Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Brighton: negative geometry

Since I love architecture featuring elaborate stone carving, one of the things I was most looking forward to photographing in Brighton was the Royal Pavilion. But the weather on my second day there didn't provide the pretty, lightly clouded skies I'd been hoping for - the sky was a solid, white-grey glowing background. And not in an attractive way.

The architecture was as bizarrely gorgeous as I'd hoped, but when I started to edit my shots I had difficulty making that apparent. On a whim, I edited one shot as a black and white negative, and suddenly what I had thought was so appealing was much more evident. The stone carving stood out clearly against what was now a darker background and the details looked much sharper. 

So here are a few more Brighton negatives - some of the Royal Pavilion itself, but some too of other buildings in the city.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

24 hours in Brighton

I've had a lovely summer, and I don't want it to end. Being a teacher gives you a fantastic amount of time off work, but the long breaks sometimes make it harder to return, to jump back onto what often seems to me like a hamster wheel, turning and turning and never actually reaching anywhere new. This week I'm jumping back onto the hamster wheel for the twenty-eighth time. That is not a good thought. Although it is clearly a first world problem.

Anyway, I've tried to lighten the last few days of the break with a nice little trip, specifically to wander round on my own and take photographs. I chose to visit Brighton, which I've loved when I've been there before. It has a superb beach area with a famous pier, lovely Victorian architecture throughout the town, great independent shops and excellent food. It's quick and easy to reach from Gatwick, and I got a great deal at the lovely Limehouse guest house, near the seafront (right opposite Will Young's old flat).

And I just wandered around for 24 hours, taking endless photographs. I had a very good handmade burger with my sister-in-law Sue, and we talked into the night in a cool pub garden. I got blisters on my feet despite my super-sensible sandals. I only just resisted vintage camera temptation in Snooper's Paradise. I read my novel on a bench by the West Pier skeleton. It all made me happy. Here's the first evening... 

Friday, 14 August 2015

Old Car City

One of the coolest places I visited during my summer break was Old Car City in White, Georgia. It was very much worth braving my 35 mosquito bites and temperatures far from comfortable for a person from Belfast in order to see the 4,400 gently decaying vintage American cars on the site. 

Old Car City is set at the edge of a forest, and one of the most appealing things for me was the way the plants and the cars seemed to have grown and aged together to create such a magical environment. I sometimes identify the main themes in my work as beauty, heritage and decay, and as I've started editing my hundreds of shots from this trip it strikes me how very much all of these interests are being fulfilled here.