Friday, 31 January 2014

Dark Field, Space Beyond the Fence and Sunset Cliffs

"Dark Field" :- It always amazes me that it's possible to create a great image even though there's apparently nothing in it. Lighting and weather obviously change each and every scene by the minute. Shadows get shorter or longer depending on the time of day and in turn the landscapes seemingly shrink or stretch with the light. This shot was taken a week or so ago along Greenways which is the road into the village of Ovingdean if you're coming from the main coast road that leads into Brighton. I live in Ovingdean so I often walk or drive up and down this stretch of road many times a week but it always looks different. Storm clouds were moving in just as the sun had dipped down and the light was fading fast. From where I was standing the black clouds were making the lights stand out just as they'd been turned on to illuminate the cliff top road as it got darker. The orange glow from the street light behind me gave the foreground of the field I was standing by a reddish glow.



"Space Beyond the Fence" :- 71% of the Earth's surface is made up of salt water oceans. That's a huge percentage. It drums it in even more when you reverse the thought and look at it the other way. It then reads 29% of the Earth's surface is land which means (other than ships and sea going vessels) that we live on just over a quarter of our planet. The rest is water and vast open spaces. No buildings, no land ... just water. It's a thought that struck me as I was taking this shot and it struck me again later as I was processing it. The fence denotes our boundary. Beyond that there's very little, our domain is essentially this side and not the other.



"Sunset Cliffs" :- I often find that if something is happening and everyone is looking that way towards it more times than not I turn around and see if there's anything going on behind us that we are all missing. It's a good trick to have up your sleeve, especially when you have a camera with you. It's a trick that I learned when reading about the great American physicist Richard Feynman. He used to go to strip clubs and while everyone was staring and gawping at the girls he'd turn his back to the stage and sketch everybody's faces! The man was pure genius, I loved his way of thinking. So whilst I am not by any means comparing myself to Richard Feynman I do like to adopt his way of thinking from time to time when I am out looking for shots and images to create. This simple image is the result of thinking (a bit) like Feynman. A few photographers were on the beach and each and every one of them were pointing their cameras at the sunset as it glowed bright and lit up the clouds and sea. I also took a few shots of the same sunset but then got curious and found I was the only one standing with my back to it all. I may have looked a bit odd facing the other way but I can guarantee that I was the only one that got this shot of the cliff face and beach lit by the warm glow of the sunset. Thank you Mr Feynman.



Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Sun or Moon, Clifftop Steps and Midday Bandstand

"Sun or Moon" :- An atmospheric shot taken from Brighton beach just West of the Marina. It's not the moon at all but the sun trying its best to put on a display as it set but not making a very good job of it. I'd taken the car into town hoping that I catch a magnificent show as the sun dropped behind the horizon but this was one of those occasions where very little happened and I simply walked back to the car and went home. It has always fascinated me that the sun and moon and at huge and very different distances to our Earth and yet they both appear to be the same size from our point of view. Our planet just "happens" to be n the perfect spot for life. It's known as the "Goldilocks principle", where something falls within certain margins, as opposed to reaching extremes. Here on planet earth we are simply "not too hot, not too cold and just right".



"Clifftop Steps" :- You may have seen a few images of mine that depict the steps by the beach on the undercliff walk at the bottom of Ovingdean Gap (South coast of England). Well, this is the other end, high up on the cliff top and near the main coast road. Built in the 1930's they now look very dated, old and worn but they still serve their purpose very well and are used daily by many wanting to access the beach down below. This is the way I go when I decide to walk into Brighton. It's quiet and peaceful down at the bottom of the cliffs with only the sound of the sea and the odd gull to interrupt my thoughts.



"Midday Bandstand" :- Sometimes it just all simply falls together. Without having to do much or ever look for it the image is there before you and goading you take the shot. This was one of those occasions. I was walking back from Hove along the promenade towards Brighton. Not a lot had caught my attention and as I neared the famous Victorian bandstand (opened in 1884) I could see someone standing in it and had decided not to grab a shot and too simply move on. It wasn't until I got to the steps of the bandstand that I realised due to the time of year the midday sun was low enough to be directly behind it, causing the entire structure and the lone figure of the (Japanese) Gentleman to go into semi silhouette. I like to break rules (always have done) and one rule I was always told at art college was never to take a photograph into the sun. Now I have often found this rule / law to be phooey and poppycock so with utter and complete disregard I took the shot anyway. Having seen the final image I can safely say that I am pleased I never paid much attention to my tutors.



All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Strong Arm, Waterwheel and Paper Lanterns

"Strong Arm" :- It's very rare that I actually take a stroll along either of the huge protective outer walls of Brighton's Marina. There are a few reasons for that which are 1) It's quite a long stroll only to turn around and walk back the same route 2) The weather is usually grey, cold and miserable and 3) Combine points 1 & 2 together and you get the picture! However on this day it was bright and sunny, though there was still a brisk wind which carried a chill factor with it. So this is a view near the far end of the Eastern protective arm that curves out and points to the west. The view is superb as you can clearly see the various points along the coastline (when it's clear enough to see). So, just left of centre you can make out a large building on the cliff top, that is the world famous independent day and boarding school of Roedean. Follow the cliffs along until the first dip and that dip is Ovingdean Gap where I often take other photographs on the beach, the building just to the left of the gap is Blind Veterans UK (formerly known as St Dunstan's). Moving along to the right the next dip you get to is the village of Rottingdean, the cliffs then rise and fall to arrive at Saltdean and then carry on past Telscombe to stop at Newhaven. At the very far end the cliffs suddenly rise up once again at Seaford Head.



"Waterwheel" :- A remnant of the past and something that you don't often see or come across anymore. This waterwheel can be found at Michelham Priory near Upper Dicker, East Sussex, England. Now, there are often stories connected to certain historical buildings and artifacts and the watermill at Michelham Priory is no different. According to legend whilst he was out hunting with Richer de l'Aigle (the Lord of Pevensey Castle) Thomas Becket actually fell into the mill stream at Michelham! The full story , history and information about the mill can be found and viewed here The Michelham Priory Watermill



"Paper Lanterns" :- A couple of paper lanterns hang motionless in the still hot air of Wat Chedlin, a temple in the heart of the old city of Chiang Mai. It's situated along Proprakklao Road and is a temple I used to visit on a weekly basis as it was just a 10 minute walk from our apartment. At the back of the temple there's a beautiful and very tranquil water garden where I used to sit, away from the noise of the traffic and bask in the warmth of the Thai sun. Much to my surprise I have just found the temple has it's own G+ page but it looks like it's not very active at all https://plus.google.com/106178679719048524464/about



All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Skytrain Station, End On and Jubilee Gardens

"Skytrain Station" :- High above the busy streets and roads of Bangkok you will find the Bangkok Mass Transit System (commonly known as the BTS or the Skytrain). When I first visited Bangkok they were in the process of constructing the stations and putting all the links in place so the only way to get around back then was by Tuk Tuk or Taxi which could take forever due to the packed traffic in the city. The Skytrain was officially opened on 5th December 1999 by Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and it made travelling around so much easier and a lot quicker. It's a very efficient and smooth ride too. The system comprises of 34 stations along two lines which are the Sukhumvit Line (North to East) and the Silom Line which serves the Central Business District of Bangkok and terminates at the National Stadium. This shot was taken high up in one of the stations on the Sukhumvit Line.



"End On" :- An unusual shot of one of the huge concrete breakwaters (Groynes) at Ovingdean Gap that help keep the sea at bay and at the same time stop the beaches from eroding away completely and in turn protect the chalk cliffs. This one has a gap in it that huge wooden sleepers can close up when slotted into the giant grooves on either end. On this particular day the sleepers had vanished so i was able to stand in the middle and take this shot. You can see just how well the breakwater does its job by the difference in beach levels on either side.



"Jubilee Gardens" :- This beautiful tree and lush green grass are tucked away and hidden well out of sight on the edge of lewes, a very historical town in Sussex, England. On the far western edge of the town there's a small lane called Juggs Road and just to the side of the road you'll find Jubilee Gardens which is a relatively small grassy area. The lane / road continues West across a bridge that runs over the A27 and then continues for a while before turning into a public footpath that wanders over the fields towards the village of Kingston.



All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Monday, 27 January 2014

Cone & Mermaid, Ripples of Geology and Beyond the Fence

"Cone & Mermaid" :- It's nice to be able to see things that others miss. To be able to look at the world in a slightly different way to many others. Some don't see it at all as they go about their daily drudgery with their eyes apparently closed to their surroundings. Due to technology many people aren't even looking up or where they are going as their gaze stares deep into smart phones, sat navs and various other gadgets that seem to be attempting to shorten their lives. I count myself as being fortunate in that I appear to be more visually aware than most (but I hasten to add not all) and see things that others miss and notice light, shade , reflections, shapes, perspective, composition and beauty in most things that I gaze upon. How long that will last for I don't know as my eyesight was perfect three years ago but now it seems to be on its way out as it has been gradually getting worse (my glasses are permanently on now). Anyway, I digress (again). This is a shot taken within Brighton Marina looking from the upper level of the shops on Palm Drive towards Mermaid Walk and the outer harbour. The large glass panels on either side belong to a couple of restaurants.



"Ripples of Geology" :- Wind and water shape this planet of ours. Sometimes they shape and influence each other which then hits us with such force that areas of land and sea can be changed overnight. Sometimes the changes are made over centuries and they are so slow that none of us realise they are even occurring or being made. There are tell tale signs on the south coast of England that let you know immediately that we used to stretch out further south than we do now. From Black Rock on the eastern edge of Brighton rock and chalk beds thunder off towards the east and they don't stop as they pass through Ovingdean, Rottingdean, Saltdean, Telscombe, Peacehaven until they get to the river mouth at Newhaven. The rutted and weathered chalk bed in this image was shot on the beach at Telscombe. It once formed the base of a huge cliff that slowly eroded over more time than we can get our heads around. The constant flow of seawater has etched its movements into what's left of the chalk and polished it at the same time. There's some serious history going on here.



"Beyond the Fence" :- Here's a view from the Falmer Road (just above Woodingdean) looking West across the rolling fields and farmland towards the city of Brighton, England. The buildings nestled in the valley nearest to us is an area known as Bevendean. You can also (when viewed big) make out the curved hillside road of Roundhill Crescent. Beyond that the South Downs take over and in the far distance to the left you can even (just about) see Shoreham Power Stations one remaining chimney and town of Worthing jutting out along the coastline.



All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Old Stone, Highcliff Court and Door to Nowhere

"Old Stone" :- This is an outside wall and window of St John the Baptist's Church in the village of Clayton in Sussex, England. The small Anglo-Saxon structure was founded in the 11th century and is now a Grade I listed building because of its architectural and historical importance. Inside the church are many well-preserved 12th century wall paintings by monks from Lewes Priory.



"Highcliff Court" :- This is a shot of the beach at Rottingdean (near Brighton) on the south coast of England. The beach runs from miles from Brighton all the way along to Saltdean with Ovingdean and Rottingdean somewhere in between. The title of the image refers to the building that you can seen (right of center) overlooking the beach and sea. That building is a block called "Highcliff Court" and the residents that live within its apartments command some wonderful views and must have ringside seats for the sunsets. However ,there is a downside to their positioning and that comes in two stages. 1) When the weather is bad it must be terrifying due to the rough seas hammering at their feet and the winds battering the glass. 2) When it's sunny and hot you have to put up with a constant stream of tourists, day trippers and beach goers who are all trying to outdo each other in a noise contest. In this image I caught the block in a moment of tranquility.



"Door to Nowhere" :- I am not positive as to where this door leads to. I have a few assumptions and feel that I may well be guessing in the right area but to be honest I do not want to know what's behind it. I find it a much more pleasant and thought provoking curiosity to be able to look at it and have ones imagination run riot. It's the sort of thing a child does when it sees something like this, its fantasy world kicks in and its mind flies off with it. The door is located at the eastern end of Madeira Drive (which is Brighton's lower seafront road) in an area known as Duke's Mound. It's an area with a seedy and notorious reputation that I won't go into here. There's a series of pathways that make their way through the bushes (you can just make out one of the path lights). By day it's quite a pleasant walk along the paths and down to the beach but you don't want to try it a night ... not unless you have a decent pair of running shoes.



All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Ghost Town, Beach on the Prom and Eternal Flame

"Ghost Town" :- A murky, dark and moody image of Terminus Road in Brighton, England. It was (approx) 03:00 am and the streets were deserted, quiet and eerily empty. The huge curved wall that stretches up the road on the right hand side is actually the side of Brighton Train Station. It was built in 1840 by the London & Brighton Railway and originally connected Brighton to Shoreham just a few miles west along the coast. A year or so later it also connected to Lewes (to the East of Brighton) and more importantly to London (51 miles / 82 km north ). Brighton is the seventh-busiest station in the UK outside of London with (approx) 16.1 million passengers a year. If it wasn't for the road markings and modern electric street lights this scene looks no different to how it was when the station was first built back in Victorian days.



"Beach on the Prom" :- This is a shot of the promenade in Hove on the south coast of England. A few weeks ago Britain got hammered by a series of storms that effectively changed much of its coastlines and put a lot of the country underwater. We were pretty lucky within the Brighton area but many others were not as fortunate. The English Channel turned into a monster for a day or so and it picked up a lot of the beach in Hove and dumped it onto the promenade. The clean up operation is a slow process so much of the beach and it's pebbles are still piled up and scattered about the place.



"Eternal Flame" :- Another wonderful sunset and dramatic sky shot from the beach in one of my favourite places...Ovingdean Gap, near Brighton, England. Sunsets are odd things to try and photograph. You have to be able to predict them or have some sort of feeling based on the hours and weather leading up to sundown. Unless you live in a place where you can see the sunset from your window you need to make the effort to be in the right place at the right time. Sometimes I venture a mile or so down to the beach only to find the skies are clear and he sun simply drops down and vanishes without putting on any display at all. It's all a bit hit and miss. However, this day was different. The tide was somewhere in the middle of coming in or going out and some heavy clouds had rolled into position. I knew then and there that if the sun behaved itself the show was going to be great. It did and it was. The clouds and sea trap the light and squeeze it as the night pushes the day out of the way. It changes by the second and with every second it catches your breath.



All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Friday, 24 January 2014

Dark Horizon, Women of Britain & The Bus Stop

"Dark Horizon" :- I shot this moody and somewhat menacing looking seascape late yesterday afternoon (23rd January 2014). I'd originally intended to walk out along the Western arm of the Marina wall to try and catch the sunset but discovered repairs were being made to it due to some storm damage over the recent weeks and public access was closed off . I had to rethink my plan and ended up grabbing a few shots from the promenade and Brighton beach instead. As it turns out there wasn't much of a sunset either but the clouds and foreboding sea made up for it. I love the harsh contrasts of light in this image. Fortunately for Brighton the distant storm stayed out at sea and way beyond the horizon.



"Women of Britain" :- At first the title of this image appears rather odd and out of place. The shot is of the Beach Cafe at Ovingdean Gap on the south coast of England, everyone (apart from me) had vacated the area and the cafe was closing up for the night. I nipped down onto the beach and then rested the camera upon the sea wall to catch this atmospheric (and rather sneaky) shot. Anyway, the title refers to the poster that's on the wall inside the cafe. It reads "Women of Britain, say Go!" and it's a poster dating from 1915 that was put out by the Parliamentary Recruiting Committee in order to try to get men to enlist in the army during World War I. I'm not quite sure why it's on the wall of this 1930's built block and cafe but I found it fascinating and therefore named the image after it.



"The Bus Stop" :- I know I shouldn't really say it about my own work but I do seriously love this over the top, gaudy & vibrant image. It's of the bus stop (hence the title) situated by the roundabout at Ovingdean. The twilight evening sky mixed with the orange glow of the street lights and created this heady and overwhelming colour explosion. If you find yourself on Marine drive (the A259) at Ovingdean with aching feet but need to get into the main city of Brighton (3 miles / 4.82 km to the West) then this is the bus stop you need. Behind the bus stop is the top of a cliff and beyond that is the vast expanse of water that we call the English Channel.



All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Steps of Many Colours, Hut Silhouettes and South Street

"Steps of Many Colours" :- These are the 1930's built steps that lead up from the beach and undercliff walk to the top of the cliffs at Ovingdean Gap on the south coast of England. They must have looked quite something and very modern in their day but now they look rather mundane, outdated and bleak. That said, they still serve their purpose well and I find myself often using them as I walk back and forth between the village of Ovingdean and Brighton. This shot was grabbed at that wonderful transition period when it's neither day nor night and everything has a shade of blue about it. The scene caught my eye for several reasons - the light shaft in the stairwell, the dark grey wall, the turquoise railings and the wonderful blue shadows on the lower steps.



Hut Silhouettes :- A heavily processed shot of the beach huts on Hove seafront backlit by sunlight bouncing off the English Channel. It was shot yesterday (22nd Jan 2014) around 13:45 pm as I was walking back towards Brighton from Hove. The shot was taken from the pavement (sidewalk) by the Kingsway (A259) road and is looking across a wide expanse of Hove lawns.



"South Street" :- The village of Ditchling can be found in the Lewes District of East Sussex, England...and it's ancient. Ditchling was first recorded in 765 (then known as "Dicelinga") and it's recorded that the Manor and its lands were held by King Alfred the Great. After King Alfred it was in the hands of Edward the Confessor and then (after the Norman conquest) it was held by William de Warenne (it was de Warenne who built Lewes Castle). Ditchling is also mentioned in the Domesday Book (along with much of Sussex). Because of its age (and with a huge smattering of luck cast over it) Ditchling still has many buildings that date from between 1500 and 1800 (eight are from the 16th century, 15 are from the 17th century and 13 survive from the 18th century). The building (in this image) on the corner of South Street is one of the oldest and is an original 16th Century timber framed house.



All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Light Spill, Divided We Stand and Pier Ramp

"Light Spill" :- A late afternoon / early evening shot of Brighton's famous Victorian Pier as seen from underneath the platform that supports the Brighton wheel. This section of the promenade is full of cafes, shops and public amenities so the platform that the Wheel is on still allows people on the lower prom access through. Neon light spills down onto the wet concrete (it had been raining all afternoon) creating a blue section of the walkway.



"Divided We Stand" :- March 2013 and we still had snow on the ground. In fact we'd had several months of it and were beginning to think that the chances of walking anywhere without slipping and sliding were negligible. Knowing this fact I stupidly decided to go for a walk along one of Stanmer Park's nature trails on the edge of Brighton. I didn't see a single soul and had the entire place to myself and I loved every minute of it. I think I must have walked for two hours in the ice and snow, cutting through the trees and heading along various paths. It felt like another world. It was quiet and peaceful as all sounds were deadened by the snow. It was wonderful.



"Pier Ramp" :- It's a real step back in time as you walk along the boards of the old pier on Eastbourne seafront in Sussex, England. If it wasn't for the backpacks, modern clothes and inability to move without staring at a mobile phone it would be easy to believe that you were in the 1800's. The look and feel of the pier is absolutely timeless. The construction of the pier commenced on 18th April 1866 and it was officially opened by Lord Edward Cavendish on 13th June 1870. Like all piers it suffered storm damage and certain sections had to be rebuilt. The pier at Eastbourne is unusual because it is built on stilts that rest in cups on the seabed which allows it to move in rough weather.



All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Rickety Bridge, The Big Illusion and Horse Chestnut

"Rickety Bridge" :- Before you ask, yes ... I did walk across it and it wobbled, a lot. This small but deceptively deep stream was near a waterfall high up in the mountains of Omkoi and deep within the province of Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand. We'd taken the motorbike out for a ride and had ended up by the waterfall and pools having a small picnic (of sorts). The bridge wasn't too high above the water (approx 1.5 meters) but it was still precariously unnerving getting across it. Why did I try? Because it was there!



"The Big Illusion" :- Sometimes the best shots are the ones that contain very little. A flat beach, a low tide, some wet sand and an immense sky during sunset all fell together to create this wonderful view. Hove has a flatter beach and the tide seems to expose more sand than it does in Brighton. I was just lucky that on that day I decided to walk along to Hove and venture down on to the beach. I had no idea the tide was going to be that low nor did I expect the dramatic sky or reflections.



"Horse Chestnut" :- A wonderful hot and sunny image to help keep the cold at bay. It was taken in July 2013 in the village of Ovingdean near Hogcroft field (on the sunny side of the fence). Just below centre you can see two horses grazing and sunning themselves beyond the horse-chestnut or conker tree (Aesculus hippocastanum). This entire area has a long and fascinating history attached to it. Ovingdean is mentioned in the Domesday book (written and compiled in 1086), the church (St Wulfran's) is 11th Century and in Hogcroft field itself a group of archaeologists discovered the remains of a medieval manor and evidence that they had been freshwater oyster farming.



All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Monday, 20 January 2014

Blue Flags, Parlour Four and Iron Works

"Blue Flags" :- A cold, wet and overcast day at Newhaven Harbour. Everything had a dank, gloomy feel and look to it. The town itself sits on the mouth of the River Ouse as it enters the English Channel and the port is an important one as this is where the ferry travels to Le Harve and Dieppe in France. Due to the port and harbour Newhaven was at one time a major industrial town but much of that has been in decline over the last few decades.



"Parlour Four" :- I posted a very similar colour image of the same scene back in December 2013 but I find the monochrome version much more striking and powerful. Four student buskers were playing Christmas carols on their brass instruments directly outside the Theatre Royal in New Road, Brighton, England. Once in a while someone would scurry and hurry by, paying them little or no attention as the rain fell down. The entire scene had a very Dickensian feel about it.



"Iron Works" :- This image is a section of the famous Victorian Bandstand (known as "The Birdcage") that stands on Brighton seafront on the south coast of England. It clearly shows the ornate craftsmanship that the Victorian's employed in their iron work and constructions. The cast iron structure was designed by a Brighton Borough Surveyor named Phillip Lockwood and was built in 1884. It is a Grade II Listed Building and now regarded as one of the best examples of a Victorian bandstand in the country. Surprisingly enough the iron work itself was manufactured by Walter Macfarlane & Co. of Saracen Foundry in Glasgow, Scotland which is (approx) 378 miles or 608.33 km north of Brighton.



All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Sunday, 19 January 2014

St. Anthony of Padua Entrance, Hole in the Sky and Old Small Barn

"St. Anthony of Padua Entrance" :- This is just inside the entrance to the Catholic cathedral of St. Anthony of Padua in the city of Arad which is the third largest city in the western part of Romania. The Cathedral is relatively new compared to other Cathedrals in the world as this one was built between he monumental building of the church was built between 1902 and 1904 (the architect was Tabacovics Emil). Apparently the services and ceremonies in the Cathedral are held in the 3 languages of Hungarian, Romanian and German.



"Hole in the Sky" :- This is a section of the beach somewhere between Ovingdean Gap and Brighton Marina on the south coast of England. I was once again walking into town along the Undercliff walk and watching the sun slowly face behind a blanket of cloud. I stopped briefly to catch the light as it managed to break through and dance a momentarily on the salt water. The chalk rocks and pools are a constant reminder of how far far out the cliffs used to stretch and that nothing stands the test of time.



"Old Small Barn" :- This shot was a classic case of ignoring the big picture and exploring the area for a few different things. I'd driven out to Michelham Priory near Upper Dicker in East Sussex, England to have a look around but ended up photographing a few things in and around the car parking area instead. This old shed caught my eye as it hid in the shade of a large tree. Just beyond the greenery behind it lies the old moat of the priory itself. Michelham Priory was founded in 1229 but was dissolved in the 1537 dissolution of the monasteries by the notorious King Henry VIII.



All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Sunset and Concrete, Rapeseed Field and Old Steine Fountain by Night

"Sunset and Concrete" :- A sunsets over Lake Siutghiol with part of the city of Constanța silhouetted on the horizon. The city is historically known as Tomis and was founded around 600 BC which makes it the oldest surviving city in Romania. Lake Siutghiol is a huge lagoon covering over 20 square km and (apparently) has a maximum depth of 18 m. During extreme winter conditions it has been known for only 10% of the lake to remain unfrozen. It's a very picturesque place to visit but there are some remains of demolished structures dotted about its shores. This shot was taken from Mamaia (a resort and district of Constanța).



"Rapeseed Field" :- I shot this way back in May 2012 as I was out on a small evening excursion with my camera. It's of a gated field full of Rapeseed way up on the wonderfully named Devil's Dyke Road on the outskirts of Brighton. On the far right of the image (when viewed large) you can just make out some of the town and a little of the English Channel. Devil's Dyke itself (further up the road) has been a tourist attraction for a couple of centuries and was formed by torrents of water running off the Downs during the last Ice Age due to thawing snow.



"Old Steine Fountain by Night" :- It's not often that you see the Victorian fountain floodlit and working at night. It stands in the middle of an area known as the Old Steine Gardens which is virtually on the seafront and just opposite Brighton's famous pier. A very long time ago when Brighton was still a fishing village known as "Brighthelmstone" this area was an open green space with a stream. Slowly as time took a hold the area was "reclaimed" was used for people to be seen as they promenaded about. The fountain itself is thirty-two feet in height and (unusually) stands on Sarsen stones in the centre of the pool. The stones were found in the Steine by a group of workmen digging a trench in 1823. The Victoria Fountain (as is its proper name) was inaugurated on 25 May 1846.



All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Friday, 17 January 2014

All Roads Lead to Rome, Heavenwards and Darkness Prevails

"All Roads Lead to Rome" :- I don't know the name of this lane, I looked it up on Google Maps but it appears to be nameless. It's location is just off Braypool Lane near the A27 above Patcham on the outskirts of Brighton. I'd been to visit the Chattri (a war memorial to the Indian soldiers that gave their lives fighting for the British Empire during the First World War) and decided to take a different route back in order to avoid the large bull field that I'd had to nerve wrackingly negotiate on my way out there. It has no road markings and the tarmac is breaking up in places (as you can see) which indicates to me that it's mainly an access road to the farms in that area.



"Heavenwards" :- I spent most of my time in Hove Cemetery playing hide and seek with a fox that I'd spotted shortly after entering the area. I was trying to take a few shots of some of the more interesting gravestones but kept spotting a vibrant dash of orange fur and a large bushy tail darting about in among the stones. I was hoping that it would freeze long enough for me to get a shot of it against the greys and greens but alas it was far too timid and ended up disappearing through the hedges and making its escape. This stone figure of a woman pointing skywards captivated me for some unknown reason so I felt obliged to photograph her.



"Darkness Prevails" :- These seawalls took an awful lot of abuse recently as the south coast of England (and other parts of Britain) were battered by a series of ferocious storms. The salt water waves were exploding against the walls and shooting up into the air with tremendous force. The undercliff walk managed to hold but was deep in water in places where the sea made it over the defences. But what if the walls and undercliff walk (built in the 1930's) had not been there? Surely the chalk cliffs would have suffered damage and possibly even crumbled and fallen away into the sea which in turn would have created chaos at the top of the cliffs due to the main A259 coast road that runs along their length.



All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Thursday, 16 January 2014

The Cuckmere Estuary, Ready For Action and Overtime

"The Cuckmere Estuary" :- An incredible view of the Cuckmere Estuary as seen from a place called "High & Over" situated on the Alfriston Road near Seaford, Sussex, England. The estuary is an area of flood plains where the river Cuckmere flows south to meet the English Channel. During the 16th, 17th and 18th Centuries the beach was famously used by smugglers as it was the perfect landing area to bring in goods. It's unusual in that most estuaries or river mouths end up being built upon and turned into ports or harbours but Cuckmere has remained on the whole untouched apart from the odd building on the cliff top and some old WWII pillboxes, anti-tank blocks and earthworks.



"Ready For Action" :- This is the "Socha Vojáků" (statue of a soldier) in Avram Iancu Square in the city of Arad in Romania. It's actually a monument to the Unknown Soldier and was put in place in 1960 in honor of those who fought for the liberation of Transylvania during the Second World War. The square is surrounded by very colourful Baroque styled houses. It was an overcast but sunny day and I would have dearly loved to have explored Arad further but we were limited to time so after grabbing a bite to eat we moved one.



"Overtime" :- This is the back of New England House as seen from Providence Place in Brighton. It was late at night and the building was still ablaze in light as various poor souls toiled and worked their way towards another day. On both sides of New England House the outside stairs are meshed over on the lower level which indicates that it's not to stop employees from falling or jumping but more to stop outsiders from gaining entry by climbing up. The eight story building (located in Brighton, Sussex, England) was opened in 1963 and (believe it or not) was the worlds first purpose built high rise industrial business centre. The design is outdated and from the outside the building looks rather shabby and grey but the building is still in constant use by many different companies.



All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Down By The Riverside, From the Top and Baptistry Tower

"Down By The Riverside" :- A very hot and sunny July afternoon back in 2012 provided me with this unusual photo opportunity. I'd driven around for a while enjoying the sun when I decided to stop and have a wander around Shoreham in Sussex. The tide was low so the River Adur was also at its lowest and revealing its slimy and somewhat pungent river bank. I stopped underneath the old (circa 1896) iron railway bridge that crosses the river and aimed my camera towards the hills in the distance at Lancing. The long shadows on the bank and river are created by the railway bridge itself.



"From the Top" :- This is a view that I get to see pretty much on a weekly basis. It's the view from the top of the steps at Ovingdean Gap that lead down to the undercliff walk and it's the route that I sometimes take when walking into Brighton from Ovingdean. For much of the journey you are on your own with only the odd cyclist or dog walker passing you once in a while. I find it very relaxing to be down by the sea steadily watching Brighton get bigger as I slowly get closer and closer.



"Baptistry Tower" :- This is a neck breaking shot of the Baptistry (South) Tower of Chichester Cathedral in West Sussex, England. According to the Historic Britain website "The towers at Chichester have had a particularly unfortunate history. The south-west tower of the facade collapsed in 1210 and was rebuilt. The north-west tower collapsed in 1635 and was not rebuilt until 1901." So the tower you see in this image was rebuilt sometime after 1210. The tower is one of two west facing towers which are joined / connected by a gabled bay. The Cathedral's history dates back to 681 but the present Cathedral that you see today was begun in 1076 and was consecrated in 1108.



All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill