Golden hour at the Grain Store

Golden hour at the Grain Store

This week’s photograph comes from a renovation I am documenting on the outskirts of Lewes. A former agricultural building, the Grain Store is in the process of becoming a luxury holiday home nestled in the heart of the South Downs National Park.

The Grain Store’s roof is a large one and took a long time to complete, giving me the opportunity to capture the roofers at work during two of my monthly site visits. This shot was taken in November and I was rushing to grasp the last of the beautiful evening light before the sun set behind the ridge of the Downs.

This was a challenge because the sun was so low and bright that it was blinding me and my camera lens and putting everything into dark silhouette. I particularly like how that golden light source throws the builder’s long shadow across the roof and delineates the texture and shape of each individual slate tile.

There was something very appealing to me about photographing this stage of the building process so I have quite a few roofing shots in my Grain Store gallery. Take a look and see if you think I chose the right one for my photo of the week. They are all here along with photographs of the entire project so far.

Please get in touch if you would like to discuss how we can work together.

A city bursting with colour and pattern

A city bursting with colour and pattern

I was in Lisbon for a few days recently. Every summer of my childhood I spent a month in a small town nearby so I know the area very well, but it had been over 30 years since I had been there. This time I went with my teenage daughter, and together we (re)discovered the joys of this incredible city. Much about it has changed, but so much of it hadn’t as well. I found myself continually accosted by the beauty of this place.

It is a city bursting with patterns and colours. Whole building façades, entire squares even, are covered in the typical tiles called ‘azulejos’. Some streets run straight up and down the steep hills, lined at regular intervals with balconies, windows and doorways. Others slowly wend their way around ancient squares. The famous yellow trams offer a fairground ride of a journey through the vertiginous narrow alleyways of the oldest parts of the city. I can’t believe it took me 30 years to return. I definitely won’t let it be that long next time. More photographs of Lisbon can be found here.

Lost in space

Lost in space

Wishing you all a very happy New Year! A new year and a 200-year-old ceiling at the Brighton Dome Corn Exchange, the redevelopment I have been documenting over the past 18 months. This monumental, unsupported vaulted roof stretches across a room that is 178 by 58 feet. In other words, it is just enormous.

Over the months I have watched while workers manually stripped the paint off of each strut (there are hundreds), and slowly renewed the wood. Now shiny new bolts are reinforcing this 32ft high expanse. More photos of this fascinating project can be found here

Please get in touch if you would like to discuss how we can work together. 

Edward Hopper country

Edward Hopper country

I am currently in Boston on a pre-Christmas visit to see family and friends. Today was the bright, still New England weather that I love. There’s no snow yet, but it is cold enough for it. The photo is of my mum’s house first thing in the morning, while the sun was low and the sky was a bright blue.

Being back here always gets me thinking about memory and the deeply rooted sense of familiarity I have about this place where I grew up, heightened by the fact that I have lived in another country for half my life.

I don’t specifically mean my childhood home since this is not the house I grew up in. For me it is about many things, such as particular qualities of light, familiar styles of architecture, the road signs and how the streets are laid out, even the types of cakes in the bakery. The list is probably endless.

I don’t think of it as nostalgia, just a warm sense of knowing a place so well that it is a part of me, and an appreciation that I am able to return here to have that feeling. More of my townscape photographs can be found here.

Idyllic hut in a rural idyll

Idyllic hut in a rural idyll

I’ve been photographing an old grain store on the edge of Lewes as it becomes disabled-access accommodation, located right in the midst of the South Downs National Park. The South Downs Way, the footpath that spans the length of the Park for 100 miles from Winchester to Eastbourne, runs along the ridge in the background of this photo.

Next to the large agricultural building, a little dwelling has sprung up as well. I have been watching this shepherd’s hut take shape over the months and love the way it sits so prettily in its surroundings. On my most recent visit, the sun was low in the sky as evening approached, casting raking light across the site. This made it challenging to photograph but I was interested in the drama it created.

I had to align myself within the shadow of the hut and peer around it with my camera to catch the workmen. You can find more photographs of this lovely project here.

My talk went well at the Lewes History Group last week. I have another one coming up, this time at the Paddock Arts Studios (Paddock Lane, Lewes, BN7 1TW at 3pm). I will be speaking about my project documenting the transition of the old industrial Harvey’s Depot into a state-of-the-art cinema. If you are nearby on the 10th November, please join us.

If you have a building project, workplace or event that you are thinking of photographing, please get in touch.

A thousand-year-old building

A thousand-year-old building

I always get excited about starting a new project, and this one is especially intriguing. I have been asked to photograph a priory in Eastbourne, part of which is over 1000 years old. The Langney Priory is an extraordinary building with a chapel and Great Hall from the 12th century attached to a Georgian house with a 1930s mock-Tudor frontage. One of the original walls was built by Saxons before the Norman conquest. It sits in two overgrown acres with a pond, an orchard and a walled garden, located in the midst of a housing estate in Eastbourne. This is by far the oldest building that I have photographed – by about 500 years.

Although it has always been lived in, the Priory is in a run-down state. The property has just been taken on by a charity called EU Eco Hub who are working with Eastbourne Council to redevelop the building, bringing in young people learning construction and landscaping to undergo the renovations. The plan is to create a teaching hotel for students learning the hospitality trades. The whole enterprise is truly inspiring. You can see more photos of this extraordinary place here. You can find more information about the plans for Langney Priory here.

If you have a building project, workplace or event that you are thinking of photographing, please get in touch.

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