Back In Brighton

Posted by Stuart Herbert on April 3rd, 2008 in Shoot.

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The Sorry Remains Of Brighton West Pier

One of the reasons that things have been a bit quiet here is that I spent November – February on secondment to the Ordnance Survey down in Southampton. I’m not really one for working away like that, so to make things easier, one weekend Kristi came down to join me and we travelled on to Brighton and lunch at Moshi Moshi, one of our favourite Japanese restaurants.

We finished the day with a walk along the beach. This was our first time down at the west end of Brighton, and I certainly enjoyed seeing new sights such as the remains of the old Brighton West Pier.

Thoughts On The Day

It’s been a bit weird for me, to go from being out and about with the camera pretty much every weekend to not seeing the camera for weeks at a time. So it was a great feeling to be out and about with the GPS unit around my neck and my camera in my hand (I hate camera straps).

Whenever anyone says the word “beach” to me, I imagine (and expect) sand; lots and lots of preferably white or golden sand. Brighton Beach has no sand that I’ve ever seen, just lots and lots of stones worn smooth by the action of the English Channel. (This is a beach with no sand, and no sea either. Go figure). But I discovered that this pebbly beach provides a wonderful texture for the late afternoon winter sun, and was very pleased with the shots I snagged.

Of course, the highlight for me was the gutted remains of the world-famous Brighton West Pier. Destroyed by fire in 2003 after decades of neglect, all that remains today are some of the original supporting structures. They’re a fascinating subject to study with a camera, and I would have loved to have had a longer zoom lens with me.

Photos From The Shoot

Here are the photos I took on the day, shared on Flickr.

Furrows Beached Playing Under The Pier Light Bulbs On The West Pier Towards Hove The Rusty Pillar The Jacket A Flock of Seagulls The Lamp Casting A Shadow The Travels of Teddy The ... Er, What Is It Exactly? The Sorry Remains Of Brighton West Pier Underneath The West Pier

Post Production

Look Ma – no HDR! Well, almost 🙂

The last two shots in the sequence are both HDR. My shot of the sorry remains of Brighton West Pier really benefited from the HDR treatment, although it would have also benefited from the use of a tripod too! It was Kristi who noticed all of the rescued (or is that stripped?) parts of the pier hidden underneath the beach front. With such a contrast of light and dark, HDR was the only way an SLR could hope to capture everything. I’m not as happy with this shot as I’d like; I’ll probably come back to it at some point and try again. It’s too dark – dark enough that a lot of the detail can’t be seen on my MacBook Pro 🙁

Closing Thoughts

I’m not into street photography – I’m not comfortable pointing a lens at people, especially without their knowledge – but if street photography is your thing, then the seafront down at Brighton has plenty going on for you.

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