Fun in the sun

Fun in the sun

We have just passed the solstice so, as much as I regret to say it, summer is officially over.

As the rains fall, the winds lash and the nights draw in, here is a little treat for you: one last blast of fun in the sun, taken at the Eastbourne Beach Life Festival (yes, it was back in July).

As part of the event, a contingent of vintage VW bus owners congregated along the seafront, basking in the sun and the cuteness of their vehicles, some of them even with matching dogs.

My portraits focus on showing people within the environments that represent them best. They can be found here and my working portraits can be found here.

Tide waits for no man

Tide waits for no man

I am always pleased to start a new project and this one is particularly exciting. This is Free Wharf in Shoreham harbour, a development of 540 mixed-tenure new homes to be built over the next four years. This will be the most extensive and longest-running project that I have worked on by far. The site is being developed by the Southern Housing Group, established in 1901 and one of the largest housing associations in the south east of England.

Currently one of the main focuses at Free Wharf is to strengthen and replace the sea wall along the entire site. To get a sense of the scale of the task, this photo shows just one portion of the wall, where a crane supports a cage holding one man who must always work around the rise and fall of the tides.

More of my photos of Free Wharf are here, information about the development can be found here and my architectural documentary projects are here.

The Glyndebourne prop maker

The Glyndebourne prop maker

A few weeks ago I told you about a new series of portraits I have been working on for the Lewes District Council, highlighting the diverse people who live and work in the district. An exhibit of this project will be on display during the Lewes Artwave Festival (details below).

This portrait of Rose Beale is my latest in the series. As well as being a talented sculptor, Rose has been working as a prop maker at the world-famous Glyndebourne Opera House for over 30 years. She wanted to be photographed with one of her favourite props, a mask from a recent production of The Barber of Seville.

I was lucky with the soft light falling across Rose’s face, the simple palette of nearly only beiges and blues, and that beautiful bull with his curved black horns. More of my portraits can be found here, and working portraits here.

My exhibit can be found at Artwave venue 97, 7 Fisher Street, Lewes, BN7 2DG. The gallery will be open Saturdays 10-4 and Sundays 10-2, 18 August to 1 September.

Please get in touch if you have an event, a celebration or a portrait you would like to have photographed or a building project documented.

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 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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