At the weekend we went down to East Sussex to visit a friend for the weekend. We had the normal mix of some great laughs , some holiday shopping at Bluewater and a day trip to Brighton. We headed off a little early as Brighton can get very busy and parking can be a problem. We found a multi storey car park which was close to the town and seafront. My friend has been here a few times so he knows his way around.
The first stop , as always has to be breakfast. We found our way to a Great Retro style American Diner complete with leather seated booths which all had working jukebox selection machines. Breakfast was a little slow in coming and when it did arrive the order was wrong, but on the plus side tea and coffee refills were free !
From here we made our way down along the seafront towards the pier. The scene was a typical British Seaside Resort. The Pier stretching out to sea with all the amusements, rides and places to eat. The beach is shingle with lots of available deck chairs to rent. As we made our way along the sun was breaking out and starting to burn the clouds away, was going to be a nice day.
We made our way onto the pier , which was already getting very busy, the pier seems to stretch out a long way when you start walking along its length, trying to avoid all the temptations of candy floss and dinky donuts!
As you walk along the view of the seafront improves , the light was just starting to hit the Brighton Wheel and the tourists on the beach.
Taking portraits can prove tricky in the middle of the day when the sun is high and the light is harsh. The trick here is to shoot with the sun behind your subject and expose for them not the entire scene. Use a handheld meter , take a spot meter reading or just over expose the general scene to get your exposure right for the subjects. Here i used a longer focal length of around 100mm shot with a wide open aperture of F/4.0 which gave me a 1/160th exposure time at iso 100. The wide aperture also has the advantage of blurring the background and giving the nice specular highlights from the sea.
We made our way along the pier and into the arcade which has a wide range of amusements for all ages . My mate won a meerkat for my wife..........eventually, would have been cheaper to buy the family of meerkats !!
As you look back towards the seafront the Brighton Wheel dominates part of the coastline but is a great tourist attraction with millions of people riding it.
At the end of the pier is the thrill seeker rides with this the Turbo Roller Coaster. This really does shift and i wanted to emphasis this in the image. I set my iso to 100 and chose a small aperture of F/22 this gave me a shutter speed of 1/15th of a second, just enough to give movement to the roller coaster as it reached the pinnacle of the loop.
Heading back down the pier towards the seafront you capture the impressive engineering that holds this entire structure ,high of the seabed .
Heading back off the pier we made our way down by the side of the Brighton Wheel where you get this angle of the pier, notice all the seagulls just waiting to strike on that poor unsuspecting tourist who holds their ice cream out unprotected for just long enough !!
After we grabbed a drink we made our way along the seafront back towards Brighton's old West Pier. On the way you pass lots and lots of bars and food establishments , one even had a live band playing and a singer , singing some nice easy listening relaxing summer songs.
Source from Wikipedia site
In December 2002, the pier partially collapsed during a storm, when a walkway connecting the concert hall and pavilion fell into the sea. The following month, the concert hall in the middle of the pier fell over, leaving the entire structure close to total collapse.
On 28 March 2003 the pavilion at the pierhead caught fire. Fire crews were unable to save the building from destruction because the collapsed walkway prevented them from reaching it. The cause of the fire remains unknown, since fire investigators were unable to access the site for safety reasons. A more severe fire burned through 11 and 12 May 2003, consuming most of what was left of the concert hall. On 23 June 2004, high winds caused the middle of the pier to collapse completely. The following month, English Heritage declared the pier to be beyond repair.
Despite these setbacks, the West Pier Trust remained adamant that they would soon begin full restoration work. Retired boxer Chris Eubank criticised the delays in restoring the pier, saying he could raise the money himself in six months. In December 2004, the Trust confirmed the restoration would not be going ahead after their plans were rejected by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The pier was partially demolished in February 2010, partly to make way for the planned i360 observation tower. In February 2014, due to stormy weather, the pier split in half and a large part of the centre fell into the sea. Waves swept away the eastern side of the damaged metal skeleton, which remained after the 2003 fire. A selection of artefacts rescued from the pier is exhibited in the Brighton Fishing Museum.
All in all a great weekend, thanks Paul. Santa Ponsa next, this could get messy........................................