Barcelona Day One: Airports and Beaches

Today I set off for the East coast Spanish city of Barcelona. I have been before, but when I was a kid so I was looking forward to returning and exploring more. I am here just for few days during my spring break from university. I am travelling with Alex who like me, lives in Brighton but spent her childhood in Barcelona.

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Like any good holiday we spent our morning consuming overpriced food at the airport, loosing track of time and running to our gate. Although we were the last to board the plane, we made it in time to sit onboard as our flight got more and more delayed.

Finally we were off and after watching copious amount of Parks and Rec we landed. Travelling with someone who has spent half their life in Barcelona made travelling from the airport to the city centre stress free. This was helped by the constant stream of reasonably priced airport shuttle buses.

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An aerial shot of Las Ramblas

It was a 30 minute bus ride into the centre and then a 5 minute walk to the apartment we were staying in. By the time we had refreshed and unpacked it was early evening. So we decided on a walk along the beach and some food. To get to the beach we had to stroll down the most famous street in Barcelona; Las Ramblas. Its a palm tree-lined avenue leading from the centre of town down to the beach. As I remembered from when I was a child it was filled with tourists and stalls selling everything from souvenirs to flamenco show tickets. If visiting it’s a good idea to keep your belongings close as pick pockets operate in this area.

The beach was beautifully serene and quiet with the sun setting behind it. The only danger here is getting hit by what felt like hundreds of skateboarders- all way cooler than I’ll ever be.

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Walking along the beach built up our appetite so we dipped into a side street for some tapas from a recommended restaurant. This was the first tapas I have ever had and it didn’t disappoint. The only negative I can think of, is the broken unisex toilet door which led me to seeing a man in a rather uncompromising position…

With full stomachs a good night sleep was needed so we headed back here to the apartment. Tomorrow we have a full day planned so stay tuned..

 

 

 

 

Paddling Out to Sea

Over the weekend the biggest annual free beach festival returned to my hometown of Brighton, UK.  ‘Paddle Round the Pier’ features numerous events including DIY boats and paddle boarding out to sea and around the pier. Everybody gets dressed up, smothers themselves in sun cream and gets paddling..

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There is also a fair which comes with food stalls, rides and music stages. It takes place over the whole weekend, although most of us were indoors watching England at the World Cup on Saturday…

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A Snapshot of Hastings

Hastings; located on the English south coast and famous for the Battle of Hastings in 1066. It now has over 90,000 residents and a brand new pier. I spent yesterday photographing the new pier and residents of this increasingly popular seaside town.

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Filming February with the Sony A7Rii

At the end of January I got my hands on a Sony A7RII. I’ve already taken thousands of photos but I wanted to test out the video capabilties. So I decided to shoot footage every day throughout February to get used to a mirror-less camera. After a couple of days and ironing out initial problems I am really impressed with the range of resolution options and lack of auto focus ‘hunting.Here is the result of shooting every day in February:

The camera is incredibly versatile,I went out  this morning to shot some images in the beautiful but blinding sunshine and some very windy conditions.

 

follow me on instagram @madisonbeachphotos to keep up-to-date with my photography adventures.

Brighton City Guide

During the week I headed to my hometown of Brighton and filled my time taking photographs.Since moving away I see Brighton from a different perspective, feeling more like an in-the-know tourist. So I decided to create a City Guide.

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Brighton City Guide

Just an hour away from the hustle and bustle of London lays Brighton, a seaside city with a lot to offer. It’s famed for its quirky social scene, plethora of restaurants and pebble beach. Over a quarter of a million people call this place home and this might be why.

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Brighton Museum

Being a resident offers many perks including free entry to the Brighton Museum. The museum is a mix of permanent and temporary displays with a heavy focus on local culture. Often referring to the local football team Brighton and Hove Albion, currently in the second tier. You can find them at the American Express Stadium; tickets are highly sought after for any games being played in this state of the art stadium. Designed by London based architects KSS who designed the redevelopment of Court No.1 at Wimbledon. The football club runs a successful charity, which aims to increase engagement and participation in sport in the local community.

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Brighton is bucking the trend of having run-down areas surrounding the main train station. Adjacent to the station is New England Quarter, built on land previously owned by British Rail. It offers affordable housing; pedestriansed areas, cafes and some-much needed parking spaces.

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Residents’ Apartments

A more controversial addition to the Brighton skyline is the British Airways sponsored i360. Offering a 360 view at 136 metres high its not been as successful as some may have hoped. It’s early days and something a bit of re-branding and ticket price reductions could potentially solve.

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i360

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The Level

As with any busy city having well-designed open spaces and public parks is a must. In previous years finding a safe place to relax and let children play was a struggle in some areas, but this is beginning to change. The Level , underwent a much-needed restoration in 2013, it is now a vibrant open space, home to a skate park, play area and a diverse community. The purpose built £50 million library and 19th century theatre royal & Royal Pavilion offer greenery and benches for tourists and residents to take the weight off their feet.

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Brighton Pavilion

The infamous pebble beach is a very popular choice for tourists in the summer and locals in the winter to sit back, take a break and enjoy the sea view. The art scene is thriving in Brighton and these open spaces are often utilised for art & photography exhibitions. Including the Brighton photo fringe and Photography biennial – the UK’s leading curated photography festival.

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Photography Exhibition on the Beach

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Stairs with added Graffiti

 Home to an annual food and drink festival the city is filled with food enthusiasts and has the restaurants to match. The diverse restaurants dotted around the North Lanes cater for almost everything dietary requirement imaginable. Including vegans and vegetarians at the highly recommended Wai Kika Moo Kau (literally pronounced as why kick a moo cow).

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My Friend Amy Enjoying a Burger at Meat Liquor

 For those wanting to brave the Sea breeze there are a number of potential venues for you too dance or drink your night away. Voted the best venue in the south 13 times The Komedia is a safe bet with weekly comedy nights, a cosy bar now housing a picture house cinema. Alternatively you could follow the route of the oldest working electric railway along the seafront to one of Europe’s largest man-made marinas. A curved side-walk leads you around the 30 newly opened restaurants which sit beneath luxury apartments.

Brighton is an inclusive city that is moulded around its diverse residents. Although improvements need to be made like increasing the number safe cycling routes the laid back atmosphere and happy-go-lucky culture can make it hard to leave.

Key Brighton Dates:
Brighton Marathon: 9th April
Brighton Festival: 6th-28th May
Artists Open Houses: 6th-28th May
Brighton Pride: 4-6th August
Burning of the Clocks: 21st December
Brighton Food & Drink Festival 2017: TBC
Brighton Photography Biennial: End of 2018

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I am very excited to be flying to Iceland in the early hours of tomorrow morning! I have packed both digital and film cameras along with a range of film; portra, lomochrome purple and ilford black & white. I will be posting an Iceland travel diary on this blog and photos on my Instagram so stay tuned!

IG:@madisonbeachphotos

Exhibition & Zine Update Plus New Photography

I am currently working on a new project focusing on the East Sussex town of Seaford and the quirks and colours that come with living by the sea.

 

I also have some work featured in the latest Xerox And Destroy Zine. The exhibition of the images opened yesterday in Exeter until 31st October as part of the Unveil’d photo festival so check it out if your around.

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IG:@madisonbeachphotos

www.madisonbeach.com 

Walking 13km to Explore the Land Between Hope Gap and Newhaven (Black & White Photographs)

Near my temporary home in Seaford is a little known beach, Hopes Gap. So I decided to walk from the industrial town of Newhaven over the cliffs to Hopes Gap and photograph the changing landscape. If your around East Sussex I would definitely recommend checking out the tide times, packing a lunch and heading over to Hopes Gap.

 

 

www.madisonbeach.com

IG:@madisonbeachphotos