I visited London on Sunday 3rd June in the hope of seeing something of the huge flotilla of boats sailing up the River Thames in celebration of Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Little did I realise how many people would be lining the banks of the Capital’s river. I did get a glimpse of The Queen on her amazing Royal Barge, albeit from about 600m away and she had her back to me! Did she know I was there? Anyway, it was a good day, apart from the miserable weather, the two mad women in Macdonalds, the enjoyment police in their Hi-vis jackets and the missed train at Victoria!But apart from that it was a good opportunity to indulge in some street photography. Please leave a comment, whether good, bad or indifferent, thank you.
I visited Brighton for my Brother’s birthday recently and took along my new works camera, a Canon EOS 1D Mk4. I have always used Nikon cameras, so using a Canon felt totally alien to me. However, it’s all “buttonology” at the end of the day, as both brands produce very similar cameras with regards to quality, so it was was just a case of getting used to the buttons, knobs and dials and what they do.
I used to go to Brighton years ago on family trips which I thorougly enjoyed and have recently started going back there with my camera as it is a fascinating town to photograph. On this occasion it was Brighton Pier, mainly because I had my six year old son with me and the lure of the rides and amusements tempted us in. The weather was fantastic, with sunshine and huge puffy clouds, crowds of tourists and daytrippers all enjoying the seaside on an April afternoon.
I hope you like the images I have selected.
Some images taken on a windswept winter’s day at Dungeness Beach in Kent. A unique place to say the least, a vast pebble ridden beach overlooked by a huge power station, small fishing boats of varying states of repair, old bulldozers and speedboats, fishermen’s huts, it really is a great place to take your camera and I hope to add more images as and when I visit there.
During a recent trip to the town of Szczecinek in Poland I visited the local cemetery. Not somewhere you would normally go but I have always found such places quite interesting, and I wanted to see how they compared with churchyards, as I have always called them, in the UK. What struck me initially was the abundance of colour on what was quite a dreary day weather wise, with lots of colourful flowers and impressive looking gravestones. It is customary in Poland to be buried when you die, even if you are cremated, the ashes are still buried with full ceremony. Plots at the cemetery are leased from the council for as long as 20 years and it is the bereaved family who must pay the rent on these plots for as long as they wish the grave to remain there. After the lease period has expired, the council will contact the family to renew the lease. If no one can be contacted a sticker is placed on the gravestone stating that the remains will be exhumed and reburied in a communal grave and the plot is then offered up for a new lease.
Within the cemetery is a memorial to Russian soldiers who fought against the Germans in the Second World War to liberate the citizens from the Szczecinek region and another that remembers Airmen from the United States Air Force who were shot down over the town in 1944 after fighting over the skies of Warsaw.
What was quite distressing to see was an area of the cemetery that just had the graves of babies and young children, some of who were only a day old.
My short visit to Szczecinek cemetery gave me an interesting cultural insight into the way another nation deals with the deaths of their loved ones, especially the system of exhuming the remains if plot rental isn’t kept up, not sure how well that would go down in the UK, but I suppose if everyone has to be buried, plot spaces are always going to be needed. Religion is a massive part of Polish culture and the symbols of this were ever present here and of great comfort I’m sure to those left behind.
Part of the USAF memorial.
The sticker denotes payment for the grave plot is long overdue and the remains will be exhumed if none is forthcoming.
The World War Two memorial to Russian soldiers.
Nuns from the local Convent are buried next to each other.
One of the small kiosks outside the cemetery that sell flowers and candles.
The grave of the former town Mayor who was killed in a car accident.
I recently visited the famous landmark of Beachy Head on the East Sussex coast. It’s a place I have heard plenty about over the years but never got round to seeing it for myself. I remember as a kid, my parents telling me that if you ventured near the edge, you would get sucked towards the cliff egde by some invisible force and fall to uncertain death, I’m sure it was their way of having to avoid explaining suicide to a child! Anyway, many, many years later i find myself at this “mysterious” place and am greeted by an amazing and beautiful landscape with vast open skies and endless views out across the English Channel. It boasts the highest chalk sea cliff in Britain rising to 530ft above sea level.
Yes it is a suicide blackspot sadly and there is even a full time chaplaincy team based there, next to a pub!
It has been used in films, probably the most famous being the scene from the classic Quadrophenia when the main character Jimmy rides his scooter off the cliff.
The Belle Tout lighthouse on the cliff, which is now a private residence, was physically moved back 50ft, in 1999, to prevent it tumbling into the sea due to erosion.
It’s a great place for photography and I was lucky with the weather, the day I was there, and I shall certainly go back for another visit, even if it’s just to sample another pint of Sussex Best bitter!
The last image shows how close I dare get to the edge. Well it was windy!
All images shot on Nikon D300 and GoPro Hero2