Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Best Part of the Day, Dead Slow and Half & Half

Best Part of the Day :- Shot on a cold and frosty morning back in January 2012. It was around 8 am and for some unknown reason I felt compelled to venture out with the camera early. This image is of Meadow Vale, a horse field in the village where I live. In 214 it was seriously under threat as developers were planning to build (aprox) 85 houses here and turn it into a housing estate. It's the last open field that separates the two Domeday Book villages of Rottingdean and Ovingdean on the outskirts of Brighton. All the other fields in the area have been built on. Needless to say the plans proved to be highly contorversial and residents of both villages pulled together and protested along with various local politicians. I am happy to say that the villagers won in the end and the big money men backed down and pulled out. Meadow Vale remains to be a horse field and the only patch of land left between the ancient villages. Whoever said that the early mornings were the best part of the day needs a slap. This partuicular morning was freezing and rather grim .... I took a few shots and then made a swift return to the warmth of home for a hot cup of coffee!

Dead Slow :- A very still and quiet looking scene at Brighton Marina. The boats in this section rise and fall with the tide as they are in the outer harbour. The inner harbour is accessed through a set of lock gates and remains at the same water level throughout the year. The title of the image refers to the huge painted letters and command painted on the inside of the outer arm. At regular intervals "DEAD SLOW" can be seen and is a constant reminder to keep the speeds down. A gentle rythmic clanking accompanies you as you walk through the marina as the various cables bang against the metal masts in the wind. It's there all the time and after a while it seems to vanish altogether as you get used to it. Brighton Marina was built between 1971 and 1979 but various developments continue to this day.

Half & Half :- There are a few things and subjects that you'll see time and time and time again in my images. They are my muses and they constantly change with the seasons, with the light of day and with the darkness of night. The combination of the ruined West Pier (built in 1866 by Eugenius Birch) and the setting sun is simply too good to miss. Yes, it's clich├ęd. Yes, it's not a difficult shot to take. Yes, thousands take the same sorts of shots from the same beach on a yearly basis. Blah blah blah. But that's not the point. The point for me is that ignoring such a thing would be a crime. Each image is unique as the tides and sea change and the sun is anything but predictable. I find myself sometimes standing on the beach looking at the silhouetted ruins and thinking "You're here again. You must stop photographing the pier!" but then I answer myself with a "Why should I? It's a visual gift and it's in my home town. Go for it son!" So I do ... time and time and time and time again.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill