Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Daily Doodle Bonus : The Banana Splits

With just a few minutes to go before I enter 2015 i thought i'd post the last four days worth of images in one post so that the four members of the Banana Splits can be reunited again and become a proper bunch.

Daily Doodle : Snorky

Yup, Snorky. That's his real name. In the opening theme song he's referred to as Snork (artistic license to make it rhyme with "popping like a cork"). For this sketch I had to choose which version of Snorky to draw as he appeared in two guises. the first series he was shaggy and you only saw glasses, no eyes. The second series he appeared smoother and more plush, had a small jacket and this time a pair of eyes were behind those glasses.

Pallet Down, Light in the Water and Commander Denniston's Office

"Pallet Down" :- I'm never one to miss an opportunity. I have long since learnt that returning later on to get the shot often results in the shot no longer being there to be got! When I see it I grab it. So on this occasion I was walking along the promenade that runs between Brighton Marina and the famous Brighton Pier with the intention of grabbing a few shots of the sunset and then using that as an excuse to hit the pub as it was Christmas Eve! Because I was walking along I kept an eye on the lowering sun and found myself repeatedly looking over to my left at the horizon. That's when I spotted the old pallet washed up on the beach. It was resting perfectly on a raised bank of pebbles and at a quirky angle to everything else. At the same time the sun lowered just enough to poke through the clouds. I jumped over the railings and landed on the beach several feet below and then found myself running towards the pallet, setting up the camera for the shot as I ran. I got there with the sun still behaving for me, dropped down and took the shot. The next five minutes were spent trying to get my breath back ... I really must stop running to get shots!

"Light in the Water" :- The dying light of the day catches the puddles and wet concrete on the undercliff walk between Saltdean & Rottingdean on the south coast of England. The wet patches are due to the waves breaking over the sea wall during high tide. Just as they all dry out it's high tide once again and it all goes full circle. I've walked this strecth a few times during high tide. It's exhilarating but you do sort of take your life in your own hands. The waves hit the wall with such verocity that they send the water splashing up high above your head and with such force that if it does catch you it can floor you. Timing is everything is you wish to make it along in one piece. Most of the time I've made it along unscathed but there has been the odd occasion where i have been soaked to the skin and knocked on my butt!

"Commander Denniston's Office" :- For those of you who've seen Benedict Cumberbatch playing the role of Alan Turing in "The Imitation Game" (2014) you'll be all to aware of just what was achieved by him and all those at Bletchley Park which is located in Milton keynes, a town in Buckinghamshire. Charles Dance is also in the film and he plays the part of Commander Denniston who was appointed operational head of Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS) in 1919 and was responsible for recruiting Turing from Cambridge. This shot is of Commander Denniston's real office situated in the Mansion that sits within Bletchley Park istelf.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Daily Doodle : Drooper

I always felt sorry for Drooper. He was the Banana Split that was forever being bossed around and treated like a fool. He was also the coolest looking out of the four so I like to think they treated him like that because they were all jealous. He was a lean lion who wore square glasses and played a great looking guitar ... whilst wearing gloves.

Parklife, Kemptown Beach and 11 Million Bricks

"Parklife" :- As the temperatures drop and we all do our best to stay warm it's great to be able to look back at images of sunnier times. I shot this image way back in August 2012 as I enjoyed a walk around the famous spa town of Royal Tunbridge Wells in the county of Kent. The town was founded in 1606 and rose to fame when Richard "Beau" Nash (18 October 1674 – 3 February 1761) appointed himself Master of Ceremonies in the town and took control of the entertainments provided for visitors. Royal Tunbridge Wells then became a fashionable resort which was attended by the most famous names in the country as well as royalty. This is a park known as the Calverley Grounds and it's well known for its ornamental gardens. As well as a cafe the park also has 3 tennis courts, 2 netball courts, 1 basketball court and 3 croquet lawns!

"Kemptown Beach" :- Brighton & Hove have become England's most populous seaside resort with a population of (aprox) 273,400. However, this vast spawling and buzzing coastal city changes its mood depending on where you are within its boundaies. If you are in the center of Brighton then you 'll find yourself battling with tourists, traffic, one way sytems and noise plus all the attractions you'd expect to find at the seaside. But if you venture West or East the feel changes dramatically. To the west you'll discover Hove with it's wide promenade and lawns. There's less of a tourist feel here but it still has its own shopping area and gets relatively busy. If you head East of the Old Steine you'll discover Kemptown. This is even quieter than Hove but still a major part of Brighton. The seafront here is famous for its white Regency and Georgian houses and also for areas like Sussex Square which is supposedly where the Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll) got his idea for "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland". This shot is taken from a section of beach known as "Black Rock" in Kempton. The view is looking West along the line of the beach towards the pier. On the right you can clearly see grand white buildings that line the front.

"11 Million Bricks" :- It's not often that you come across relatively modern architecture that rivals that of the ancient Romans. They were famously leaders in so many fields and their designs, plans and architecture were second to none. This aIt carries the main London-Brighton Railway Line over the River Ouse. I've travelled over it many times as I ventured to and from London by train but up until this point I'd never stood at it's base and seen it like this. It may not be as long as some of the old Roman viaducts but it's certainly just as impressive. It was built in 1841and is 450 m or 1,475 feet long. It stands at an impressive 29 m or 96 feet in height with each of of it's 37 semi-circular arches at an equally impressive 9.1 meters or 30 feet. What's even more incredible is that 11 million bricks were needed for its construction and that they were shipped over from the Netherlands. The whole thing cost £38,500 to build. By today's standard this would be no mean feat to build but remember all this happened in 1841so the ships that brought those bricks over were either sailing ships or steamers. The viaduct is now a Grade II listed building and is still in use with around 110 trains passing over it per day!

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Monday, 29 December 2014

Daily Doodle : Bingo

I love watching live bands, I love listeing to live bands and there was a time when I loved being in a band myself. I started off buying a guitar when I was 17 and then through a lot of trial and error somehow ended up learning to play the thing. It was a cheap copy which meant there was only so much i could learn on it before my progression halted so it ended up being traded in and I bought a proper, real electric guitar ... a stratocaster. Several years later I had a room full of guitars as well as as a Marshall stack, one bass and a couple of keyboards but the one thing that always eluded me was the drums! I'd start out ok. Manageing to play a simple 4/4 beat for about a minute or so and then I'd slowly realise that all four limbs had somehow synchronised again and all that could be heard was a timely thump thump thump. I have always admired drummers, the endless energy, timing and rythm needed to play for a live concert is immense. I have always admired this guy too. I don't know who was in the costume but whoever it was was considerably upping their game. Playing drums under hot TV studio lights is one thing but doing that whilst you are a wearing a head to toe furry costume is something else entirely. Bingo was an animal...

Plenty of Scope, Mirrored Union and On Reserve

"Plenty of Scope" :- A bright blue telescope sits on the promenade of Brighton seafront. The old twisted ruins of the West Pier were silhouetted by the evening light and all was calm. The image was shot on Christmas Eve during sundown on a strecth of the promenade that's directly opposite East Street and the Queens Hotel and overlooking the 'OhSo Social' bar, restaurant and cafe that's down on the beach.

"Mirrored Union" :- This is actually a shot across a stretch of the Grand Union Canal as it passes through Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire, England. We were staying a couple of nights at the Peartree Lodge by Milton Keynes Marina and on the first evening I'd taken a walk with the camera down along the canal bank to explore the area. The waterways were quiet and calm as most of the longboats were moored up for the night with only the odd passing duck causing ripples.

"On Reserve" :- Something from nothing. A stroll over Beacon Hill Nature Reserve on the south coast of England on a pleasantly warm July afternoon. Camera in hand with my sights set on the windmill and then the beach. Because the area is a Nature Reserve there are pathways that you need to stick to so that you don't disturb the skylarks which nest on the ground in the long grass. Beacn Hill sits between the village of Ovingdean (where I lve) and the village of Rottingdean so I often use it as the route between villages instead of taking the alternative and less interesting road route. It's much more picturesque this way. Anyway, as I was heading towards Rottingdean and the coast I liked the way the path was more defined than usual so I got down low and took this shot.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Daily Doodle : Fleegle

I remember jumping around the room when this lot came on TV. I wanted to drive around in one of their little buggies and try and take out the trash or take on The Sour Grapes Bunch. The cartoons were excellent to and my fave was "The Arabian Nights" because they had a donkey called Zazoom and the amazing "Bez" who could change into the form of any animal simply by saying "Size of a Elephant / Camel / Gorilla / Wilderbeast / Chicken etc. Anyway out of the four characters that formed the Banana Splits the boss of the bunch was "Fleegle" ...

Abandonement, FRESHATHANFRESH and Lightburst

"Abandonement" :- It felt odd to be standing inside this Church. Its cross had been ripped down frpm off the wall and was now leant against the rails. The pews, seats, altar and other fixtures and fittings had been removed as well. Just the shell of the building was left, with the songs of its congregations a thing of the past. What made it stranger was that we knew were to be the last few allowed to stand inside. A day or so later the bulldozers moved in and this entire place was floored to the consecrated ground. St Alban's Church in Coombe Road, Brighton was built between 1910 and 1914 but had stopped being a church back in 2006 and was declared redundant.

"FRESHATHANFRESH" :- I shot this just over a week ago on the 19th December 2014 on the wide concourse outside Churchill Square Shopping Center in Brighton, England. It's one of those mobile food vans that only ever seem to appear around shopping centers at Christmas. This one was advertising on the front that it did "PASTA SALADS PIZZAS ... Lovely". Right on the top of the van and above the canopy it stated "FRESHATHANFRESH" which annoyed me for two reasons which were the rediculous spelling of fresher and that fact that something's either fresh or it isn't and that there's simply no such thing as being more fresh than fresh. Nothing more that a rediculous advertising slogan and ploy that many will fall for in the same way that a t-shirt can be whiter than white. I picked my spot, set up the tripod (with the standard funny looks being thrown my way) and then waited for the opportune moment to take the shot as the area was very busy. I like the mood of this image.

"Lightburst " :- Calming and dramatic. The clouds try their best to block the sun's light and scatter the rays in a myriad of directions. At the same time the sun manages to break through the middle and shot a beam straight at myself and the camera causing a wonderful flare to add to the overall scene. As is often the case I found myself to be pretty much alone on the beach at Kempton in Brighton. The odd dog ran up to me to say hello before scampering off to catch up with its owner but nobody seemed to take much notice of the scenery. The sun and moon are daily cosmic events that we take for granted, they each traverse their quota of the 24 hour day and are invaluable to our planet. We really ought to give them more credit and take more notice.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Daily Doodle :- Dastardly & Muttley

I loved watching these two as a kid. Their antics and crazy ideas were a hguge source of amusement to me. Mad flying machines with inventions attached took to the air and the minute lift off was achieved you knew they were destined to fail. The pigeon would live to fly and deliver his packages another day and the general on the other end of the phone would once again rant and rave at Dastardly's expense whilst Muttley wandered off treasuring the medals that he'd earned that day.

Caged Heat, Beckhampton Road and Victorian View

"Caged Heat" :- This is the Grade II listed bandstand on Brighton promenade during an incredible moody sunset. She's affectionately known as "The Birdcage" and is now regarded to be one of the finest examples of a Victorian bandstand still surviving in England today. She was designed by Phillip Lockwood and was completed in 1884. By the late 1970's she'd fallen into a serious state of disrepair and the small walkway / bridge that connects her platform to the promenade was removed. She remained in that state for a very long time up until being fully restored and reopened in 2009. She is now is now available for hire as a venue for weddings and ceremonies.

"Beckhampton Road" :- This is a shot of the dramatic sweeping bend on the Beckhampton Road (A4361) as it passes through the village of Avebury in Wiltshire, England. It walways amazes me that this road was built at all as it passes directly through the middle of the largest, most impressive and complex prehistoric site in Britain. Avebury is a Neolithic henge monument containing three stone circles and is the only Neolithic stone circle on the planet with a church and a pub within its boundaries. If you look smack in the center of this image you can clearly see several Neolithic standing stones. They don't look very big from here but the stones vary in height from 3.6 to 4.2 meters with some weighing over 40 tons each! Stonehenge is world famous, tourists by the coach load flood in on a daily basis to look in awe at the ancient monument withut realising that just a few miles (17) North they'd discover Avebury which is actually bigger and older than Stonehenge itself.

"Victorian View" :- I like this shot and image. It's understated but interesting enough to hold one's attention and it's also very calm and tranquil. It was taken in July 2013 from the decks of Eastbourne's Victorian Pier which opened on 13th June 1870. A year on from taking this image and the pier was engulfed in flames as the Amusement arcade at the front of the pier caught fire on July 30, 2014. So what can you see in this image? Well, first of all you have the ornate iron work that runs along the side of the pier that also forms the back rest for the benches that run along its length. The sea is becalmed and flat due to the muggy and warm cnditions of the day which also created a very atmospheric haze to the overall image. To the right you can see the coastline of Eastbourne itself with it's grand, historical hotels lining the front and then in the far distance you have the headland jutting out. It doesn't look much from here but that headland is world famous as that is Beachy Head, the highest chalk sea cliff in Britain, rising to 162 metres (531 ft) above sea level.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Friday, 26 December 2014

Daily Doodle :- Battling Robots

Nowadays it's all laptops, iPads, tablets, phones and games consoles. Back in my day the fun and games came in a variety of multi coloured packages full of cheap plastic gadgetry. The standard games and toay were always at the forefront with Lego, Scalextric, Hornby Trains and Subbuteo remaining popular with kids (and their dads)but once in a while a new toy would emerge and capture our developing and wild imaginations. "Battling Robots" was ne of the toys that I have never forgotten...

The Victory Circa 1766, Not All is Lost and Tree Spirits

"The Victory Circa 1766" :- Shot a week ago on the 19th Dec (2014) around 6pm. This is an image of The Victory Inn, a pub that's in Duke St in the famous coastal city of Brighton. Those of you with very good eyesight maye be able to read (if you zoom in) the board to the left of the door which says :-

Circa 1766
Rebuilt 1824 to
Commemorate Victory
at Trafalgar 1805
Independantly Owned
& Operated

 I'm not exactly sure of the amount of pubs that Brighton has within its boundaries but it's certainly known for having a vast amount to choose from and The Victory is certainly one of Brighton's oldest.

"Not All is Lost" :- A simple image shot at twilight and then heavily processed as a black and white image. I never get bored of photographing the sea and beach. It's forever changing and is relativley unspoilt and free from man made objects. I've had a few people say to me before that my images are a cop out as photographing sunsets and seascapes is old hat and that it's an easy option to go for. My answer to them has always been the same and that is is ... I do not photograph things for their ease nor for their dificulty, I do not wish to flaunt expertise (be it good or bad) or shout about f stops, or seconds, lenses or flters. To me photogra[hy is not about any of those things. It's all about the final image and nothing more and if they are ignoring nature and all the wonders around them because it's not challenging them as a photographer then I fear they are missing the point of what being a photographer is all about. It's not about gaining brownie points or shouting about vast amounts of knowledge or equipment. It's not about ignoring most of what's around you either. It's about grabbing the beauty and things that fascinate or interest you and then having the privilege of being able to share that image with others. I have no expertise at all and my camera fits in my pocket but my eyes and heart are open to everything around me.

"Tree Spirits" :- This was the view as I got out the car after parking in a layby in Bedham, a hamlet 4 kilometres (2½ miles) east of Petworth in West Sussex, England. I'd actually gone there to photograph some old ruins but was captivated by the lush greenery immediately. There's not a lot left of Bedham now, just a few houses, a farm and he ruins remain. But the area is ancient and has had a people of note living there in the past. In 1460 the member of parliament William Hibberden lived there and Bedham was also home to Sir Edward Elgar and Ford Madox Ford.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Daily Doodle : Scrooge

Very quick thrown together sketch of scrooge based on another image I drew a very long time ago. Altogether now "Bah! Humbug".

1140, West Wharf Steps and Canopy

"1140" :- I remember being very pleased with myself when I chose to title this image "1140". There was a wonderful warm smug feeling that enveloped me. Now I've come to post it and release it into the wild I cannot for the life of me remember why on earth I did call is "1140" so I can now feel donkey ears growing out of my head! Anyway, that's what it's called so that it is! This was taken a week or so ago on the 13th December 2014 between the coastal villages of Rottingdean and Ovingdean to the East of Brighton.

"West Wharf Steps" :- This flight of steps looks relatively modern but they do conjure up images of times gone by. They connect the lower West Wharf with the higher and rising Polkirt Hill at the back in Mevagissey, which is a village and a fishing port in Cornwall, England. The village has a rich and old history attached to it and many of the stories involve tales of smugglers and excise men giving chase. The main source of income for the village now is tourism.

"Canopy" :- As you disembark the train and walk along the platform you can't help but be amazed by the huge, curved glass canopy that's high above your head. A mass of iron columns and struts keeping averyting in place since the mid 1800's. It's bright inside because of the amount of daylight streaming through the opaque glass panels. But then you emerge into the sunlight and lookup as your eyes adjust and this is the view that you'll see. The old Victorian ornate canopy of the grade II listed Brighton Station.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Daily Doodle : Ho! Ho! Ho!

A quick sketch of someone who's going to be very busy this evening! Hope you've been good. Here's Santa!

Dr Foster, Brighton Driftwood and The De La Warr Pavilion

"Dr Foster" :- It hadn't been raining. In fact it had been a chilly but very pleasant day. I had a hunch that there was going to be a reasonable sunset so headed off down to the beach for a stroll. I hadn't planned anything so simply followed my nose and ended up walking 1.5 miles from the beach at Ovingdean Gap through to Rottingdean and on to Saltdean before turning around and walking all the way back again. This image was shot as I neared Saltdean. The large puddles and wet concrete are a result of the sea water splashing up over the large protective wall during high tide.

"Brighton Driftwood" :- Not placed for dramatic effect but exactly as I found it. A small tree branch washed up on the shores of Brighton beach as a late afternoon sky helps pick out the end of the pier. It's very hit and miss when you are out and about with the camera. I never know if I'm going to get anything decent or not, especially when it's down to mother nature and random elements. When things happen to randomly come together I am overjoyed. This scene was one that put smile on my face straight away.

"The De La Warr Pavilion" :- Stunning isn't it! This is the crowning glory on the seafront at Bexhill in Sussex. The De La Warr Pavilion was built in 1935 and was designed by a couple of architects by the names of Erich Mendelsohn and Serge Chermayeff. In 1986 the building was protected by the British government against improper renovation which enabled the building to be fully restored (from 2005 onwards) and reopened to the public as an arts centre. The actor and comedian Eddie Izzard (who hails from Bexhill) is an Honorary Patron of the De La Warr Pavilion. The buildings style is often misrepresented as being Art Deco but it's actually a later form of architecture known as Streamline Moderne or Art Moderne. It's an incredible place to wander around on the outside and it's absolutely breathtaking on the inside.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Daily Doodle : Cornelius

We now live in an age where every film that hits the cinemas has elements of CGO within it. Some films rely heavily on CGI with sets and even characters being created completely by computer. Over the last several years we saw the "Planet of the Apes" films rise up once more, first with Tim Burton's re-imagining and then with the new versions and Andy Serkis's movements with CGI apes. It's hard to believe that in 1968 they made the first ever "Planet of the Apes" film the hard way. Actors, costumes and plenty of incredible make up by John Chambers. Roddy McDowall appeared in four of the original five films. His performances were superb and his portrayal of Cornelius is destined to forever be a classic piece of cinema.

The Level, World Unknown and We Will Save You Money

"The Level" :- This park holds many memories for me. I spent the first ten years of my life growing up near here. In fact the house that i lived in was placed (roughly) between two of Brighton's well known parks which are Queens park and The Level (pictured here). Queens Park was good for sailing boats on the duck pond, climbing trees, playing on the swings and being chased by the park keeper and The Level was good for its paddling pool and the travelling fair that came twice a year. The park was rather run down but over the last couple of years it's been redeveloped and given a new lease of life. The paddling pool has sadly been removed and the old duel bridges are now blocked up (using health and safety as the excuse) but the park's been rejuvenated and looks a lot better and busier for it.

"World Unknown" :- It amazes me just how much the beach changes over a few miles. Down near the famous pier and Carousel in Brighton it's all pebbles and at really low tide you get glistening sand. Moving east beyond the huge marina you get rock pools starting to form. At Ovingdean Gap you have large flat chalk beds and larger rock pools between the slippery chalk deposits and by the time you get to Saltdean you get a beach like this. The chalk ridges are worn away creating a vast and wide alien landscape. It's so different from the beach that's just a mile or so to the west.

"We Will Save You Money" :- I'm not really sure what I can say or tell you about this. It was shot back in 2013 in a town called Crawley in West Sussex, England. The town is (aprox) 18 miles north of Brighton and was partly responsible for the developement of "coaching inns" due to its location on the main road between London and Brighton. Now it's more famous for Gatwick Airport (the second-busiest in the UK) which was opened on the edge of the town in the 1940s. This old painted advertising was spotted on the wall in Church Walk. I don't know anything about it at all but it caught my eye so I grabbed a shot of it. The only part that i can make out is "WE WILL SAVE Y OU MONEY" as the top section is very worn and therefore hard to make out and unreadable.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Monday, 22 December 2014

Daily Doodle : Robby the Robot

Some things go way past where they were supposed to end up. They transcend their intended destination and rise to become iconic and legendary in their own right. You never know which things are going to do that and it's impossible to design something so thatit elevates to a status level of global proportions. It simply happens when all the right elements come together. The subject for today's sketch by me made it's first appearence in the 1956 film "Forbidden Planet". The film starred Walter Pidgeon, Anne Francis and Leslie Nielsen but they all played second fiddle to the robot that was like a butler to Walter Pidgeon's character "Dr. Edward Morbius". "Forbidden Planet" is considered to be one of the great science fiction films of the 1950s and was entered into the Library of Congress' National Film Registry in 2013, being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." So without further ado here's my sketch of the 7-foot (2.1 m) tall robot they call "Robby"...

Far Away in Time, Saftey Rail and Twilight Pond

"Far Away in Time" :- Shot on Kemptown beach in Brighton looking South towards the English channel and the rest of the planet. A wonderful unbroken skyline with no man made objects or clutter to spoil the natural lines and beauty of it all. Not a single boat, gull or dog walker to get in the way. This line of cloud remaind in place for long time. I stood and watched the hues change as the light faded and the last rays were scattered beyond the horizon. It was peaceful, it was perfect.

"Saftey Rail" :- Hard to believe that this concrete walkway and sea wall has stood here for over 80 years. It's protected the chalk cliffs and this stretch of coastline that leads into Brighton very well. It was built between 1930 & 1933 and cost £360,000 which was a terrible amount of money considering it was the 1930's and during the 'depression'. An incredible 150,000 concrete blocks and 3,000 tons of cement were used to construct the 'undercliff walk' (as it's now known) which also provided jobs for (approx) 500 men. The walkway was officially opened on 4th July 1933.

"Twilight Pond" :- Timing, as they everything. I'd also add that being sneaky is everything as well. This was shot in the ancient and historical village of Rottingdean that is situated (approx) 6.27 kilometres or 3.9 miles East of the City of Brighton. It was photographed on 6th December 2014 which also happens to be "Smugglers Night" in the village so everyone was down in the High street enjoying themselves. This meant I could be sneaky and skulk off elsewhere in the village and get some twilight shots without any traffic or people getting in the way. So this is the famous Rottingdean Pond at dusk. The tall grass in the foreground is glowing from the lights of the Plough Inn that resides alongside this picturesque duck haven.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Daily Doodle : The Trap Door

"Oh, Globbits!" Today's quick sketch by me was of my own choosing and being the child thatI am I decided to revert back to childish things. The Trap Door was a claymation series made in the 1980's. It was aimed at children but had enough in it to keep the parents and adults amused as well. The voice over was provided by the marvellously eccentric Willie Rushton. So here's Berk, Boni & Drutt! "Sniff that!"

Blazing Pier, Let There Be Light and Evening Hound

"Blazing Pier" :- One of those wonderful moments where everything suddenly falls into place. The sunset hadn't looked like it was going to do anything but some clouds started to drift in as I was walking towards the famous Victorian Brighton pier. At the same time they decided to turn on the pier's lights and they suddenly sprang into life as the daylight was beginning to fail. As I got closer the clouds started to light up with the sunset behind them and as I finally got to the pier itself this was the scene waiting for me. I am often asked how I take or get so many stunning images and my answer is the same each and every time. I get up and go out. Sometimes it's a waste of time and sometimes it's not. The law of averages say that at some point the shot and moment will present itself to me ...9 times out of 10 it doesn't. On this occasion it did.

"Let There Be Light" :- Minimal and dark. Shot from Greenways in Ovingdean village (near Brighton) looking across the road and field towards the main A259 coast road known as Marine Drive. The dying sunset was just providing enough light to pick out all the lamposts whilst throwing everything else into silhouette!

"Evening Hound" :- It's all a bit clich├ęd but one really can't help feeling a bit like a Hobbit and thinking you're traipsing through Middle Earth wehn you're on Dartmoor in Devon. The landscape really is a thing of fancy that conjures up images of goblins, elves, pixies, fairies, wizards, dragons and all the other creatures and paraphanalia that accompany tales of sword and sorcery. Unfortunately the reality is far less fanciful as the only thing you do seem to encounter are rock climbers and back packers who are only armed with vast amounts of rope and an unnecessary amount of thermos flasks! Any, I digress. This image was shot as I was exploring Hound Tor which sits somewhere between between the brilliantly named Bovey Tracey and Widecombe-in-the-Moor. It's been said that this is the place that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to write 'The Hound of the Baskervilles'. Hound Tor was also used as a filming location for the 1975 Doctor Who story 'The Sontaran Experiment'. It's an incredible place to walk around.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Friday, 19 December 2014

Daily Doodle : Partridge in A Pear Tree

Ah. All day I have been toying with ideas on how I could depict a partridge in a pear tree and yet be different at the same time. I couldn't think straight at all. I went out with the camera and walked miles (Brighton Marina to the old King Alfreds complex in Hove) and then walked back again. I still couldn't think of anything different. But on my way home I got stuck in traffic (45 minutes for what should been a 10 minute drive) on the coast road and whilst stuck in traffic the idea came out of nowhere and hit me. so here's my "Partridge in A Pear Tree" with a nod to a certain bear...

(Edit) Am starting to wish I'd called this a Patridge in a Bear Tree now....ah well...too late!

Stand Your Ground, Farm Lane and Red Hot Pokers

"Stand Your Ground" :- The title refers to me taking the shot rather than anything else. I'd set up the camera, put the tripod in place well clear of the tide and chose my moment to 'click'. No sooner had I done that than a large wave broke and the salt water rushed towards me further and quicker than it had previously done before. As soon as the shot was in the camera I grabbed everything and advanced up the beach to relative safety. This is a shot from November 2012 and it was taken on a cold, winters afternoon as a storm was approaching from the West. Once again the beach in question is at Ovngdean Gap near brighton on the South Coast of England.

"Farm Lane" :- Brooding and moody. This is the lane that runs by the side of Bulstrode Farm in the vllage of Ovingdean. Cars can travel as far as the trees and then it's closed to vehicles but if you're on foot you can walk all the way into Brighton from here...and I often do. This area is part of the original village that's mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086. In the field on the left they have found remains of a Medieval manor house and next to that is the 11th Century Church of St Wulfran's.

"Red Hot Pokers" :- Here's an image that was shot in Nymans which is a National Trust garden at Handcross, Haywards Heath in West Sussex, England. In the distance you can just make out the ruins of Nymans House which was at one time the home to Anne Messel (1902-1992), the Countess of Rosse and her second husband the 6th Earl of Rosse. The house was ravaged by a disastrous fire in 1947 and now ruins are all that remain apart from one small section that was salvaged and lived in for a while.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill