Friday, 31 August 2012

Gloomy, Moody and Bright

"Gun Metal Nature" is the first of today's images. Although this looks like a black and white shot I can assure you it's not. This is the full color image of a very stormy day on the South coast of England, I have not removed any color during processing (in fact I tried to brighten things up a little). A brooding and menacing sky threatens to turn the day into a washout whilst a dark and forbidding sea thrashes about below. As images go this is probably one of the most dramatic I have captured.



Second image for today is titled the "Sleeping Giant". It's a revealing shot of Brighton's famous Victorian seaside Pier. Normally her ancient iron supports are surrounded by thunderous amounts of sea water. This particular evening there was an unusually low tide which allowed me to wander out on the wet sand and get in close and personal. The black and white treatment and processing of the image gives it a very film noir feel and look. t made me think of a 1930's seafront and Graham Greene's classic novel "Brighton Rock".



"Red Carpet" is the last image for today. For me it's impossible to stand in the middle of a poppy field without thinking of "The Wizard of Oz". Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tinman and the Cowardly Lion all succumb to the overpowering feeling of sleepiness (brought on by the Wicked Witch of the West) as they pass through the field on their way to the Emerald City. It's snowfall (produced by Glinda the Good Witch of the South) that eventually wakes and saves them all. It's an interesting and horrific fact that in the 1939 film (starring Judy Garland) they used a mix of chrysotile asbestos and mica to create the falling snow. Anyway, this poppy field was shot near the the village of Falmer in Sussex, England.



All Photography © Justin Hill

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Old Iron, Old Steps and New Crops

Image one for today is "In The Mood". A view of the old iron Victorian supports of the West Pier on Brighton beach (South Coast of England). The lighting was just right for this shot, the pebbled beach, sea and sky were looking reasonably colorful but the supports were standing in silhouette begging me to take the shot.



"Let's Twist Again" is the title of image number two. This shot is "fresh off the press" as they say because it was taken this morning (30th Aug 2012) approx 10:30 am. These are the 1930's built steps that lead between the cliff top and the beach at Ovingdean Gap. It was threatening to rain heavily and apart from me there was a distinct lack of human life out and about. Perfect.



Last image from me today is called "Fields of Gold". It's a color shot from a farmers field in the village of Fulking in Sussex, England. I loved the contrast of the rich golds and browns of the corn against the thick lush greens of the South Downs. It was a very hot and bright day and the sunlight was trying to make the blue of the sky bleed into everything in sight. Apart from the odd passing car and the odd bird twittering about all was silent and calm. A gentle breeze made the crop sway to and fro forming rippling waves down the length of the field. It was absolutely idyllic.



All Photography © Justin Hill

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

A Window, A Way and A Lost Cause

Image one for today is titled "Spectrum". The sun was out and beating down on everything the day I took this shot. It was very hot indeed. So to cool off for a while I decided to grab some shade and shelter in the ancient church of Saint Nicholas in Shoreham, Sussex (England) and have a look around. The church is an amalgamation of building work through the ages and it's very interesting and fascinating to see it's historical growth. It starts in Saxon times, then the Norman's added to it and then work was also done in the 13th and 14th Centuries and then modern times added the choir vestry and vicars vestry. Anyway...this window was casting some wonderful colors on the heavy thick walls due to the bright sunshine outside so I thought I'd grab a shot before venturing back out into the afternoon heat.



"Many Too Many" is image number two for today. This was shot from a public right of way on farmers land near the village of Falmer in Sussex, England. In the distance and to the north you can clearly see part of the south downs rising up. The shadows were starting to get long as it had already gone 19:30 pm in the evening. It was very peaceful and extremely rural.



I'm pleased I wasn't on this boat which is why the title of this image is "Sunk". I have no idea what happened here but I do know that a boat is meant remain on the surface of water and not go below it. The River Adur in Shoreham (England) is tidal so the water level will rise and fall accordingly but I don't think there's much hope left for this particular little boat. The iron boat in the background looks to be at a dangerous angle too. I'd like to take time to thank the two Swans for investigating what I was doing and in the process helping to balance the shot up for me. Cheers!



All Photography © Justin Hill

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Thin Trees, Decaying Wood and Grand Designs

"The Dreamers" is my first post for today. Photographed a few months ago on Beacon Hill in the ancient village of Ovingdean in Sussex, England. A cold light creates thin silhouettes of trees whilst illuminating the patches of grass.



"Distant Memory" is my second image for today. You gotta look where you're going walking around on Shoreham Beach on the Sussex coast in England. There are quite a few decaying bits of wood and rusting bits of metal laying around. It's not surprising as the beach is near a busy industrial harbor.




The Victorian Bandstand on Brighton Seafront (England) is a subject that I return to many times. It's a stunningly ornate iron reminder of an age gone by which is why I've called this image "Victorian Beauty" . Normally I'm up on the main raised promenade photographing it but on this occasion I just happened to be down at beach level without anybody getting in the way so grabbed my chance and took this shot. Above and beyond the bandstand (the Victorians called it "The Birdcage") you can see what is now The Mercure Hotel which is an elegant Grade II listed Victorian Hotel built in 1864. 


All Photography © Justin Hill

Monday, 27 August 2012

Reflections, Angels and Car Parks

Image number one for today is called "Illuminated Sands". It's a great shot of Brighton (South Coast of England) taken from it's famous pier. An unusually low tide revealed sand that we normally do not get to see causing the entire seafront to reflect and shimmer in the darkening evening sky.



"Cold Stare" is the second image for today and is a black and white close up of the brass "Angel Lectern" in St Paul's Church on West Street, Brighton (England). It was designed by John Hardman Powell (1827-1895) who assisted Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin (1812—1852) who was an architectural draughtsman and topographical watercolourist (arguably the greatest British architect, designer and writer of the nineteenth century) with his many orders for stained glass — in particular for the Houses of Parliament.



"Journey to the Center of the Earth" is today's last image. If you look hard enough it's possible to find beauty in pretty much everything. Ok...so this image is pushing it somewhat but I loved the battle between light and shadow as they both bounced of the walls. This is a closed underground car park below a supermarket in the city center of Brighton (England). It had an air of mystery to it and looked to me as though it could be going on forever round and round and further on down and down.



All Photography © Justin Hill

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Tranquility, Sunlight and Horizons

My photographic posts for today start of with this scene of tranquility which i've titled "Four White Buddhas". These magnificent white Buddhas sit in a small room in a temple complex called Wat Palad in Chiang Mai , Thailand. The temple sits halfway up Doi Suthep Mountain and is one that is predominantly overlooked by tourists and the guidebooks because a few kilometers further up there's Wat Phrathat Temple which is one of the most revered temples in the Kingdom. The Thai Government didn't register this hidden beauty until 1991 even though the temple grounds are way over 650 years old!



"Sunlit Lanes" is image #2 for today. These are the famous Brighton Lanes (well...part of them anyway). This is where the city of Brighton on the south coast of England started as a humble fishing village. The original settlement was known as "Brighthelmstone"  and it was built up during the late 18th century, by 1792 it was fully laid out. The ancient settlement of Brighthelmstone does date far further back however as it has an entry in the Domesday book which was written and compiled in 1086.



Here's "Dark Horizon", my last photograph for today. This image was captured at Ovingdean Gap near the city of Brighton on the south coast of England. The sunlight was still managing to thrown beams of light down to the sea but the clouds were trying their best to stifle it all and remove the color from the salt water. The temperature had dropped, a slight breeze was turning into a strong wind and I decided it was time to turn tail and get out of there before the skies opened up.



All Photography © Justin Hill

Saturday, 25 August 2012

A Sunset, A Crescent and A View

Ok it's piccy post time again folks. We kick things off today with image one which is titled "Light Of The World". Sundown in Brighton on the South Coast of England as seen from the famous Brighton Pier. It must have been somewhere around 20:00 pm when I took this shot. a wonderful half light had descended over everything and the sea trying its best to reflect some of t back up. The West Pier and busy seafront stand black against the sky along with the odd silhouetted figures on the beach taking pleasure in a rare glimpse of sand.



"Adelaide Crescent" is image number two. Hove sits directly next to Brighton. In fact the two blend into each other forming what looks to be one huge town/ city but they are in fact very different entities in their own right.  This is the very grand and stunning Adelaide Crescent in Hove. It's rare to get a shot of the place without people wandering about on the pavements (sidewalks) or cars whizzing up and down the road so I was thrilled to discover it was waiting for me peacefully when I got there. The Crescent is named after Queen Adelaide (wife of William IV) and was built between 1850 and 1860 (although plans were drawn up for it's construction in 1830).  It was designed by architect Decimus Burton (designer of Kew Garden's Palm House). The Square is now Grade II listed.



Last image from me today is called "There'll Always Be an England". A rare and beautiful view.  Rolling countryside with not a road, building or power line in sight. This image was captured as I was walking along a public bridleway between the villages of Falmer and Kingston in Sussex, England. Why we are obsessed with covering all this up with grey featureless slabs is beyond me. There is something inherently 'spiritual' about looking out over such greenery and natural splendor, it lifts you up, fills the lungs with fresh air and your heart with strength.



All Photography by Justin Hill ©

Friday, 24 August 2012

Graves, Wheels and Carousels

Image no.1 from me today is titled "Incommunicado"Just past the town of Lewes in Sussex there's an old village called Beddingham that has an ancient  Church and churchyard in it.  It's been allowed to grow reasonably wild and is in a very rural setting. It's a beautiful place o walk around and relax. This was shot from within the graveyard looking south towards the rolling countryside and Newhaven on the coast.



Image two is "The Bicycle Wheel". I'm not sure i'd like to live down the end of this alleyway but somebody obviously does as there's a door at the end under that lamp. A serious "Film Noir" shot and look to this image. Very moody and intense. Evokes the feel of the old 1940's black and white films. Have you spotted the bicycle wheel that the image is named after yet?



And here's the last image for today and I've chosen to call it "Wild Horses Couldn't Drag Me Away". A couple sit on Brighton Beach on the South coast of England and enjoy the last of the evening sun. Shadows grow long and illuminations are turned on as the seaside city prepares itself for another busy night.


All Photography © Justin Hill

Thursday, 23 August 2012

A Pier, A Mast and an Odd Viewpont

 Here's the first of my images for today, it was shot a few days ago on Monday 20th August 2012 and is called "Evening Sand". Brighton  is a very famous seaside city on the south coast of England. It's not however known for it's sandy beaches because it's shores are predominantly buried beneath stones, rocks and tons of pebbles. This last few days we have been blessed with an unusually low tide and the sea receded out more than it normally does revealing sand   and much of the Brighton Pier. Braving a boot full of water and wet sand I strolled out  with my camera and timed it all so that I'd be there for late evening and sundown.



Here's image two for today "Signals". This is a shot of Brighton's main television and radio transmitter which stands on Whitehawk Hill on the south coast of England. As far as I know it's stood here "transmitting" TV signals since 1959 and radio signals since 1968 when BBC Radio Brighton officially went on air. It's quite a landmark as you can see it sitting up on the hill for miles.



Right...here's my last and final image for today. The human race seems to be obsessed with living below ground or way above ground. It's very rare to find anything that's actually at ground level nowadays. "As Above So Below" was shot from the stairwell of an underground car park in Regency Square, Brighton, England. I thought it would make for an interesting image as I was below ground level but looking up at homes in the sky. t also draws ones attention to just how colorless our architecture and surroundings are. If it wasn't for the glorious blue of the sky in this shot there'd be nothing but grey, dull browns and white.


All Photography © Justin Hill

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Clouds, Rude Sounding Fields and a Hippy Boat

Time for another few photographic posts from me. The first one from me today is "Incoming". The sky was a very vivid and clear blue when I ventured out with the camera. By the time i got to the far end of the undercliff walk at Saltdean the weather had changed dramatically and the clouds had rolled in. In this image looking West you can clearly see the storm front edging it's way over Brighton (England) and denying sunlight to the hill and chalk face that divides Saltfdean from the village of Rottingdean. The end that I was standing at was still bathed in bright sunlight but I realised that was soon to change so didn't hang around much longer!



Image number two is "Fulking Field". Sorry for the rather indiscreet sounding title but in actual fact  t is exactly what it says it is. This is a farmers field in the village of Fulking in Sussex, England. The thick growth of trees and large hills that you see sweeping off into the distance are part of the famous South Downs. The haze was due to a beautifully hot and humid day. I decided to go for a drive and explore some of the older more ancient parts of Sussex armed only with a camera, t-shirt, shorts and a pair of flip flops. Luxury!



Last image from me today is "The Hippy Boat". Question -  When is a bus not a bus?  Answer - When it's part of a  boat! If I was going to have to live on a houseboat this is probably the sort of boat you'd find me on. I love the look of this, it's very "New Age" in a sort of retro 1960's hippy style. It makes me wonder what the boat / barge looked like to begin with but now one side has had a coach / bus welded into position (complete with wheels still attached) and the stern end has been completely remodeled with a wave type roof section and some incredibly odd looking windows. Love it. Just to add the final icing on the cake there's a heart shaped window in it's side and a missile/bomb with "Peace One Day" on it stuck in the mud of the river bank. Awesome!


All Photography © Justin Hill

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

A Tree, A Boat and a Building

Here's is image #1 from me "Tree of Consumerism" . This part of Brighton (on the South coast of England) used to be a very run down area. It was mainly industrial sites, car parks and trash. A few years ago the entire region was redeveloped and smartened up. Like most areas that are regenerated this involved new housing and the inclusion of a dirty big supermarket. Greenery was systematically removed to make way for slabs of concrete and blocks of grey / brown brickwork. In order to make us feel like it was all worth while a few trees were planted to make us think we are in a healthy environment. This solitary tree sprouts out of a small hole in the paving directly in front of the supermarket windows that have their blinds drawn for the night.



Image #2 today is "Anchors Aweigh". There are many old boats within Shoreham Harbor and there's a section that's full of house boats. I've often wondered what it's like to live on a boat. I think I'd quite enjoy the experience providing it wasn't on the sea or high tidal water. All that bobbing up and down and swaying to and fro stuff makes me go quite green and I am much better on dry land. Anyway, this image is of one of the old house boats.



Last post from me today is "Café Italiano". This is Café Italiano on the corner of New Road and Church Street in the city of Brighton, England. As far as I can find out this building was constructed somewhere within the 1700's. What it was built to hold or what its use was then I have no idea. I do however know that from 1894 to 1958 it was *W.J. Crabb & Son*, Wine Merchants. Apparently the entire building was theirs. Since then it's changed hands many times and has been sandwich bars, coffee shops and has even sold aquariums and fish. Now it's the Café Italiano with seating outside so you can eat and drink alfresco (weather permitting).


All Photography © Justin Hill

Monday, 20 August 2012

Seascape, Iron and Lines

Here's my first image for today and it's titled "The Sun Goes Down". It's another case of being in the right place at the right time. I'd never been down on the beach at Peacehaven before and I just happened to be there as the sun was saying farewell and casting a beautiful light over everything. After slipping and sliding my way out over the rocks I was finally in position to capture this image. This time I managed to keep my boots dry!



Here's shot number two for today "Riveting Stuff". In order to get this shot I was standing in the mud of the river back trying my best to keep my balance and not end up falling over backwards and into the River Adur at Shoreham, Sussex, England. It was a very hot and sunny day and the sunlight was casting some wonderful shadows and light through the railway bridge that I found myself standing beneath. The railings in the shot are to prevent idiots like me from getting wet or muddy. They didn't do their job.



Last image from me today is a lovely drab one and it's called "Up For Light". If you find yourself down at 'Black Rock ' and / or Brighton Marina (on the south coast of England) there are only a few ways you can get back up to the main seafront road of  Marine Parade. One is obviously by car but if you are on foot you don't have many options. There are a few steep sets of steps dotted about which seem to have been designed to empty your lungs of all available breath and air or you can walk all the way back (it's a long walk) to the Brighton Pier  which will get you at street level again. If you are on bicycle  then this ramped tunnel is pretty much your only choice. It's another one of these constructions that was designed with your safety in mind but in reality put you in danger. It's a dodgy area, especially at night. The tunnel / walkway itself smells of everything apart from what it should. It's a sensory overload of bad smells, bad light and bad feelings. Colorless, drab and devoid of pleasing features. It is , however, great to photograph.


All Photography © Justin Hill

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Angels, Caves and Dramatic Skies

Image number one for today is titled "Salvation Lets Their Wings Unfold" This was shot yesterday (18th August 2012) as I wandered about the city in the heat of the sun. This is not a cropped shot either, this is how it was captured. I got as low as I could on the grass verge / road in the graveyard and aimed up trying to frame the angel within a sky surround. I didn't want anything else to intrude in the image as I just wanted clean blue and white imagery. I did get a funny look from an elderly couple who drove past but other than that it all went well. It is an HDR shot, but a simple one held back to keep lines clean and crisp. High pass was used afterwards with soft light just to give it a little 'zing' but that's all.



Image number two for today "Chalk Cave". This is the beach at Saltdean on the south coast of England. Normally you cannot gain access to this part of the beach as it's under water and very hard to get to. On this particular day the tide had gone out a long way and I struggled over many slippery rocks for ten minutes to get to this secluded spot. That's when I spotted the cave. I don't know anything about it at all. It's certainly not natural as it looks to have been cut into the chalk cliff face. Who did it and how long it's been there for is anyone's guess. It may be Victorian...it may be 20 years old. I have no idea. Makes a great image though.



Last image from me today is "Afterburn". The beginnings of a storm front rolling in over the back of Brighton on the south coast of England. I was between Woodngdean and the village of Falmer when I pulled over to grab this shot. It looked very dramatic and powerful. Needless to say later on whilst I was doing a spot of night photography the storm front caught me up and I got very wet. That seems to keep happening to me!


All Photography © Justin Hill

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Pavilions, Messages and Timing

Posting images early today as it's looking like it's going to be a gloriously sunny and hot day so am thinking of venturing out with the camera later. Here's my first image for today "Palace Light".  I grabbed my chance a few days ago as I was wandering through the Pavilion Gardens in Brighton (England). Normally there are people and tourists everywhere in these gardens, even at night. It was unusual to find myself there without anyone else being around so I was able to set up the tripod and take my time without fear of being photo bombed or disturbed. It was luxury. I knew at the time of capturing it that the image was going to look great but I have to admit it stunned me just how good the end result was! Many see images of the Brighton Royal Pavilion for the other side, the famous side with the large "onion dome" and wide grass expanse in front of it. This is the other side and the entrance through which visitors enter when it's open to the public.



Image two is a simple shot and it's called "HELP". I was walking along the beach looking for photo opportunities when I spotted this chalked message and doodle on a rock. Made me smile at the time. I have no idea who drew it but several suspects were in the area at the time and they were mainly children playing in the sea and looking for crabs and things in the smaller rock pools that the tide had left behind. It shall have to remain a mystery and the sea will have long since washed it clean away but at least I was there to capture it for all to see.



 Third and final image for today is "Kings Road". For those of you that know Brighton (on the South coast of England) very well you will suddenly realise just what an achievement it is to photograph Kings Road on the seafront without getting any traffic in the shot at all ... especially on a very hot and sunny day! No trick photography or photo editing to remove traffic, this is how it was. It was a simple exercise in patience and timing. Watching the traffic signals behind me I was waiting for those few seconds where there was some space. In actual fact it was very busy as a tail back of traffic was just behind me (going East in the opposite direction) and there was a hoard of vehicles trying to go West waiting for the lights to change. I grabbed my chance!


All Photography © Justin Hill

Friday, 17 August 2012

Rubbish, Moody and Wet

Post number one from me today is "Garbage Man". This is the sort of thing that everyone walks past without giving it a second glance or thought ... as for me I stopped dead in my tracks and took the shot. The rubbish / trash / garbage looked to be placed very neatly and fanned out in a way that seemed to balance up the image. The icing on the disposed cake for me was the graffiti of the bright red / orange  figure standing by the bin as if they'd just placed the rubbish there themselves. Made me smile a lot.



This next image "The Exchange" is dark and extremely moody. This was shot in the Royal Pavilion Gardens in Brighton (England) approx at 8:50 pm. The lamplight was casting odd and eerie shadows on the ground and the old metal bench looked like it was waiting for a couple of spies to exchange briefcases or for someone to drop a package in the trash bin next to it. The night sky was still hanging onto it's light and fighting of the darkness for as long as it could hence the daylight in the background to the right of the shot.



"Test of Time" is the last image for today. This was taken on a grey, wet and miserable day in Eastbourne on the south coast of England. This was shot on Eastbourne's Victorian Pier which opened on 13th June 1870. No tourists, pensioners or day trippers to be seen as the weather was awful. The one thing this image cannot convey is the bitterly cold wind blowing in off the sea and the taste of salt on your lips from the odd sea spray and moisture in the air. Needless to say shortly after this shot I was forced to take cover as the heavens opened up and lashed everything in sight with driving rain. Ah ... the great British seaside.


All Photography © Justin Hill

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Sea, Statues & Open Space

Here's my first image for today entitled "Prepare to Launch".This is not an image you want to be looking at if you suffer from Acrophobia (fear of heights) and / or vertigo. These are very steep steps and they drop down to the left (out of view) and actually end on a very large promenade at the bottom of the cliff face. The way I shot this though does make you feel like it's the aquatic version of a ski jump. The steps can be found in the beautifully named Peacehaven on the south coast of England.



Here's my second image for today "The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner". This is the new Steve Ovett statue on Brighton seafront (England). Mr Ovett used to be a resident of Brighton (he was recently made a freeman of the city) and his gold medal in the 800 metres at the 1980 Moscow Games has been rated one of the most iconic moments in the history of the Olympics. At one point Steve Ovett was also a world record-holder for the 1,500 metres and the mile. The statue is exactly 800 metres from the Brighton Pier.



Final image for today is "Universal Garden". I think if mankind had it's way all traces of greenery would have been eradicated by now to make way for more concrete. It's all about money and real estate. For me it's all about wide open spaces , fresh air and scenery. Finding yourself on the 28th floor of some office block with the air conditioning unit on full blast and a few plants dotted about doesn't really compete with the real thing. I thank those that work endlessly and tirelessly towards conservation for without them we'd be in a very grey world.


All Photography © Justin Hill

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Boats, Holes and Limits

Photo time again. Here's the first of today's three "The Footbridge". This image was captured on a blisteringly hot day on the south coast of England at Shoreham Harbour. If it wasn't for the footbridge and buildings n the background I'm sure the sky and water would have blended in with each other and become one. The harbour is full of tiny little boats rising up and down with the tide. Some do not not look seaworthy at all and did spot a couple that were actually underwater and not on it. It's a very pleasant place to wander about and look around.



Here's my black and white post for today "Ranek". Well...this looks to me like it used to be a window before it became just a hole in an old flint wall. Plants and bushes grow on both sides of it now as they try their hardest to reclaim what was once theirs anyway. The board that covered over the opening has since fallen off and leans against the brickwork. As with all things in this world of ours if it doesn't move and stays still long enough someone will come along and write or draw on it. We've not moved along much since the times of the cavemen! "Ug"



Here's the last image from me today "30". This stretch of road in Sussex (England) is known as "Cora's Walk" and can be found between the villages of Poynings and Fulking at the foot of the south downs. t's a beautiful rural area with many old villages dotted throughout.



All Photography © Justin Hill