Friday, 6 March 2015

Up with the Clouds, Stormlight and Old School

Up with the Clouds :- Can you see her? I don't know who she is but she was sitting perfectly still and trying to take it all in. I'll point her out to you. Look beneath the big cloud (top centre) and then slightly to the left. On the line where the hill slopes right to left you should be able to see a blonde woman in a blue top. I usually try my best to avoid people in my images (I don't know why...it's just the way I like to photograph things) but in this case she helped add a sense of scale and awe to the entire image. The large cloud that was seemingly hovering over her head was also just in the right place for the image as everything fell together for the shot. There's no way I could have planned it like this. What you see here is Sussex thundering off down below and vanishing into the distant haze. It was shot from the top of a legendary beauty spot in West Sussex (a short drive from the City of Brighton) called "Devil's Dyke". It's a breathtaking place to visit and is an English Heritage site. It's the most visited site on the South Downs and is also the largest chalkland dry combe (a big waterless valley) in Britain.



Stormlight :- A dark, brooding and moody scene shot from the beach at Ovingdean Gap just a few miles East of Brighton. As I was shooting this image the City to the West was getting a soaking and the storm clouds and rains were slowly heading my way. I'll be the first one to admit that I miss many photo opportunities as I only ever seem to go out when the weather is warm and pleasant. I love the heat and totally abhor the cold. Because to this I tend to stay in when the weather is bad which means I miss many dramatic scenes like this one. I'd actually gone down to the beach to see if there was a sunset and hadn't realised that a storm was aproaching until I got there. Finding myself facing the heavy weather I thought I'd stick it out for a while and fire off a few shots with the camera anyway as it was also low tide. The heavy black and white processing suits the image perfectly.



Old School :- Set deep and hidden away within the forests of the Sussex Weald sits the ruins of an old School that also doubled up as a Church at weekends. I knew of its existence and also knew roughly of its location but when I finally found it it still made me jump and left me with a very strange feeling. It fel like i was walking into one of the stories by the Brothers Grimm. This could easily have been where children were fed and fattened up or where a princess was locked away or where a witch cast her spells as the trees talked to each other. This place has a real feeling of enchantment about it. It's eerie and rather creepy as you explore the area and walk in and around the ruins. The dancing shadows and sunlight on this particular day added to the entire mystical nature of it all. If a Unicorn had suddenly wandered into the clearing it wouldn't have surprised me at all! In reality it's a far more modern and sad story. The School / Church was built in 1880 and served the local community for quite some time until 1925 when the school stoped being used due to a falling local population. However, the Church aspect of the building remarkably continued on for another 30 years up until 1959 when the last wedding was held there. The entire area is now a Nature Reserve.



All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill