Happy Summer Solstice

Happy Summer Solstice to you all!

In celebration of the longest day of the year, I am giving you a sunset over Piddinghoe Lake near Lewes, taken around 9pm. We had just finished an evening row on water that was like glass and under a sky in a tumult of clouds.

I am writing this today (Thursday) because tomorrow I will be fully celebrating a watery solstice: a sunrise (4.15am) row on the sea and a sunset (9.15pm) swim in the very same sea. You can find more of my landscape photographs here.

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

New portraiture

New portraiture

I have been working for the Lewes District Council on a series of portraits of people who live and work in the District. The aim is to show the diversity of the area, focussing on people who lead interesting or unusual lives. What fun for me, then, to track down possible subjects and photograph them in their surroundings.

I have set up a new gallery on my website specifically for environmental portraits. You can find them all here.

This is Ruth Rose. She leads a group of year-round swimmers called the Seaford Mermaids who swim from the beach 365 days a year, no matter the weather.

Ruth is 86 and claims her exceptional good health is due to her passion for the cold water sea bathing she has been doing for years.

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

Is it a train? Is it a boat? Is it a London Underground carriage?

Is it a train? Is it a boat? Is it a London Underground carriage?

Actually it is two out of the three. This is the Island Line train that serves the west side of the Isle of Wight, from Ryde to Shanklin. The c1938 carriages were originally used on the London Underground Northern Line. This photo was not taken out at sea, however. The train runs to the end of Ryde Pier (to link up with the ferry to Portsmouth – a great bit of joined-up public transport) so you are surrounded by water when riding on it.

It is a joyous and surreal experience to have sun flooding in on an old familiar Underground ride while looking out at blue water instead of dark tunnels. More photos of towns and such are here.

In another bit of news, in case you were wondering how I got on with my photo that was shortlisted in the Event Photography Awards, I am very pleased to say that I came in second out of a shortlist of 12 in my category.

Blessing the boat

Blessing the boat

You may remember that the Lewes Pilot Gig Club featured in my photo of the week a couple of months ago. At the time, the club was using a rented boat while saving money to buy their own. Enough money finally accrued and the boat was duly delivered to a group of very happy rowers. A ceremony was organised to bless the new vessel on the auspicious day of Good Friday, Moon Beltane and the full moon. Priestess Melissa Corkhill performed the ceremony with specially collected water that each club member used to anoint the gig while casting their wishes for the future of it and the club.

The event began with the Skull Drummery Bonfire drummers, followed by the blowing of a conch shell and finished up with the rousing singing of sea shanties. As one of the club members (who doesn’t live in Lewes) said to me, you just can’t get more Lewes than that. More photos of the boat naming ceremony and other celebrations can be found here. More photos of gig rowing can be found here.

Please get in touch if you have an event, a celebration – or even a boat blessing – that you would like to have photographed.

Stephen Lawrence Trust photo award shortlisted

Stephen Lawrence Trust photo award shortlisted

I was so pleased to find out that my photograph of the Stephen Lawrence Trust Centre has been shortlisted for a photography award. It feels especially significant because this has coincided with the very first Stephen Lawrence Day on 22 April.

Stephen Lawrence Day is about the part we all play in creating a society in which everyone can flourish. It is an opportunity for children and young people to have their voices heard, make the changes they’d like to see and create a society that treats everyone with fairness and respect.”

I spent a year documenting the transformation of the Centre into a co-working hub that supports up-and-coming architects. When you read the intentions and aims of the Trust in the quote above, I am sure you can see why it was such a privilege to help support their project. You can find out more about the Trust here.

Please get in touch if you would like to discuss how we can work together. I deliver photographs that delve deeper than showing just the surface of things.

UPDATE: My photograph came in second place out of a shortlist of 12 in my category.

The carousel that made people happy

The carousel that made people happy

Once upon a time there was an amusement park on the edge of a beautiful lake where people came to be happy. They arrived from far and wide to ride the roller coaster and fly in the space rockets. They loved getting scared in the Laff in the Dark, laughing with Laffing Beulah and having their fortune read by the gypsy Esmeralda.

At the very centre of the park the best of all the rides was a carousel of beautiful horses that rode round and round to the sound of the Wurlitzer organ. The horses wore flowers and feathers and armour, their manes flew and their nostrils flared as they pranced and jumped.

The man who owned the park had a daughter. This little girl loved being at the park and going on the rides that made people happy. Most of all she loved the carousel. Every day she visited her favourite horse, the one with the golden rosette and flowers on her blue harness, and rode her to the sound of the organ music.

After many years the park closed its gates and the rides that made people happy were shut down. All except the carousel, which was placed in a city park where it continued to be ridden and to make people happy.

Many, many years later, when the little girl had become an old woman, her daughter took her to see the carousel and ride on her favourite horse. The carousel did its job once more and made them both very happy.

My mother’s family owned Meyers Lake Park in Canton, Ohio, for over 50 years. When the park closed in 1974, the historic Stein and Goldstein carousel was moved to Bushnell Park in Hartford, Connecticut, where it continues to be ridden by generations of children and adults. My mother had not seen the carousel for 40 years when we went to visit it last week. You can see more photos of this beautiful carousel here and find more information about Bushnell Park here.

BREAKING NEWS: I am very pleased to announce that my photograph of the Stephen Lawrence Trust Centre came second place in its category at the Event Photography Awards 2019. You can read more about it here.

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