Brighton - Collapsing Pier, Ornate Bandstand, Colourful Deck Chairs and Great Characters - 20 July 2016
Brighton Bandstand
20 July 2016

I last visited Brighton in February 2013, on a freezing cold day when the crowds were all elsewhere. I decided that it was time to make a return visit during the summer, armed with my camera, and see what I could find to photograph.
It would have been good to arrive prior to sunrise but, given the time of year, this would have involved a 2.30am start and was not feasible. So I, and some fellow photographers, arrived at 08.30 and parked our car in The Lanes car park near the seafront. I mention this as a warning that parking is at a premium in Brighton (the cost was £20 for up to 9 hours).
I had researched the sights to visit on Flickr and 500px prior to leaving home and decided to concentrate on the following:

The Brighton Eye - this is a large ferris wheel, much the same as the London Eye, on the seafront to the east of the new pier. I thought a long exposure blurring the moving wheel might be of interest. However, this huge structure was nowhere to be seen when we arrived. I learnt, from a waiter, that it has now been dismantled and taken away. C'est la vie! Interestingly a new tourist attraction is now under construction a little to the west. This consists of a huge silver tower, higher than Blackpool Tower, up which a huge doughnut shaped observation deck will ascend for visitors to admire the view. The top of the tower was shrouded in cloud at one point during the morning so I imagine that the views will sometimes be limited.

The West Pier - this is a perennial favourite subject for visiting photographers - or it will be for as long as it continues to exist. It was noticeable that it had deteriorated since my last visit 3 years ago. I daresay that the same can be said of me! Throughout the day I returned to this pier on 3 occasions mainly to practise my Lee filters big stopper technique for long exposures Here are two of my images:

Brighton Pier Ruin

Brighton Pier Ruin v2

It is relatively easy to take pictures of this pier without other beach users being in the way. This is because they all seem to prefer to congregate around the new pier further to the east.

The Bandstand - this was a new find for me on 500px. It stands on the promenade a little to the West of The Grand Hotel and not far from the West Pier. It was built during the late Victorian period and was fully renovated by the local council only a few years ago. It is now available for weddings and other events and, when it is not in use, is fully accessible to the public. Given the colourful and attractive nature of this structure I expected to have to time my shots to avoid other visitors. But this was not the case and most of the time I had the building to myself. In fact the arrival of two people, to give the building scale, was a welcome addition.

Brighton Bandstand

At various times during the day I wandered up and down the promenade looking for subjects to photograph. Brighton never disappoints on this score.

The new pier, and the breaking surf can often make an interesting subject but, on this occasion, I was more taken by the colourful deckchairs for hire on the beach.