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.

A magnificent window

Brighton Corn Exchange window

Isn’t this beautiful? It is one of the windows at the Brighton Dome Corn Exchange after refurbishment but still awaiting its many of panes of glass (I just counted space for 185 of them). I have repeatedly been drawn to photographing these huge windows while documenting the redevelopment of this beautiful 200-year-old building. They are magnificent in all their guises, even with broken panes and peeling paint, but to finally start to see them renewed is very pleasing indeed.

Cataloguing with my camera the changes that a building like this undergoes during renovation has many satisfying moments. I find a beauty in all stages of the process, the early messy broken phases through to the clean and ordered final stretch. This build still has a long way to go to completion, but it is offering up glimpses of how spectacular the finished product will be. More photographs of the Brighton Dome Corn Exchange can be found here.

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How to pour concrete

How to pour concrete

I am in the saddle again after a needed break over the summer. Two days after I returned from holiday I was back photographing the Arndale Shopping Centre in Eastbourne where I am documenting a large-scale new build project.

I love seeing the process of concrete being poured. It is so satisfying watching skilled workers transform what looks like muck into a perfect finish that dries looking just the same but is as hard as rock. It’s like magic.

You can see all stages of the action here: the concrete mix comes out of the hose and fills the metal grid, directed by the man using the purple strap; the man behind him shifts the main weight of the hose; the other three workers level and smooth the surface to get it to look like the beautiful finish of the top left corner of the photo. They all wear wellies and are usually almost up to their knees in the stuff. You can find more of my working portraits here and my new build projects can be found here.

If you have a workplace, project or event that you are thinking of having documented, please get in touch. I deliver photographs that can make your business shine.

A team effort is required to install windows

A team effort is required to install windows

Another section of my new website is a gallery of working portraits. This week’s photograph shows a group of builders installing plate glass windows onto the exterior of an office block. This is a skilled and complicated manoeuvre taking place high above the ground.

What interests me particularly in photographing workers in any line of business is the fact of documenting and honouring processes that often go unnoticed or become invisible once a project is complete.

Where buildings are concerned, we live, shop, work and relax in them, usually with little thought of the human endeavour responsible for making them possible. I like being able to show glimpses into this world that many people know little about.

More galleries of work environments can be found here, including local food producers and the RNLI on an air-to-sea rescue mission.

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