28-year-old photos come into their own

28-year-old photos come into their own

Photographs that I took almost 30 years ago of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry have been published recently in several articles about the proposed future of this historic site.

A battle has been raging about planning permission for the building that housed this famous foundry from 1738 until 2017. This is Britain’s oldest manufacturing company, around since the 1570s, and has cast some of the most famous bells in the world, including the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia and London’s Big Ben. A planning application was approved last month to turn the building into a bell-themed boutique hotel, despite a strong campaign against it.

Yesterday an unexpected temporary intervention came through from the Secretary of State, so there is a chance the building will be saved.

The foundry was an incredible place to photograph. I remember wandering wherever I liked and photographing whatever I liked. No one seemed to mind, or even pay me much attention. The place felt full of history – even the casting methods were ancient and included sand, dung, hair and bone. You can find more of the photos here.

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

Wishing you all a very happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing you all a very happy Thanksgiving!

It is a day to celebrate sharing a meal with those you love, plain and simple. The one key element of the dinner is, of course, the humble cranberry. Native to New England, they are still found growing wild in the Cape Cod landscape, in bogs that turn a vibrant red in the autumn. Here are some I picked earlier.

You can find more of my landscape photographs here, of both my past home in New England, and my current one in Sussex.

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.

The littlest bonfire boy

The littlest bonfire boy

Every year I head out to photograph the Lewes Bonfire celebrations, trying to capture a sense of the joy and anarchy of the night. It is one of the most challenging subjects to capture, but also one of the most fun for me.

Because there is no time to practice how I will deal with the extremes of the situation (pitch black to flares of light in split seconds), all I can do is hit the ground running, tweaking my technique as I go along.

This year new equipment made a huge difference to how I approached the evening. A newly acquired very fast lens meant that I could photograph the event without needing a flash. So much of the drama of the evening is the light cast by all those flaming torches, so being able to catch this without the glare of a flash was a game changer.

Now to this little chap. There is something about this photo that I find mesmerising – the flaming torch looking more like a giant matchstick almost too heavy to hold, that little round face in the wooly hat, the fact that he is so much smaller than the circle of people around him but a mini version of them… As I was saying in my blog two weeks ago, Lewes Bonfire night is very much about families celebrating and marching together. You can find many more of my Bonfire photos here.

On a completely different note, I had the good fortune to be mentioned in two blog posts in one day! The first was on the Brighton Dome website about my project documenting the refurbishment of the Corn Exchange. The second was in the newsletter of Simon Scott Landscaping, an excellent local landscaping firm, about a series of portraits I took over the summer, including a photo of one of their partners.

Perfect light at the Brighton Dome Corn Exchange

Perfect light at the Brighton Dome Corn Exchange

And it’s back to the beautiful Brighton Dome Corn Exchange for me, where I have been documenting the refurbishment of this historic landmark. I had not been since the summer so it was great to be inside this fascinating building once again. You can find a blog about my photographs on the Brighton Dome website here.

These are the south-facing windows of the Studio Theatre, a small, intimate venue that sits adjacent to the enormous Corn Exchange. When I first started photographing the site, these windows were high up and inaccessible to me and my camera.

A balcony has now been built that wraps around the central space, putting these beautiful circular glass panes right at eye (and lens) level. I am sure I have said it before here, but photography really is all about light and the light was just right for me on this visit. The angle of the sun cast perfect circular shadows through the textured glass onto newly painted window frames. You can find more photographs of the Corn Exchange here.

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.

Storm waves in Newhaven

Storm waves in Newhaven

Yet again, here is a watery photo of the week. Last Friday I heard there would be large waves in Newhaven so I set out to track them down. Conditions were terrible for photographing. It was pouring with rain, making it nearly impossible to see through either my glasses or my lens, the sky was dark and the wind was fierce. But the waves were spectacular, which made it all worthwhile.

I love when photography can show us what the naked eye is unable to see. Catching this wave hitting the pier portrays water that looks more like a solid than a liquid, and gives us an inkling of the force that must be pushing against that sea wall. You can see more of my landscape photographs here.

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

Turning of the seasons

Turning of the seasons

This week’s photo is from my morning row last Monday. In contrast to my summer solstice dawn row, which took place at 4am, this was 7am on Piddinghoe Pond, under an extraordinary sky.

Although it is easy to lament the shortening days and lengthening nights, I love the turning of the seasons. Maybe it is in my blood from my New England childhood of extreme seasonal weather changes.

There is a particular quality of sunlight in Autumn that I find exhilarating and somehow also tinged with nostalgia. I think it is because I know I should be outside in it before the light continues its change and becomes the dark of winter. You can see 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 or a building project documented.

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