running (for obvious reasons and today's given subject to sketck, draw and play with was a "Vampire Cat". I had various thoughts and ideas but ended up jumping in with both feet and attacking a blank (digital) canvas o see where we'd end up and this was the result...

Incoming Tide, Water & Light and Clifftop Sun

"Incoming Tide" :- This is the mighty 'Medina Groyne' (also known as the "Hove Walkway") which is situated on the beach at Hove on the south coast of England. The first concrete groyne was built in Brighton in 1867 at East Street and slowly more were built and added over the years. The flint seawall in Hove was built in sections and the Medina Lawns to Hove St. section was built in 1895 so one can only presume that the "Medina Groyne" dates from somewhere around the same period. The tide was on its way in fast when I took this shot and it was quite unnerving to watch the sea water starting to engulf the structure I was standing on. As soon as the shot was in the camera I made a hasty retreat!

"Water & Light" :- Quite a striking image considering it was shot through a plate glass window! I was standing in a corridor within the 1930's built building that is Blind Veterans UK in the village of Ovingdean on the outskirts of Brighton, England. I would have loved to have gained entry and stood pool side but I had to make do and shoot through the glass wall that separated us. The building was constructed between 1935 and 1938 and was originally known as "Ian Fraser House - St Dunstans" when it first opened. In 1975 a single-storey wing was added to the southern wall and the swimming pool was built. In 2012 St Dunstans underwent a name change and is now known as Blind Veterans UK. If you look over the pool in the image and out through the opposite glass wall you'll see the English Channel. Blind Veterans UK are not Government funded whatsoever and rely 100% on donations. You can read more about the organisation and make donations here :-

"Clifftop Sun" :- It is what the title suggests. A cold sun over the English Channel as seen from the top of the cliffs just to the East of Brighton on the south coast of England. Way down below you can see the huge Brighton Marina which is the largest in Europe with over 1500 berth's. The marina was built over 8 years between between 1971 and 1979, I have very clear memories of my parents bringin me down here to look as the large reinforced concrete cassions lined up on the shoreline ready to me moved into place to form the arms of the marina. Each cassion weighed in at 600 tonnes and was constructed on site. They were put into place by an enormous 600 tonne crane that moved so slow you hardly noticed it. I ofetn walkthe three miles or so into Brighton walk this way.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Daily Doodle : Basil Brush

I wasn't sure who or what to sketch today. The only thing I seemed to be able to draw was a blank! Then I saw Basil Brush had posted a few tweets on Twitter (@realbasilbrush) and I knew then who I was going to draw today. Basil first appeared on British TV in 1962 and I am delighted to say he's still going now. I grew up loving him. He still makes me laugh and chuckle like a kid today. So today's doodle by me is the one and only Basil Brush.

Neglected, Under the Tower and Beach Breakthrough

"Neglected" :- These two doors look as though they haven't been opened for a very long time. The paint on the steps is worn and flaking and the grass growing at the bottom is an indication that this route is no longer in use. This is the back of the cafe that's in Wild Park in Brighton, England. The park is Brighton & Hove's largest Local Nature Reserve and has extensive woodland walks. I stopped to take this shot for several reasons. I liked the way the colors interacted with each other, the worn red on the steps jumps out against the green and cream. I also liked the building itself, it's old (possible 30's or 40's) and the various panels made me think of the paintings of Piet Mondrian.

"Under the Tower" :- Shot deep within the heart of Buckfast Abbey in Buckfast near Buckfastleigh, Devon, England. There's been an abbey here since 1018 but the monastery was surrendered for dissolution in 1539 thanks to King Henry VIII. After the ruins were demolished the site was used as a quarry and then later became home to a Gothic mansion house. Then in 1882 a group of French Benedictine monks bought the site and refounded the monastery. A new church was started in 1907, consecrated in 1932 and then finally completed in 1938. The Abbey Church has recently undergone massive restoration and cleaning so it's now sparkling and gleaming as if it were built yesterday. This shot was taken (approx) below the tower.

"Beach Breakthrough" :- I'd already been out and about on foot for several hours and was making my way back along the seafront to Brighton Marina to retrieve the car from the ugly concret multi-storey car park I'd left it in when this quick afterthought shot came about. The large bank of pebbles that's piled up is not natural. It's bulldozed into that formation to protect those wishing to go without clothes on Brighton's small nudist beach from the prying eyes of those on "the prom". Anyway, the clouds split and the sunlight shot through so I took a quite shot. You can just see a few of Brighton's taller buildings to the right of the image. Once the i360 is built it will tower over everything thus ruining and dominating the skyline at the same time.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Daily Doodle : Fiery

Well yesterday I rejected the choice of "Fiery" and chose to draw the "Junk Lady" instead for the Daily Doodle on Twitter. Today felt odd not dodlng something so I gave in and have drawn a "Fiery" as well so here it is...

Butchery Lane, Standing Stone and Burning Sands

"Butchery Lane" :- The name of this lane sounds medieval and it looks medieval too. This is Butchery Lane in the heart of the City of Canterbury in Kent, England. I'd actually driven all the way out there to visit the famous cathedral with the intention of photographing its incredble stone cloisters but when I got there I discovered a rediculously long queue of tourists waiting in line to get in with an even more rediculously expensive fee at the end to get in. I aborted my plan and quickly fashioned plan B which was to aimlessly wander the City and explore. So here's a view looking down the Butchery Lane towards Burgate and the mighty cathedral. It has been said that this lane was once known as "Golden Angel Lane" up until the statue of an angel was stolen in the 18th Century. I have no idea if this stry holds any truth but rumours, myths and legends are usually based on some facts somewhere along the line. Butchery Lane obviously took its name from the traders that were once there as it was once historically home to butchers and food retailers. Like most of Canterbury this area is ancient. If you look acrefull down the lane you'll see at the far end (on the left hand side) a sign with the head of William Shakespeare on it. That's ‘The Shakespeare’ inn which is a pub that dates back to 1504!

"Standing Stone" :- It was 9 pm in the evening, the sun was finally giving in to the oncoming darkness and I was standing in a field with some large stones and some small sheep. I was in Avebury, a Wiltshire village within a stone circle. Stonehenge takes all the limelight and the glory. It's known throughout the world and thousands upon thousands of tourists flock to see the prehistoric monument. But few realise that just a few miles up the road there's Avebury, a Neolithic Stone circle that's the largest in the world and is also one of the most accessible. Avebury is bigger, it covers an area of over 28 acres and is 14 times larger than Stonehenge! Avebury is older, it's (approx) 4,500 years old which makes it 500 years older than Stonehenge.

"Burning Sands" :- Shot near the huge Western arm of Brighton marina. Directly below the sun the City's famous Victorian pier is silhouetted against the horizon as the rest of the skyline is thrown into deep, dark shadows. The sand took on the look of beaten bronze and copper and looked molten in places. Once again I found I had the beach to myself which was odd considering this is a well known seaside resort. I stood there long enough for my boots to start being sucked down into the wet sand and then decided to make my way along the shoreline towards the pier and the busier parts of the city.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Friday, 24 October 2014

Daily Doodle : The Junk Lady

Right. Today is the last day of the Labyrinth themed doodles. We were given a choice today of either drawing a "Fiery" or sketching "the Junk Lady". Easy choice for me as I never did like the fiery characters (I found them annoying and the blue screen technique that they were filmed against even more annoying) and I was always fascinated by the slightly sinister and unnerving Junk Lady ... so the Junk Lady was my choice. This one took (approx) 15 mins to do which is longer than the others took but I fiddled about by using some artistic license and cheating once I'd finished the doodle. I cut around her and blurred the background a little to make it look more intriguing and throw her forward slighlty. Anyway here she is...

Sands of Blue, Coast Road and River Street

"Sands of Blue" :- I love the deep blue hues of this shot and image. The combination of a low tide and sunset on Brighton & Hove beach created this cobalt scene. Sand is a rarity in Brighton, the tide has to go out some way before you get a glimpseof what lies beneath all those pebbles. When you do see it though it's breathtaking as it glistens and shimmers in the natural evening light.

"Coast Road" :- Looks eerie doesn't it. I can tell you now that it was very eerie. This was part of the long, dark and lonely walk home to Ovingdean from brighton back in December 2013. The main A259 coast road is usually a fast moving, never ending stream of traffic in both directions but at this time of night (02:00 am) it's devoid of all life apart from the odd fox and a lone photographer. It was raining slightly too just to add to the misery as I trudged the 3 miles walk home.

"River Street" :- This is a somewhat colourful shot and image of River Street in the Cornish fishing village of Mevagissey. It had just gone 6:30 pm and the tourists and day trippers had all got back onto their buses and coaches leaving the narrow streets pleasantly empty. We'd wandered back in from the guest house in search for a bite to eat and I also saw it as an opportunity to grab a few shots without hundreds of people being in the way...and to grab a pint or two afterwards while I was at it. Right at the end of the road on the right you can just make out a blue sign sticking out from the wall. That's the 400 year old "Ship Inn", one of the only two remaining smuggling Inns from the 17th century (the village had at least ten inns back in those times). Now the main industry is tourism so the place is full of cafes, souvenire shops and ice cream parlours etc.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Daily Doodle : The Worm

I was a bit late posting today's quick sketch for Daily Doodle (@Daily__Doodle) on Twitter today. Well, when I say a bit late I mean very late. Nothing went to plan at all. I was busy throughout the morning driving to and fro between the village and Brighton and then this afternoon my PC decided to start playing up as everything went into slow "treacle" mode. Anyway it's completed now and posted to Twitter so I present it here for you all to have a look at. This week's theme is the movie Labyrinth (1986) and today's subject was "The Worm". Heappears briefly in the movie just after 'Sarah' enters the Labyrinth, he's not a huge character (literally) in the movie but he is essential to the plot and very cute with it. Here's The Worm...

Royal Hues, Top to Bottom and Sea Structure

"Royal Hues" :- It's iconic, it's world famous and it's instantly recognisable and has become a symbol for Brighton itself. This is a close up of part of the Royal Pavilion, photographed back in November 2013 as it was floodlit for the end of the year. It's not until you are right up against the stone work that you realise just how much attention to detail the British architect John Nash (1752 – 1835) incorporated into his grand designs for the "Marine Pavilion". It's ornate filigree stonework is stunning and every column is carved near the base. Those living in Brighton pass it on a daily basis without giving it much thought which is a shame as I think it's truly one of the greatest architectural achievements in Britain.

"Top to Bottom" :- Chalk. Loads of it. It forms a vast part of the Southern coast of England and much of the coastline of Britain. We draw on the stonework with it, scrawling vaguely amusing things on walls or declare our undying love for somebody or other. We never seem to stop to think about it. It's there and that's that. It's chalk...big deal. But it's ancient. It didn't just arrive on the scene. Chalk comes from the Cretaceous Period which means in basic terms that it's (approximately) 105 million years old. Wikipedia ( has this to say about it :- "Ninety million years ago the chalk downland of Northern Europe was ooze accumulating at the bottom of a great sea. Protozoans such as foraminifera lived on the marine debris that showered down from the upper layers of the ocean. Their shells were made of calcite extracted from the rich sea-water. As they died a deep layer gradually built up and eventually, through the weight of overlying sediments, became consolidated into rock. Later earth movements related to the formation of the Alps raised these former sea-floor deposits above sea level." So next time you see "Craig loves Sharon" written on a sea wall or you happen to be walking by a large cliff face take some time to think how it got here.

"Sea Structure" :- Nowadays we have trouble building or making anything that last more than a few years or decades. Things have a built in life expectancy. They are destined to die, decay or crumble. The Victorians had other and far greater ideas. They wanted their structures to be a testament to the Victorian age. It was a time of industrial revolution and of great changes and they wanted to shout about it loud enough so that the world would still be able to hear them a 100 years in the future. In France a construction commenced on January 28th 1887 which eventually opened it's doors to the public for "The Exposition Universelle" in 1889. It was only meant to be a temporary construction...they built it so well that to this day the Eiffel Tower still stands in the City of Paris having watched much of the City evolve and change around it. Inspired by the tower in Paris a 158 metre (518 feet) tower was built in Blackpool in Lancashire, England. That tower opened to the public on 14 May 1894 and like the Eiffel Tower is still standing today and entertaining the public. Britain saw the Victorians go mad for building piers from it's beaches. They'd discovered that they could do pretty much anything with iron so they tried to do just that. The Brighton Marine Palace and Pier was designed designer by R.St.George Moore and opened to the public in May 1899. For well over 100 years it's stood with its huge legs in the sea. It's endured raging storms and heavy seas for all that time. It's been frozen in deep snow and ice and it's been warmed up during heatwaves (yes...we have had some). Wind, rain and corrosive salt water battering it. Still it stands. It's a remarkable feat of engineering that we'd have trouble replicating nowadays. Somehow the Victorians knew how to build things that would stand the tests of time. They built them to outlive not just the Victorian age but all ages.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Daily Doodle : Sir Didymus

Another quick 5 minute (if that) doodle. This time it was the turn of Sir Didymus from the film "Labyrinth" (1986). I have to admit that Sir Didymus is one of the characters that I did not care for much in the movie. It's a film that I do like and certain elements of it are fascinating and fantastic but there are other parts, scenes and characters that have always left me rather cold. Anyway here's Sir Didymus, my quick doodle for the day.

Time and Tide, Brighton Front and Church Square

"Time and Tide" :- No, I didn't get wet feet. I wasn't in a boat either! I was actually standing on one of the old concrete breakwaters / groynes that help defend the beaches all along the Sussex coast. The shot was taken between the coastal villages of Ovingdean and Rottingdean just as the tide was beginning to roll back in. You can just see part of Rottingdean village in the gap in the chalk cliffs.

"Brighton Front" :- A shot of a section Brighton's seafront as seen from its notoriously pebbled beach. The buildings and architecture are an odd mixture of elegant Georgian and Victorian structures and more modern monstrosities from the 70's onwards. The large and very grand looking building to the leftof the image is the appropriately named "Grand Hotel". It was was designed by architect John Whichcord Jr. and was built in 1864. It was constructed for the "upper classes" visiting Brighton and to this day is still one of the most expensive hotels in the city. It was the first building outside of London to have a lift / elevator installed. It's also famous for being the hotel that that IRA tried to kill Margaret Thatcher in when they bombed it at 02:51am on the 12th October 1984. Next to that you can see the Brighton Center and Kings West complex. These two buildings jar against the grace and design of their next door neighbour the Grand Hotel. The Brighton Center was opened by prime minister James Callaghan on 19th September 1977 and can hold anything from 4,00 to 5,000 people depending on event and seating etc. Bing Crosby played his last ever concert at the Brighton Center on October 10, 1977 (he died just four days later on a golf course in Spain). Next to that with the odd looking "spikey" roof is the Kingswest Centre. It was designed by Russell Diplock and officially opened its doors to the public in 1965. It has been described as "the most unattractive building in the town" but I think a few buildings have since appeared in the city that are competing for that title. 'Kingswest' used to have bowling alleys and an ice rink but they have long since vanished. It now houses a rather grotty and overpriced multiplex cinema (complete with sticky carpets), a few pricey eateries and a couple of night clubs.

"Church Square" :- This is the cobbled lane next to the churchyard of St Mary’s Parish Church in the town of Rye in Sussex. I took the shot from this end to show off the ugly and barbaric architecture that someone thought fit to build nextdoor to an original surviving black and white Tudor house that you can just make out at the far end. Rye is packed with history. The layout and feel of the town is still very much medieval. This is where Henry VIII built his Coastal Artillery Fort and Queen Elizabeth I visited and stayed in Rye. The famous and notorious smugglers the "Hawkhurst Gang" were here and they drank in the Grade II listed "The Mermaid Inn" (built in 1420) and the Grade II listed "The Olde Bell Inn" (built in 1390), both inns are joined via a secret passage way. Needless to say it's often featured in films and used as locations by film crews.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Doodling Away

There's a Twitter page called "Daily Doodle" (@Daily__Doodle) that i've been keeping an eye on and watching for a week or so now. It posts weekly themes and daily characters for anyone to have a go at drawing / doodling. It's open to all (novices, amateurs and pros) and there's a huge varied selection of styles, techniques & artwork to see. Some base their images on the real characters and others make up their own versions and play with the themes. This week I have finally been brave enough to have a go myself and submit a couple of doodles. This week's theme is "Labyrinth" so I thought I'd show you my two sketches so far.

Monday's subject and doodle was "Hoggle". I chose to jump right in an create my own version for laugh which you can see here :-

Today's character was "Ludo". Here's the quick 5 minute sketch of Ludo that I did based on the creature workshop version seen in the film. It was drawn digitally directly into Photoshop using my Aiptek drawing slate.

Coastal Village, Ouse Valley Viaduct and Early to Rise

"Coastal Village" :- I have photographed and posted many images of the famous Beacon Mill windmill before but they have mostly been shot from selective angles that made the mill look as though it was in the middle of nowhere. I thought I'd post this image to show that it is in fact right on the edge and part of the historical village of Rottingdean on the south coast of England. The large, open green area that the mill stands on is Beacon Hill Nature Reserve which sits between the village of Rottingdean and the village of Ovingdean (where I live). Both villages are mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 and Beacon Hill has two Neolithic long barrows within its boundaries and was also where a beacon was lit to to warn of the approaching Spanish Armada attack on Elizabethan England in 1588. The mill itself is a grade II listed black smock mill which is said to have been built in 1802 and then dragged from Brighton by Ox. The mill is now also a registered seamark.

"Ouse Valley Viaduct" :- I have hurtled over this viaduct so many times as I have travelled back and forth by train between London and Brighton. The sad thing is that as you pass over it you have no idea of how it looks. The only clue you have as to what it is you are actually on is the fact that the ground suddenly drops away and you are offered staggering views of the Ouse Valley as they flash by. This is the mighty Ouse Valley Viaduct which was built in 1841. It's a staggering 450 meters (1,475 feet) in length and is 29 meters (96 feet) in height. What's even more jaw dropping is that the 11 million bricks needed for its construction were shipped over from the Netherlands. In 1841 that must have taken some doing!

"Early to Rise" :- The first few rays of morning sunlight stream through the trees and flood down the steep country lane. On the way down the light casts shadows and throws bits of nature into silhouette whilst illuminating the mildew that sits on the top of the mossy grass. The entire scene looks as though it's straight out of a fairy tale or story book. It's so perfect that if you didn't know any better you'd swear blind it was part of a film set. The lane is located in Widecombe-in-the-Moor, a small village that's within the heart of Dartmoor National Park in Devon, England.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Monday, 20 October 2014

Woodland Stream, Pier & Albion Groyne and Too Tired to Fly

"Woodland Stream" :- It had just stopped raining when I took this shot so the lush greenery exuded a freshness that normally goes unseen. This is part of The Railway Land Wildlife Trust in the historical town of Lewes in Sussex, England. This area was once full of rail yards, they stood at this location for over 50 years until they were eventually demolished and removed. Like all land that sits around it was due to be "redeveloped" but local residents somehow managed to save it and turn it into a prized nature reserve in 1995. The reserve is (approx) 25 acres in size.

"Pier & Albion Groyne" :- Opening to the public in May 1899 the 524 metre (1,719 ft) long, Grade II listed Victorian pier on Brighton seafront has been entertaining people for 115 years! It's official name is the Brighton Marine Palace and Pier but it's been known by the locals as the Palace Pier for many years. The Noble Organisation who own the pier caused controversy when they informally renamed it the Brighton Pier in 2000 (the name change is not recognised by the National Piers Society). It's now one of the top tourist attractions and one of the most famous coastal landmarks in the UK. The large breakwater to the right of the image is known as Albion Groyne. It was the second concrete groyne (the first was East Street groyne in 1867) to be built in Brighton and was constructed in 1876. The large square black opening that you see in its side is a storm water outfall and is covered by a metal grill.

"Too Tired to Fly" :- A calm, hazy, warm and lazy mid afternoon on the beach at Brighton. The tide was in and the water was slapping and schlopping against the breakwater helping to create a dreamy environment. Even the gulls had stopped flying around and were either bobbing up and down on the water or standing around wondering what to do. A lethargy seemed to have engulfed everything as surreality seemed to take over. I sat and drifted in thought for a while and then laid back and closed my eyes, allowing the various sounds to take me on a journey. Moments like those are special. They don't come along often but they are something else when they do!

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Scaffolding, Far From Here and St Wulfran's in Sunshine

"Scaffolding" :- A fire exit / side door to a building is almost indistiguishable as it lurks in the shadows and is covered in graffiti. It's quite odd when I look back through images saved on file, I'm amazed sometimes as to why I took the shot or what it was that caught my eye at the time. At first glance there's nothing going on in this image at all but the more you look at it the more visual it becomes. The shadow pushes the painted boards forward on the left. The scaffoldng throws interesting angles. There's a cold blue hue that's central to the image but it's flanked by hot reds either side etc. This was shot in Oxford Place that runs between London Road and Ditchling road in Brighton, England.

"Far From Here" :- Heavy clouds combine with sundown to create this dramatic beach scene at Ovingdean Gap near Brighton on the south coast of England. This is my hideaway and retreat. It's three miles to the east of the famous City by the sea and it's more peaceful and natural here. No piers or loud rides, just the sound of the waves and the cry of gulls.

"St Wulfran's in Sunshine" :- This is the church in the village where I live. It dates from within the 11th century and is one of the oldest buildings in Brighton and Hove. Needless to say it's a Grade I listed building as it's mentioned in the Domesday Book as a ecclesiola ("little church"). Incredibly the nave and chancel are the original and date from within the 20 year period between the Norman invasion & battle of Hastings in 1066 and the writing / compiling of the Domesday Book in 1086. The tower was added (approx) a 150 years later and houses a bell that dates from around 1430. They estimate that the Yew tree may well be up to 1,000 years old. The graveyard itself is the final resting place of William Willett 1856 – 1915 (inventor of Daylight saving time), Magnus Volk 1851–1937 (British electrical engineer and famous for having built Brighton's Volk's Electric Railway, the world's oldest electric railway) and also Helena Normanton 1882 – 1957 (the first woman to practise as a barrister in the United Kingdom).

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill