Lighthouses

Someone asked me a few weeks ago if I had any photographs of lighthouses… well ACTUALLY, I do have a few and this is my favourite, that is of course if it’s possible to have a favourite photograph of a lighthouse 🙂

Chipiona, Spain

Chipiona, Spain

I also like this one…

Langstone Harbour, UK

Langstone Harbour, UK

And finally, just because it’s where it is…

La Habana Oeste, Cuba

La Habana Oeste, Cuba

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The May Super-Moon

Well, all this talk of the super-moon of May got me excited on my trip back to the UK… and there I was on Saturday night, camera & tripod ready and guess what?? Too cloudy!!! So, back the following night (Sunday) and guess what?? Actually, not as cloudy as the night before but never-the-less, not that brilliant where I was.

So here is a photograph of my parent’s house taken by the much-diffused moonlight – me?? Disappointed??? Nah  😦

Halfway Farm

Halfway Farm

Brighton

There are a couple of “must-dos” whenever I go back to UK, Camden Market and / or Brighton – if I can do both so much the better but often it’s not the case. This time round, I went to Brighton and would recommend this to all that have never been.

Brighton is the major part of the city of Brighton and Hove (formed from the previous towns of Brighton, Hove, Portslade and several other villages) in East Sussex on the south coast of Great Britain. For administrative purposes, Brighton and Hove is not part of the non-metropolitan county of East Sussex, but remains part of the ceremonial county of East Sussex, within the historic County of Sussex.

Brighton Sunset

Brighton Sunset

The ancient settlement of Brighthelmstone dates from before Domesday Book (1086), but it emerged as a health resort featuring sea bathing during the 18th century and became a destination for day-trippers from London after the arrival of the railway in 1841. Modern Brighton forms part of the Brighton / Worthing / Littlehampton conurbation stretching along the coast, with a population of around 480,000.

The city is blessed with more than a fair share of visiting and resident colourful & eclectic characters and is home to many “arty” types. Throughout the year this is one of the most vibrant UK cities you’re ever likely to visit and has some amazing restaurants and bars.

Brighton Pavillion

Brighton Pavilion

The Royal Pavilion is a former royal palace built as a home for the Prince Regent during the early 19th century, under the direction of the architect John Nash. It was built in three campaigns, beginning in 1787 and is often referred to as the Brighton Pavilion. It is built in the Indo-Saracenic style prevalent in India for most of the 19th century, with the most extravagant chinoiserie Oriental interiors ever executed in the British Isles.

The purchase of the Royal Pavilion from Queen Victoria marked the beginnings of the site’s tourism dominance through the Royal Pavilion’s transition from a private residence to a public attraction under civic ownership.

Brighton Pier

Brighton Pier

Brighton Marine Palace and Pier opened in 1899. It features a funfair, restaurants and arcade halls. It is generally known as the Palace Pier for short, but has been informally renamed Brighton Pier since 2000 by its owners, the Noble Organisation, in an attempt to suggest that it is Brighton’s only pier. The West Pier was its rival but was closed in 1975 and was subsequently severely damaged by fires and storms, with the remaining iron structure being partially demolished in 2010.

West Pier

West Pier

The West Pier was built in 1866 and has been closed since 1975 awaiting renovation. The West Pier is one of only two Grade I listed piers in the United Kingdom, but suffered two fires in 2003. Plans for a new landmark, the i360, a 183 m (600 ft) observation tower designed by London Eye architects Marks Barfield, were announced in June 2006. Plans were approved by the council in October 2006. Development work has yet to happen!

Volk's Railway

Volk's Railway

Volk’s Electric Railway (VER) is the oldest operating electric railway in the world. It is a narrow gauge railway that runs along a length of the seafront. It was built by Magnus Volk, the first section being completed in August 1883.

Today the line runs between terminal stations at Aquarium (a short distance from the Palace Pier) and Black Rock (at Black Rock, not far from Brighton Marina), with an intermediate station and depot at Paston Place. The line has a gauge of 2 ft 8 1/2 in (825 mm), It is electrified at 110 V DC using a third rail, and is just under 1 1/4 miles (2 km) long.

Operated as a historical seafront tourist attraction, the railway does not usually run during the winter months, and its service is also occasionally liable to suspension due to severe weather or maintenance issues.

The seafront has bars, restaurants, nightclubs and amusement arcades, principally between the piers. Being less than an hour from London by train has made the city a popular destination. Brighton beach has a nudist area (south of the easterly part of Kemptown). Brighton’s beach, which is a shingle beach up to the mean low tide mark, has been awarded a blue flag.

So what else to say? Well, lots actually – I could go on forever as there’s so much more to Brighton than you’d ever think so, why not make a visit!

…that is of course AFTER you’ve come to visit me in Parque Natural de Cabo de Gata 🙂

Contact details:

Martyn Thompson – Landscape Photography
http://martynthompson.net
https://martynthompsonphotography.wordpress.com
martyn@martynthompson.net
Facebook / Twitter / Etsy / Flickr

The album that we recorded is now out – click here for details. I can’t think why anyone wouldn’t want to buy it 🙂

Martyn Thompson Photography

What a mad bank holiday weekend it has been; whilst most people were spending time relaxing and enjoying the weather with family & friends, about 16 members of The London Lucumi Choir headed to the frozen north to a hot and airless recording studio (well the live room was anyway), located well away from any meaningful civilisation to embark on a mission.

As per-the-norm with recording sessions, time, space and relativity can be greatly disturbed by the silliest of things leaving people hanging around for ages – a good opportunity to get out the camera methinks!!!

All in all, it was a good weekend and not just because of the recording, we all shared an experience that I feel has brought us close together as individuals and there was not one ego issue which given the number of people, is something to be commended.

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Dedicated to all in the European Freeze

I guess I must be lucky living where the sun shines during the day but it sure is cold at night and houses around my way are designed to stay cool so… that’s what they do and it’s often colder inside than it is out!

Anyways, here are a few photos I took a while ago in UK, in case anyone needs reminding 🙂

Snowy woods, Maidenhead

Snowy woods, Maidenhead

Maidenhead Bridge

Maidenhead Bridge, Maidenhead

Jubilee River, Maidenhead

Jubilee River, Maidenhead

December 2011

What an amazing month December has been; a road-trip through Spain, a visit to and an enforced stay in the UK, two birthdays and of course the very silly season-to-be-merry!

En-route to the UK, the intention was to spend a bit of time around the Asturias region of Spain as there are many beautiful beaches, mountains and villages to behold. The drive up through Spain was amazing; snow-capped mountains overlooking still-lakes, small sleepy villages nestled between the mountains, sometimes looking like they are clinging onto the hill-side for dear life. Unfortunately the desire to reach our destination took priority over stopping to take photographs.

After the grueling 12 / 14 hour drive from San José our first resting place for the night was the small town (pueblo) of Pravia in the Asturias region. Pravia is a bustling town full of very friendly and welcoming people. The region is known for many things but people kept telling us of it’s cider (sidra) and bean stew (fabada) of varying recipes so of course we had to try them and how nice they were!

Playa del Silencio

The following day we were off to a beach I’d heard so much about, Playa del Silencio and what an experience that was.

Playa del Silencio (AKA The Gavieru) was anything but silent at the time we visited, the sea that is normally safe for diving and snorkelling was anything but safe. Even during my short walk along the beach, I felt like I was risking my life.

After visiting Playa del Silencio, we made our way east for our next stop, the town of San Vicente de la Barquera via a few beauty spots along-the-way. One such place was the stunning Playa de Vega in La Vega, between the towns of Berbes and Barredo.

Playa de Vega

Playa de Vega is a golden-sand paradise which is (apparently) known for it’s windsurfing and therefore (I guess) can get fairly busy. At the time of our visit, there were only a handful of dog-walkers and customers for what looked to be a very nice busy restaurant overlooking the beach. I took this opportunity to take some long exposure photographs using a neutral density filter and open shutter.

For a while now, I’ve wanted to try and replicate some of the slow shutter speed effects that I’ve achieved during my moonlight photography sessions. After a small amount of research and a bit of practice I’ve succeeded and found it to be relatively easy… well, certainly easier than moonlight photography – watch this space for tutorials!

Playa de Gulpiyuri

Following a night in a remotely situated hotel just outside San Vicente de la Barquera, we went in search of the curious inland beach of Playa de Gulpiyuri. North of the village of Naves and halfway between Ribadesella and Llanes, the unusually located Playa de Gulpiyuri is declared a natural monument. The sea has carved it’s way via a series of collapsed caves and sinkholes into this phenomenon from behind the cliffs not too far from this beach.

Having then attempted to visit another of the region’s beauty spots which had to be aborted due to the time it would’ve taken to wade through muddy fields, we set off for the ferry from Santander to Portsmouth.

Lake at Alice Holt Forest

So now we’re in the UK and with all birthday celebrations, festivities, etc out of the way, I’m ready to begin my return journey but hey wait, what is this? My ferry from Portsmouth to Santander has been cancelled and replaced with a ferry the next day to Bilbao… oh and then the replacement ferry to Bilbao was cancelled and I was left stranded in the UK until the next one.

Eventually I arrived home on 22 December, one week later than I should’ve done; cold, hungry, very tired and almost seeing double after the long 12 hour drive from the frozen north 🙂 Whilst it was nice taking the car and being able to do this road trip, the moral of this tale is not to book ferries in the winter! Still, I managed to squeeze in a nice little photography trip to the Alice Holt Forest near Farnham, Surrey and a few extra family visits and so made the most of my time… though I was concerned at the rate things were going, Dale & Heather would arrive in Spain before me!

So… home at last but hardly anytime to prepare for the imminent arrival of said Dale & Heather, aaargh!! Fortunately it all worked out OK and there was even time to visit one of my favourite beaches on xmas day AND climb what is known as “the petrified wave”!

Xmas day 2011, Playa de Monsúl

…and now that the silly season is done and dusted for another year we can all relax and get on with our business.

All that’s left to say now is happy new year, or felíz año nuevo as they say in my town. Don’t forget to visit my website for the latest and greatest photography experiences the world has to offer. Hopefully you are inspired to visit my most beautiful part of the world and let me show you around.

http://martynthompson.net