Around march time of 2017, My girlfriends brother was planning a trip around south east asia, travelling from Thailand to Australia for around 6-7 months. As the time drew closer to his departure from the UK I was asked if I wanted to go along with the family to visit him whilst he was in Indonesia, Bali to be specific. Chris, my girlfriends brother; planned the entire trip alongside his travelling partner; Holly. We would meet them at Denpasser Airport, spend time adventuring around the island, stay at 3 different villas as well as spend two days on the Gilli Trawangan islands.

This would be the first time I have travelled further out than europe, would also be the longest journey on a plane (17 hours!) as well as only being my second trip on a plane too! Overall I was pretty nervous about the trip when we started packing, but I was also pretty excited, the thought of the photographs and experiences I would have on the other side of the world had me all giddy the moment we left for the airport. Its still insane to think of it in my head that I was only 4 hours away from Australia!

October 12th

Both myself and Becky left Southampton around 3pm. we celebrated the end of lectures for a week by going to the local pub for a few drinks before embarking on a hour drive back to worthing where we would stay at her house until the early morning in which we would head to Heathrow Airport. We got in the car with her dad, Marc; and drove back. The sun was starting to set and the sky was all orange. It felt like a last hurrah for the summer of 2017, but little did we know what was actually in store for us on the trip. We all joked about the various things we would do over in Bali, and how we are the lucky few that get to escape the change in british weather from hot to cold in October...

October 12/13th

Once we got back, Marc cooked us some pizza and we rested in the living room for a few hours watching Inglorious Bastards. We then had a final run through of our baggage. Within my camera bag I took my Canon 6D, Canon 650D, A multitude of Lenses, a Canon AV-1 35mm Film SLR, and 6 rolls of Film alongisde clothes, a shed load of sun cream and toiletries.

The time had come to sleep, I myself knew I was anxious about the flight over so I decided to stay wide awake; and thus sleep on the plane. I bought my laptop along with me to the house so I sat down and played Fallout 4 for a few hours before we had to get everything ready and leave the house. At 3am our transport for the airport had arrived. We left the house and later left the UK.

Being my first time in Heathrow I was surprised at how large the airport actually was. All the intertwining terminals and huge hangers didn't help the anxiety as we drove into our terminal which housed Qatar Airways, for whome we'd be flying with to Doha, then changing over for our direct flight to Denpassa.

The Flight

There wasn't really much to say about the wait at the airport, as everyone knows thats flown before its a straightforward yet confusing and super boring process that can take a few hours. After checking in we waited in the seating area for our flight at 7am. We boarded the flight and instantly I fell asleep for a good 2 or 3 hours before lunch was served. After watching the aircraft GPS map for a good 4 hours we started to fly into Doha Airport (Qatar) which was an absolutely picturesque airport surrounded by oil fields and container ships. We had a quick turnaround of about 45 minutes before heading off on our second (and longest) flight to Bali.

After boarding our second flight, the sun had gone down and we were all wide awake after sleeping the best part of our first leg of the journey. The boredom and irritation started to kick in within an hour of the flight. I decided to stop watching the GPS map and instead watch the first series of Futurma, while Marc watched his 7th film and Becky just simply slept. Although we were restless we all agreed the flights themselves were pretty good for the amount we'd payed. We had reclining seats, breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as a small inbuilt TV into the headrests so we could choose between 200 films as well as TV shows or play games. For whatever reason however I chose to just watch the flight GPS map. Something about it calmed my nerves and put me to rest while I listened to Spotify on my phone.

October 14th

After dozing in and out of sleep for a good 9 hours over the Indian Peninsular. The sun had risen and we were preparing for breakfast with only an hour until we land in Bali. We all didn't speak much while we were on the plane, choosing instead to just as sleep as much as possible and relax. By this point however we were all excited about the trip, even trying to peak over other passengers to see if we could see any mountains. After a breakfast of potato wedges and omelette we started to descend onto the island.

We landed into Denpassa and quickly grabbed our luggage and headed out into the entrance to meet up with Chris and Holly. They'd both been travelling since September 1st; so they were pretty experienced with the SE Asian culture. The first thing we'd noticed when we left the airport was the extreme heat of the Island. With it resting on the equator it was boiling hot even in mid October. Myself in Jeans, a tshirt and a shirt I was already sweating as we left the airport in a Taxi.

We boarded a taxi and headed straight into the largest city of the Island. We were dropped off outside a large shopping mall within the centre of the city. the mall housed various designer shops and a Starbucks coffee; as well as a knock-off equivalent directly opposite. From there we hopped into another local taxi and travelled an hour to our first villa in the town of Seminyak. We had to endure a lecture by the driver about Uber, and how the business is notorious around Bali and other islands.

We were dropped off outside a gate to our villa. we entered and were instantly greeted by some women, who were cleaners of the place with mango juice drinks and watermelon. They gave us the keys and left us to be. The place was wonderful, with a large pull at the bottom of the garden, a kitchen and a living room which doubled as a garden. Our rooms were also out of the world; with an out door on suite shower and toilet (yes, you could literally take a dump outside with all the lizards and insects) and air conditioning.

After arriving, we all quickly had a dip in the pool, rested and then went out to find a place to grab some lunch. Down the road from our villa was a huge texan/BBQ joint, we all sat down; had some burgers and finally got to taste Bintang, the most popular beer in Bali. famous for its tourist fascination of the drink which is basically an Asian Heineken. After eating, we headed back and had a much needed nap, when we awoke hours later we headed out to Potato Head, a famous club on the seafront which is known for its golden hour sunsets and cheap cocktails.

Once we left the taxi, armed guards stood around the tourist infested beach club, I took my 35mm Camera with me as well as my 6d in hopes of getting shots of the sunset. This was my first time getting cameras out on the trip so I was a little nervous holding expensive camera gear, but once entering everyone and their mothers were packing Canon 5D MkIII's, L lenses and their brand new Iphone 8's.

I snapped some images on my Canon AV-1, then quickly switched over to my 6d as the sun came down (which is the image you see in the banner at the top of this post) This was also 3rd attempt of shooting film in my life as a photographer, so I was pretty excited to see how the images would turn out when I get back to the UK. The camera itself doesn't perform as well in low light as you'd expect of a film camera shooting ISO 100 film (Kodak Ectar) but it was an enjoyable experience nonetheless.

shot on canon 6d ^

After taken some photographs, the sun set and we all sat down around a table to have some cocktails. All of a sudden out of nowhere however a huge spot of rain came down on the beach, it lasted only a few moments before the hot air came back. After a few hours we decided to head to another place to grab something to eat, and then back to our villa where we'd sleep off the lost hours of travelling, and prepare for the adventuring and once-in-a-lifetime experiences that would follow up in the coming days.

(all photographs by Charlie Richards)

Shot on Canon 6d and Canon AV-1 with Kodak Ectar 100 Film)

#photography #travel #adventure #holiday #story #article #bali #indonesia #student #university #southampton #photographer #photo #charlierichardsphotography #charlierichards #instagram #summer #sun #asia #travelling

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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.



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



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



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



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



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.



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



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



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)

#photo #photography #urbex #urbanexploring #explore #exploring #abandoned #places #travel #travelling #cool #extraordinary #photographer #images #capture #blogger #blog #nouw #instagram #facebook #flickr #canon #canon650d #trip #cool #weird #unusual #story #article #charlierichards