by Apr 1, 2024

A fine day of photography was enjoyed by club members who ventured to Brighton by train and car for a wander around the many varied areas of this fine city.

In no particular order, we had Chris R, Mark B, Roshan, Paul, David A, David M and your blogger all present and correct at Brighton Station for just before 11 AM. The plan was to stay and enjoy the day and hopefully capture the amazing murmuration of starlings at the pier to round off the day.

As many will know, Paul is very much our film member so he is still making magic in the darkroom with his work. They will be added as they are available.

Meanwhile, in their own words and/or pictures, the rest of the magnificent seven share their highlights. Enjoy!


On our recent photo walk through Brighton, we embarked on a photo adventure. Our first stop was the North Laine district. Now, street photography is not my forte, but behold! I captured a snapshot of a white building bedecked with vibrant flower murals. What caught my eye? A gentleman sporting a jacket that harmonized perfectly with those flowers.

After our previous stop, we proceeded to casually stroll over to the magnificent Royal Pavilion. Ugh, the fencing got in the way again—every photographer’s worst enemy. In my second shot, you can see the statue of King George IV outside the North Gate.

After lunch, we took a walk along the beach, where we arranged to meet at the big British Airways i360. I couldn’t resist taking the customary photo, capturing the perfect reflection of the surrounding buildings.

Despite my best efforts, my attempt to capture a long exposure shot of the West Pier ended up being a complete failure. There is no evidence to display.

The last pictures of the day show the starling murmuration at the “Palace Pier,” nature’s grand finale.


Chris has kindly outlined our route around Brighton already. For me, as someone familiar with the areas and the varied styles, I wanted to take time to try out some different types of images and lenses.

Some of you will recall the recent talk we had by David Jordan, all about his many lenses. I wanted to do something with my Lensbaby set as well as just do a few ICM attempts and try more multi exposure.

With the above in mind, the colourful beach huts that we passed on the walk to Hove were a perfect subject for multi exposure. It will always be a trial and error approach and I think this one just about works.

Many Beach Huts

On the way back to the pier, I had my Lensbaby lens on my R5. Yes, it takes time to remember how this works and what to do to get worthwhile results but again I think this one with the gulls shows it off to good effect. It will be as varied as the user wants and being fully manual, it must be played with to get something to work with. But it is always worth the effort.

Lensbaby Gulls

With the murmuration about to get fully up and running, I had some time to just “jiggle” the camera around and this spin effect was one of the outcomes that I was happy with.

A quick spin on the pier

Finally, once I had time to look at the many images from the excellent day, my monochrome head switched on when the back street scene of No. 1A came up. I much prefer this to the colour one.

No. 1A

All in all, we had a great day out and I really enjoyed being able to try out different techniques and styles in a familiar setting.


Having travelled to Brighton by train, I joined our group on the station concourse.  From there we initially moved off towards the ‘Lanes’ area to look for photo opportunities.  I teamed up with Paul S, who was fully equipped with his approximately 90-year-old Voigtländer bellows camera, filled with 120 size black and white roll film.  I knew Paul’s preference was for street portraiture, and I was keen to see his technique for persuading strangers to stop and pose for him.

Blending In

What I discovered was that Paul has an uncanny knack in this regard – almost everyone I saw him approach agreed to pose.  I put this down to the novelty of the antique camera in his hands!  Having decided this genre was not for me, I planned to get a shot of Paul in action with his subject, so for the next two subjects that was my intent.  At the first try Paul was thanking the individual at about the time I got my lens cap into a pocket.  For the second try I had almost got the camera to my eye by the time Paul was saying goodbye and looking for his next candidate.  Experience pays off here.  I shuffled off to look for a slower moving shot for myself.

Seeing the Light

During the short time I stayed with Paul, he was also approached by two other photographers, eager to talk about his camera, and film photography generally.

We gathered as a group for lunch, followed by a few shots of Brighton Pavilion. The lawn in front of the building had apparently been freshly ploughed, so that plan went astray.  On to the beach area next.  I quickly discovered that I have a natural limit as to how many images I want to take of beach huts, so moved on to lurking in front of a sculpture on the esplanade.  This appears to be a depiction of some remarkably anthropomorphised langoustine escaping through a drainage grid as far as I could tell.  I only know that because that was what the label on the plinth said.

Through the Bars

More coffee; more cakes; and then on to the main event of the day – the murmuration of the starlings as the sun set for the day.  Here I collected many, many images of birds in flight in their remarkable display.  I also discovered that my budget zoom lens with its relatively small maximum aperture may not have been up to the challenge.  Still, the next time we have a club challenge of showing motion in images, I will have many pictures of blurred birds to choose from. 

Starlings and Pier

During my trip home on the train, I realised that I had failed to lift the maximum ISO setting I allow my camera to automatically select for more challenging shots.  I am sure I could get less blurred images had I done this, although probably with much more noise in the images as a result.  Still, there is always next time!


This was the first Photocraft “walkabout” that I have been on, and I must say I thoroughly enjoyed myself!  As someone who only ever gets their camera out when they go on holiday, it was a new experience for me to grab the camera at the weekend and head off out for a day of picture taking!  Unlike Paul, I struggle with street photography as there’s typically way too much going on for me to find something to hone in on …  so, with that in mind, I decided to limit myself to my trusty 70-200mm lens for the entire day … I love that lens, and not just because it forces me to hunt down something detailed to make a shot out of.

I somehow managed to come home with several hundred images, but here is a selection of some of the things that caught my eye … none are competition winners, but I enjoyed the experience of “seeing” Brighton: I always find that wandering around with my camera somehow make me pay much more attention to my surroundings, so you notice things you wouldn’t normally see.

The day started off rather damp and un-inspiring, but looking down at the pavement I was quite taken by the colours in the wet stone.


Wandering down a side-street, a seagull plopped itself down next to me on a car roof-top.  I’m not much of a fan of the chip-stealing buggers, but this one happened to pick a spot with a lovely blue door behind it, which I thought contrasted nicely with the white feathers.


Heading down to the beach after we had all stopped and refuelled on cake and coffee, I wandered over to the remains of the old pier.  There’s some great rust there that was begging to be photographed … I was so engrossed in what I was doing I didn’t pay much attention to the sea behind me and was rewarded with a wet foot for my efforts! 🙂


And while I was taking the rust picture, I happened to notice some bubbles on the beach which (if you look closely enough) just about reflect the remains of the old pier. 


Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay for the murmuration (a real shame given the amazing light!) but despite that I must say it was a really fun day out … great company, great location, and lots and lots of opportunities to get pictures from Brighton that are perhaps slightly less typical than the normal ones you might see!  Will definitely be up for the next outing!


1. Starling murmuration

A close-up capture of starlings performing their magnificent murmuration display. One of the best images captured during the day.

2. Wall paint by SNUB23. 

Noticed this beautifully crafted mural of an anime like character and the futuristic fashion design corner of Trafalgar Lane. This is an example of work by Snub23, a prolific Brighton-based artist who has work spread all over the city.

3. Creepy grey alien.

Located at 18 Gardner St, the Kissing Fish gift shop often features unusual designs that could certainly catch the eye of anyone, including a creepy grey alien getting high and gazing out from the bedroom window.

4. Cancan legs 

A Brighton landmark and a symbol of the city’s vibrant and eclectic culture, they’ve become a popular meeting point for many a rendezvous or first date. Like all outdoor sculptures, they are battered by the elements.

David A has shared the following images:

Europe’s Tallest Church – found near Sainsbury’s Brighton!

Hello, Fellow Photographer!
Murmur of a Murmuration

We all hope you have enjoyed both the words and photos and I think it is right to say that we are all encouraged to do this kind of day out again soon! All location ideas welcome and hopefully we get a few more along for an excellent photography day!

Thanks all!

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  1. Christine Gates

    It looks like you all had a fun day and the photos were amazing. The light looked particularly good and I loved Marks Seagull.

  2. Brian Connolly

    Thanks for your comments Christine! We will be doing more of these days as it gets us out and using our cameras – which is always better than just talking about them!

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