Fotothon 2011 - Photogenic Brighton

I seem to have negleted the recently as Fotothon has been taking up a fair chunk of my time. Chris one of the Fotothon 2011 organisers has penned this blog about Brighton which contains valuable information for anyone taking part in the event on Saturday 11th June.

This year is the 170th anniversary of the first photographic studio in Brighton at 57 Marine Parade in 1841. This means Brighton was a pioneer right from the start of photography as that was the very same year that Fox Talbot the father of the negative first patented his calotype process.

Brighton & Hove remains an extremely photogenic city and is often featured as one of the UK's most popular tourist destinations on TV or in newspapers and magazines. It also frequently appears as a backdrop in films, adverts, fashion shoots and videos.

In the 1890’s some of the worlds first cine cameras were built in Brighton and in Edwardian times it was the Hollywood of the day with 100 films a year made in the area. The first colour movie cameras were designed around 1900. Several of the key pioneers lived and worked here, including William Friese-Greene, Esmé Collings, James Williamson and George Albert Smith.

In more recent times such films as Brighton rock both the 1947 and the 2010 version, Quadrophenia, Oh what a lovely war, Several Carry on’s, Loot, Da Vinci code, Octopussy, Half a Sixpence, Mona Lisa etc etc

Brighton first began to flourish when Dr Brighton (Richard Russell) began prescribing a sea water cure at Brighton in the late 1700’s.

By 1780, development of the beautiful Georgian terraces had started and the fishing village became the fashionable resort of Brighton. Growth of the town was further encouraged by the patronage of the Prince Regent (later King George IV) after his first visit in 1783. He spent much of his leisure time in the town and constructed the iconic and unique Royal Pavilion during the early part of his Regency.

Brighton is also the home to lots of firsts First electric railway in the world the 6th most important digital and media city in UK

Apart from being a convenient and familiar seaside site within easy reach of London, Brighton and Hove also had a widespread reputation for its Regency connections and laid back leisurely attitude. 8 Million tourists a year can’t be wrong.

The arrival of the railway in 1841 brought Brighton within the reach of day-trippers from London and population growth from around 7,000 in 1801 to over 120,000 by 1901. The Victorian era saw the building of many major attractions including the Grand Hotel (1864), the West Pier (1866 The shell of the West Pier still makes a stunning backdrop to sunsets in the West of the town) and the Palace Pier (1899). Today there are around 500 listed buildings in the city.

Brighton Landmarks
The Royal Pavilion is a former royal palace built as a home for the Prince Regent during the early 1800s and is notable for its Indo-Saracenic architecture and Oriental interior design. There is truly no other building like it on earth.
The Lanes still hold the charm of the old fishing village that spawned Brighton and now a thriving community of small shops The seafront has bars, restaurants, nightclubs and amusement arcades, principally between the piers. Being less than an hour from London by train has made the city a popular destination. Brighton beach has the first nudist beach in the country.

Culture Nightlife and Popular Music
Brighton is considered to be one of the UK's premier night-life hotspots and is also associated with many popular music artist.

One of the most prominent musical events has been the irregularly-recurring "Big Beach Boutique", for which a substantial portion of the beach is controversially closed off for a concert by Fatboy Slim.
There are over 300 pubs in the town, including the historic Cricketers, the Evening Star real ale pub, The Greys gastropub, The Free Butt music pub and the extravagantly decorated Regency Tavern.

Famous Residents
Hundreds of artists, designers, actors, musicians and performers as well as sporting stars and models past and present choose to live in Brighton. From F Boy Slim Nigel Cook to Will young and Holly Willoughby and Keith Tyson Turner prize winner to Richard Attenborough, broadcaster and film-maker (Gandhi). Katie Price famously said “ Brighton is different in London. People respect you more there.

Each May the city hosts the Brighton Festival, the largest arts festival in the UK after Edinburgh's.
Brighton Pride). Gay Pride carnival every August attracts thousands. It consists of a carnival parade and a party and funfair in Preston Park.
World Beard and Moustache Championship. Hosted by The Handlebar Club, categories include Dali moustache, goatee and full beard freestyle. 

This all makes a wonderful background for Fotothon one day photography competition where hundreds of photographers spend a pleasant afternoon illustrating subjects for the chance of winning big prizes judged by celebrity judging panel.


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