The Mermaid on Mermaid Street

Rye’s ancient cobbled streets are riddled with tales of theft, murder, and mystery. It was once beside the sea, until the sea packed its bags and moved off as far as the eyes can see, this attractive town perched on a hill oozes Medieval, Georgian and Tudor splendor.

The Mermaid Inn on Mermaid Street is almost as old as the town itself. Enchanting endless corridors take you on a journey through history, where countless encounters and events have taken place. A place for smugglers, the famous, and those enticed by old English architecture.

Fires blaze in multiple hearths surrounded by intricate stonework, impressive artwork, and higgledy-piggledy beams hold the building together.

To photograph the 31 bedrooms, several lounges, restaurant, pub, and additional spaces was a great pleasure and a real challenge. Each room is lit differently, shaped differently and has different key features. It’s so grand and awkward at the same time. I spent half my time ducking beams and photographing from inside cupboards for more space.

Here are a few from the shoot so far. Plenty more editing to do.

2019 has begun

Happy New Year you beautiful people, 2019 has arrived

I’ve big plans this year to start living off of my photography income and reach out to more people than ever. I’ve already changed my work pattern to steadily increase the number of days a week I work as a freelance photographer and from today I’ll have each Friday to focus solely on photography.

I’ll keep you updated each week about current projects and commissions and will of course continue to include some of my nature photographs from my free time.

Next Thursday and Friday I shall be photographing one of Rye’s most impressive historical buildings “The Mermaid Inn”. Here is an old photo of mine from the street it is based on as well as the sign in front of the building.

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War of the Worlds

Friday morning the air was crisp and a thin frost blanketed the earth. Clouds dominated the sky, frustrating my desire for a perfect reflective sunrise at Arlington Reservior.

My boots crunch on the crispy earth as I wander around this artificial lake looking for a composition. Small clusters of birds sit out on the water and the occasional grebe pops up from nowhere.

My hope is for a burst of light, a murmuration or flock of birds, a strong point of focus to make the obvious reflection more interesting.

This man made structure juts out of the peaceful surroundings looking like a disastrous birdhide complete with barbed wire and warnings. I snuck beneath for an unusual composition that reminds me of the War of the Worlds fighting machines, “Boilers on stilts.”

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Winters Fingers

From Alfiston to the proud chalk horse, my focus is on the water surrounding me and the visiting birds. Geese spread wings in standing water and the hawthorn berries glow like Christmas decorations.

I sneak through shallow pools and straddle a flooded stream to compose what I imagine is my photo of the day. The colours on the hill are perfect and the sky is far from boring with moody heavy clouds and glimmers of sun.

As I return I stop and stare at this singular tree, all bones and all alone. It grabs my focus and draws me in. It’s so different from the scene behind me, less cluttered, less obvious and more unique.

This became my favourite image from my mornings outing.

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Last one standing

Hidden in the depths of Friston Forest is an army of beech soldiers. Often as far as the eye can see these straight trees stand tall and are spectacular year round.
I’d been aiming to get these trees surrounded in thick autumn mist, an almost haunted photograph filled with atmosphere. On this occasion the mist fell short, yet the visit was pleasant as always.
There were odd patches of colour among rows and rows or beech trees and I was determined to find a tree in leaf that was central and stood out.

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Flock to the coast

So after such a very long time, I think my blog aught to come and have a say again. For the past two months and from now onwards I shall have a couple of days a month to focus on my photography and get freelancing again. The aim is to post at least once a week, hopefully each Friday.

I took this image from the top of Beachy Head two weeks ago and thought it as blog worthy.

I’ll upload one from today in a mo.

Beachy Head

Simply Hastings

Underneath the promenade of Hastings and St. Leonards are countless areas of shelter. Some of which are home to regular visits from eccentric and interesting individuals. I wanted to use the repetition and contrast to draw the viewers eye to the small area of the subjects hand with cigarette.  

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Broken

Margate in Kent has one of England’s lowest unemployment rates and beneath the surface of the sunny, sandy beach and pretty old quarter it doesn’t take much to see the hardship. On the other side of these broken windows, is an attractive Victorian Shelter on the seafront where several homeless people were wrapped in blankets, trying to keep themselves warm. I wanted to capture the essence of the town in an image, a mixture of struggle and natural beauty. I have changed the photograph to black and white and brought out the contrast to emphasise the cracks in the windows.

Not the whole picture

I'm aware that my last image was in a similar style, however I have been contemplating the idea of not showing the whole of an image. I have been deciding for a while how to crop this picture of two people a bike and stairs in Brighton and felt that this creates a certain element of added curiousity, with the lines and mood.

Brighton Beach

I'm sorting through some images for an exhibition later in the year and have decided to use images with minimal lines and lots of contrast. This photograph was taken at Brighton beach during one of last year's lowest tidal days. 

Hike in the stars

The snow was low, so instead of skiing we hiked up through the sun and reached an abandoned restaurant by dusk; an honesty box proffered chocolates and beer. Wrapped in blankets we watched the stars start to shine. On our way down the scenery was so stunning I had to stop and take a few photographs. 

Harvest

The rolling hills at Lordington were quite a spectacle, lavender lines to wonder the senses. Shame it has to be harvested at some point, but I'm glad I witnessed it before it was all taken away.  

Lavender Harvest

African Drummers

On Friday I went and photographed the African Drummers at Brighton's Fringe festival. They were totally incredible, so much energy and charisma, go and watch it. 

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Contractions by Mike Bartlett

Over the past week I have been fortunate enough to watch four shows for free at the Brighton Fringe festival. I took some photographs of this theatrical play by Mike Bartlett. This manager is putting on rubber gloves to inspect the coffin of an employees child. I guess you aught to watch it to find out more.  

Contractions-Mike Bartlett-Fringe-Brighton

Fisher Framers

I have recently been creating a website for a framers as part of my digital media apprenticeship in Lewes. This is one of the images that I took for the new site. I wanted a raw and crafty feel for the header image that shouts framers. 

Lewes-Framers-fisher st

Barn

On a glorious walk through Sussex, I noticed this old barn and loved how the rule of thirds made this really interesting to look at.

Back to the coast

After another truly hot spring day in the sun, an evening stroll on the beach was just right to put the icing on the cake. 

Spring in Lewes

For the next year I will be taking part on a Digital Marketing Manager apprenticeship in Lewes, East Sussex. The Southover Gardens in Lewes are a real gem. This is a fantastic place for me to unwind on my break and take in the beautiful nature and flowers

My apprenticeship involves photography, web design and many aspects of business. I hope to progress with my web design and start wowing people in other area's whilst using my photography as my main skill.

Glad to be back

With spring well under way and the glorious sun shining I feel privileged to live around the corner from such a beauty spot. The majority of the South Coast of England is pretty magical, Beachy Head takes my breath away without fail every time.