Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Color of Kings, Dining Room and Living on the Edge

"Colour of Kings" :- Brighton promenade and seafront is famous. It's featured in various films, programs, books and even songs. The split level prom is long but reasonably narrow as it follows the line of the beach and shore. But as you near the neighbouring town of Hove the two levels meet up and join and the promenade doubles in size. It gets quieter too as the busy road is suddenly further away (separated by Hove's famous lawns) and less tourists wander that far along. This image was shot as it approached 8pm on the wide promenade near Grand Avenue in Hove. The brightly painted beach huts add a splash of colour to an otherwise grey and brown scene. The large building to the right of the image is Kings House which is now used as Brighton and Hove City Council's offices. The building was originally constructed as a hotel between 1871 & 1874. Much later on it became the HQ of the SEEBOARD electricity company before being taken over by the council. English Heritage have listed it at Grade II.

"Dining Room" :- This shot wasn't planned at all and was an afterthought. It was a "I might as well" sort of moment and I have to be honest and own up by saying I really didn't expect it to turn out quite as well as it did. I'm not quite sure what the room is used for now but it was originally a dining room and played host to some of the most important people in the country. This is the dining room within the Mansion at Bletchley Park in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, England. The Mansion was built by Sir Herbert Leon starting in 1882 and went on to have various bits added here and there. In 1938 the Mansion and its grounds were acquired for the wartime headquarters of the Government Code & Cypher School and the first personnel moved to Bletchley Park on 15 August 1939. The Mansion was split into two sections with the top floor being given to MI6 and the Naval, Military, and Air Sections were allocated the ground floor of the mansion which also held the telephone exchange, teleprinter room, kitchen, and dining room (which you see here in this image). This was the stomping ground of Alan Turing and where the Enigma machines were cracked and broken on a seemingly never ending daily basis. It's been said that the efforts of Turing and all those at Bletchley shortened the Second World War by two to four years. A film about Bletchley and Alan Turing called "The Imitation Game" starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley has just been released.

"Living on the Edge" :- Before you all start shouting and waving your arms about the shot's not as dangerous or as drastic as it actually looks. I was sneaky. If you look on the far right hand side of the shot you'll see a rudimentary looking fence set a few feet in from the edge of the chalk cliff. I was actually on the right side of that fence but my camera and tripod was not. I had placed my hand through the loop of the fabric handle of the camera and had then stuck the entire lot through the fence and on the edge of the cliff. Nothing could fall or drop as i still had a firm hold of it all and was on the safe side of the proceedings. This did of course mean that I had to roughly guess what the camera was looking at as I couldn't actually see myself but my judgement proved spot on and I got the shot I was hoping for. The image was taken on the cliffs between Saltdean and Rottingdean near Brighton on the south coast of England.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill