Thursday, 17 December 2015

Glimpse of Domesday, Open Skies and South of Heaven

Glimpse of Domesday :- An image that is pretty much timeless. No power cables or TV aerials. No modern structures towering up towards the heavens. Just a field, a low stone wall, a couple of buildings and an 11th Century Church. This is the old part of Ovingdean village on the South coast near Brighton in Sussex. It's ancient and is (like many other villages in sussex) mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086. This was part of William de Warenne's domain. William de Warenne was the son in law of William the Conqueror and after he had played a major role in the Battle of Hastings of 1066 he was awarded large grants of land, some of which were in Ovingdean due to being part of the Rape (land division) of Lewes.

Open Skies :- The famous coast guard's houses and beach at Cuckmere Haven near Seaford on the South Coast of England. They are usually photographed 99.9% of the time from the hill that they are on so that the picturesque and stunningly beautiful Seven Sisters Cliffs form a striking background but I thought it would be interesting to put a different spin and perspective on it all by pointing the camera towards the West and shooting them from across the mouth of the estuary. Most think it would be amazing to live in such a place, commanding magnificent sea views 100% of the time and having one of the most incredible places in Sussex as your back graden but I don't think it's as wonderful as people think. Recent storms over the last few years have made me realise just how fragile our entire coastline is and that living in an 1830's built house that's lost a lot of its back garden due to erosion and is just a few feet above sea level is not such a great idea at all!

South of Heaven :- Afternoon sun gets in my eyes as I walk up a steep cliff top route that takes me West along the Coast from Saltdean to the village of Rottingdean. Just a few old concrete posts and some thin strands of wire are all that seperate me from the edge of the cliff and the sea and beach approximately 80 feet below. You can feel the warm air rise here as it comes up over the cliff top. Every now and then a lazy gull makes full use of the thermals and saves energy as it glides by with its wings outstretched.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill