March - The weather got insanely warm for a few weeks and everyone including myself was stressed with group projects. I took a trip up to Southampton Common for a small walk while the sun was out with my girlfriend for a few hours before the temperature dropped. I bought alongside me my 6d and for the first time in a while my 650d.


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As mentioned in my last walkabout post, I started working on my groups short film project. After looking around the harbour the week previous, I decided to go down there with my group to do some scouting for possible filming locations. The area was grittier and more run down than when I was there previously, however it set a nice atmosphere and a contrast to the photographs taken before.

All photos taken on a Canon 6d

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Coming back from my trip to Eastbourne, I was bombarded with work for a university film project; I alongisde 3 others was tasked with producing a 5 minute short film, including pre-production coursework as well as actually going out and filming it. When I got back to Southampton I was excited to get my camera out and go for a walk around and explore the city that i've lived in for about 4-5 months now. My first thought was to walk to the dockyard but I was a little hesitant since I've walked there about three times and each of them have been a little lackluster, just another view of the sea and a few ships going through the port. On the other hand I thought I might as well check out the harbour known as Ocean Village. I love going to harbours during the summer, walking past all the yachts sitting inside the walls of the quay, going to a bar and sitting outside soaking up the sun; its a little refreshing compared to sitting on a beach which for us in Southampton is a drive away let alone a walk.

It was eerily quiet considering 5 minutes down the road would be my halls, the harbour is dead silent with distant sounds of cars driving over Itchen bridge, or a plane flying over from Southampton Central, but it was a nice calm; and definitely a pretty spot to go to when the weathers nice.


All photos taken on a Canon 6d

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On the next day of my trip back to Eastbourne in February. I travelled to my fathers marshland which in part is owned by West Rise School, who have become both famous and controversial for its ways of teaching children in years 3-6 the ways of outdoor learning with regards to Agriculture and Fieldsports. Children are taught how to skin rabbits and poultry, how to fish, how to shoot; and more specifically how to embrace the outdoors as a source of inspiration and living. Enough to give any health and safety inspector a major migraine.

My father started working at the school when I first attended back in 2002-2003, the school back then was vastly different to how it operates nowadays, with its bull headed approach to outdoors learning and a disregard to the modern stereotypical health and safety which on its own is comedic given what the school has managed to do. When I was just around the corner of leaving back in 2009; just about to finish my SATS and head off to secondary school; Mike Fairclough, the Headmaster of the school (even since I started) cooperated with my father and other staff members at the school to build a small farm on the schools playing field, around early 2008 work was started on a shed for Pygmy goats, and later on a hut was build for chickens. Ever since then really the ball has been rolling for the school, and later on the school acquired some marshland next to it in which they placed waterbuffalo on.

Considering the local history which goes far back to the Bronze age, The marshland was in actual fact one of the largest settlements in the UK, and both Mike and my Father wanted to use this as an ambitious, yet successful tool for teaching kids the history that surrounds them and the ways in which people lived back in the days of mud huts and pointy sticks.

Moving on towards 2014, when I had just left school after completing my GCSE Exams, The school resurrected a Bronze age roundhouse on a small lake that resides on the marshland, built by my father over the course of around a year or two. The little spot became a favourite of mine in Eastbourne, it was somewhere where pupils of the school could go to learn in the outdoors environment, it was also somewhere me and my friends would go to chat absolute bollocks over a drink; however after the course of a year the place was arsoned and subsequently eroded. Some of the wooden pillars are blanketed by burn marks, graffiti is found all around the hut. Its a miracle how it still stands on the lake.

Over the years however, since 2009; the school has obtained TES's "School of the Year" award for its contribution to the local community and the practical teaching the marsh has delivered for the school. The school was also featured on BBC's Countryfile (Which I had the opportunity to go down and photograph alongside John Craven). West Rise was also featured on a number of documentaries and news stories, most notably by Channel 4 and a sky documentary produced by Elizabeth Murdoch. Im sure at some point; I'll write a bigger post about the school in its entirety, or maybe make a documentary about it, we'll see.

photos taken on both Canon 650d and Canon 6d

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Entering further into the new year. I popped back to Eastbourne for a couple of days to get away from the city of Southampton. I caught a mid day train at Southampton, travelling via Barnham to Brighton then changing for the Eastbourne train from there, arriving back home on February 17th, that next day I went out with my camera down to the seafront to take some photos while the weather was nice and sunny. At this point it had roughly been a month and a half since I had taken any photographs so it was refreshing to get back into gear.

First of all, I went to the pier which had recently went through some re-developments while I was away, specifically the golden dome which stands as a stark reminder of the new ownership of Eastbourne's seafront; however controversial. Since its sudden and pretty shocking fire back in the summer of 2014, the towns biggest tourism spot was quickly snatched up by a local infamous pier owner, who without much regard from the local township redesigned the piers look and gave it a tacky golden paint job which has, and still is a pretty heated topic around Eastbourne. As much as it is a relic of the towns thriving tourism history, its still something that locals, as well as myself hold pretty dearly. Memories of days when I used to go there with family specifically to sit in the arcade for hours on end, only to be replaced with loud speakers replaying vintage big band music and a "Zoltar" fortune teller machine which just sits at the opening gate asking people for 50p's over the sounds of Frank Sinatra. Its pretty melancholic thinking what my hometown has come to, to a degree.

However, after some lunch at Fusciardi's Gelato, which has stood just outside the pier for years without change, I headed towards Hollywell while the sun started to set. The wind started to catch up and as the shade gloomed over so did the cold, therefore it was time to probably head home.


photos taken on both Canon 6d and Canon 650d



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Aprils come around and its starting to warm up, which means barbecue music and the like. this is what i've been listening to for the past couple of weeks.



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Over the Christmas holidays I took a trip back to Eastbourne for two weeks to spend the holidays with my family. I took my camera back with my so I could go for a couple of walks while I was down however I never found the time to actually go out, either it was far too cold; or it was too wet. As the trip came to a close the weather became extremely nice, it became warmer and a lot more sunnier; and it was only the start of January.

On the 5th January, I went for a walk down to Holywell with my good friend Charles, who wanted to go and have a walk while the sun was out. We met up in the Town centre and walked towards the cliffs of Beachy Head, where below sat the old and luxurious beaches of Holywell which mark the end of the Eastbourne coast line. Usually me and my friends spend all our time up there during the summer time having BBQ's and chilling on the beach, but this was probably the first time I had come down to this part of town in the middle of winter.

All images captured with a Canon 6d



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That time of the month again! this month has been a lot more summary than last, so plenty of summer anthems starting to show.



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Read the last two parts here and here

See the full album here

The day after shooting Ipswich at night was an experience in itself, I didn't take many personal photos that I can show but overall the wedding went well. Maxine managed to pull of the shots that she had hoped to get and I got to do my usual gig of going around the wedding at the end of the night as the disco went on photographing people having the time of their life dancing to KC and the Sunshine Band. It was with its problems though, I slowly got used to using a bulky Nikon Full Frame DSLR which i am completely alien to using, however slowly but gradually got confident with using; although the shear weight of it was making me sweat in the mid day sun whilst dressed in a suit, especially with a long telephoto attached to the end of it. We packed up our gear at the end of the night, a hell of a ton of lighting equipment and tripods as well as our camera bags, stuffed them into the back of the car as the night progressed inside the venue. As a storm slowly rolled in we made our way back to the hotel in the pitch black with only the car headlights guiding the way back.

The next day we woke up, the sun was out in all its glory, it was probably the brightest it had been the entire trip without a single cloud in the sky. We were to travel back to Eastbourne that day but we had something else planned. The day before the wedding, Nick took us somewhere completely deserted and away from anywhere recognisable, a deserted factory laying on the side of a junction that fielded a 2-3 large warehouses and a small office building. As a little reward for shooting the wedding, we both treated ourselves to a full afternoon of urbexing.

We pulled up a mile or so away from the complex, and walked the road down towards the factory, nearby where deserted houses that were probably occupied by workers. We both stepped into the houses on the way towards the complex to see what we could find. As we trod over broken glass and dusty wood, I could already tell that this would have to be one of best experiences I have had taking photographs; being someone who loves to explore and investigate things with historical roots, and to say with pure confidence that I went to this place, may sound strange to most people but that and going to Berlin the same year were probably the coolest things I have done.

We creeked through the buildings, photographing every nook and cranny because being in a house that looks something like Johnny Quids crack den out of rocknrolla turned up 100% is just purely amazing. Broken TV lying on the floor, carpets ripped up to mere shreds with glass window panes smashed on every single frame; no problem. However this was literally nothing compared to what we were going to encounter later on in the afternoon.

We made way into the complex through an alternative route. We were instantly greeted by these colossal structures, masked in graffiti and debris. It was like something apocalyptic, seeing these huge buildings just completely covered in waste and tangled metal. We were quick to make our way towards the first set of warehouses which were around 4-5 floors high. We stepped past these massive large concrete barricades and a huge ball of rusted metal wiring and found a arch that was poorly blocked off by metal fencing. After stepping over piles of rubble and metal, we managed to get onto the second floor by pulling ourselves up a wooden shaft, we were careful where we stepped due to the worn wooden flooring that has evidently eroded over the years and has only been layered with a few centre metres of dust. From here we could see the entire compound around us.

The third floor of the building was probably my favourite, someone; most likely a group of people had managed to build a quarter pipe skate ramp on the floor, which must of been a task because of the increasingly shallow flooring. There's someone that has managed to build something like that within the warehouse then there is me bricking it to taking each step as if it was my last; not to mention my ever lasting fear of heights.

We decided to leave the warehouse after around an hour of shooting, and by this time I had already gone through two camera batteries and I was on my last, and I had already filled up 2 SD cards and was about to finish off my third. So we made our ways down the wooden manhole in the floor, and to the bottom floor which was mostly made of concrete. At this point however the experience became pretty eerie, when I said earlier that the place looked apocalyptic, this was where it really became evident; kind of like something out of the UK Zombie Infestation film 28 Days Later. As well as a fear of heights, I bloody cant stand things being too clinical, and when there's signs dotted around warning about toxic substances and the like the building started to become even more dramatic with the graffiti and the fire extinguishers lying around.

One thing to note though, which didn't become apparent until we were in the building was how creative the graffiti and small sculptures were. the second warehouse we entered was far more telling of this, it was like intruding on a cultist groups ground. Car bonnets were lying around with rope attached to doors which looked like makeshift DIY prison sells with graffiti telling us to go away, little things like this get increasingly eerie as we moved further into the compound.

Another thing to note here is that my camera died as we left the first building, I was fortunate enough to make my last shot be of a barrel of petrol (or what looked like petrol) however I managed to snap some phone pictures.


And here is where my camera finally died, and my SD card filled up. I managed to shoot more photo's on my phone but non of them with enough quality to put on here. But we went onto explore the rest of the compound and finally called it a day later on in the afternoon. We walked back up to the car, talking about the images we had took and how extraordinary the place was.

(all photos taken by myself)

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Read the last post here - http://nouw.com/charlierichards/three-days-in-suffolk-woodbridge-28089642

After fully exploring the beauty that was Woodbridge the day before, Nick took us to Ipswich Harbour and gave us a little tour of the area, the night after myself and Maxine made our way down to the harbour to shoot the architecture and lights of the county town.

Still being early spring the weather was bitter freezing as we got out the car to get our cameras, we wrapped up warm and instantly made our way down the walkway that was the harbour quay. Neptune Marina was one of the harbour areas of the main dock and was also home to the recently opened University Campus of Suffolk, so dotted along the quay were small clubs and bars as well as neat little restaurants. The marina also saw numerous new developments, with large high rise buildings standing over smaller historical brick and mortar, However they were all shadowed by a tall concrete skeleton which has lied dormant since 2008. The skeleton itself was in a way a reminder of the financial crash of the same year, which saw costs rise far more than was expected, hence why the jenga tower of concrete has stood there completely abandoned and untouched as developments have become far too expensive to complete.

However with such a stark reminder overshadowing the young thriving nightlife scene down below, the area itself was something of beauty. Coming from a place like Eastbourne where our harbours and quays are built exclusively for the privileged only a decade or two ago with no real purpose aside from tourism. Ipswich Harbour was something entirely different, with many of the historical aspects been kept aside next to a completely redeveloped town. It might be something a little overlooked or hidden away, but it was definitely worth the visit.

See the whole album here !

All shot on a Canon 650d with a 50mm and a 35mm


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