There is a crack in everything... by phil hemsley

There is a crack in everything... by 

“Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in. "

Leonard Cohen

Paignton Pier at dawn, with the early sunlight finding some gaps on the horizon and gently bathing the buildings on the pier.

Paignton Pier is a pleasure pier in the large English seaside resort Paignton, Devon. It was financed by Arthur Hyde Dendy, a local Paignton barrister and designed by George Soudon Bridgman.

The 780 feet (240 m) pier, with its customary grand pavilion at the seaward end, was opened to the public for the first time in June 1879. The pier-head pavilion was home to many forms of entertainment including singing, dancing, recitals, music hall, and most famously Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic opera, re-titled HMS Pinafore on the water, performed by Mr D’Oyley’s full company on 27 and 28 July 1880. In 1881 the pier-head was enlarged to facilitate the construction of a Billiard room, adjoining the pavilion.

On the death of Arthur Dendy Paignton Pier was purchased by the Devon Dock, Pier and Steamship Company, under whose ownership it became a regular stop for paddle steamers travelling between Torquay and Brixham.

In 1919 the pier-head and its associated buildings were destroyed in a fire. These were never replaced and a period of decline followed. Sectioned as a defence measure in 1940, for fear of German invasion, the damaged neck was eventually repaired once hostilities had ceased.

In 1980 the fortunes of Paignton Pier took a turn for the better when a major redevelopment project was undertaken. This included the widening of the shoreward end to ensure a uniform neck, and the construction of the rather stylish pavilions that remain today. Paignton Pier comprises an entrance building at the shoreward end along with what looks to be several individual pavilion buildings connected along the neck. These in fact form one single amusement arcade through their entire length. At the pier-head there is now an open amusement area containing karts, slides and carousel.

Pentax K-X
Pentax 18-55mm SMC/ DAL lens (at 18mm)

Cromatek circular polarizer (equivalent to 2 stop ND filter)
Cromatek 0.6 ND graduated filter
Cromatek warming 81b filter

Kodak tripod

cable release

manual focus

manual exposure settings:


4 seconds
ISO 100

An emerging landscape photographer based in Totnes, South Devon, UK – Phil Hemsley (a.k.a. ‘Morpheus71’ – from his graffiti days) is incredibly lucky to live between stunning beaches and fantastic moorland – he loves walking in the moors, climbing the cliffs and catching waves.

He is passionate about using visual imagery to capture the emotions, atmosphere and action of his subjects. His highly detailed work reflects his passion for rich light, colour and contrasting textures.

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  • phil hemsley
    phil hemsleyover 3 years ago

    My 2 yr old son was damned if he was going to sleep past 5am – so as I knew he would fall asleep on a car journey I headed off to try my luck at a dawn shot of the pier – been meaning to do it for a long time, yet my bed always seemed to win

    It always seems somewhat surreal the ambience of dawn, yet beautiful and invigorating with it.

    The little dude said “wow!” when he saw the sun come up… after having gained another hour or so of sleep more than his dad

  • terezadelpilar~ art & architecture
    terezadelpilar...over 3 years ago

    fabulous pink! wowow!

  • Thank you ever so much for your kind words terezadelpilar:)

    – phil hemsley

  • Vincent Frank
    Vincent Frankover 3 years ago

    Super shot!! I love the colors…


  • Thank you very much for your encouraging comments Vince & for adding it to your favourites too:)

    – phil hemsley

  • Monica M. Scanlan
    Monica M. Scanlanover 3 years ago

    Wonderful work, congratulations!!!

  • Wow! Thank you ever so much for the feature Monica. I guess I shall have to thank my young son for waking me up so early too :)

    – phil hemsley

  • JohnDSmith
    JohnDSmithover 3 years ago

    Fabulous shot,…

  • Very kind of you to say so John! Thank you very much for your encouraging comment & for adding it to your favourites too:)

    – phil hemsley

  • Ellanita
    Ellanitaover 3 years ago

    Well how wonderful …love this beautiful image and Leonard Coen’s song, I also have an image in my Australian Christmas with this theme and Leonards worsds…wow…

  • Thank you ever so much for your encouraging comments Ellanita:) It was nice karma to see this early morning light after my son had woken me up so early – had a big smile all day:)

    – phil hemsley

  • moor2sea
    moor2seaover 3 years ago

    Great shot, well composed and perfect timing with the boat on the horizon :-)
    the ‘little dude’ proved much more effective than an alarm clock!! lol

  • Thank you ever so much for your encouraging comments! It’s a wonderful thing on thiose rare occassions when all the elements come together for a few fleeting moments and such a joy to be able to preserve a moment in time through teh medium of photography. The little dude was thanked and given big hugs for helping me realise a plan I had had for two years. Brixham is next on the dawn patrol list, hope he picks another fine morning to wake me up so early – lol!

    – phil hemsley

  • Lissywitch
    Lissywitchover 3 years ago

    gorgeous capture

  • I am very grateful for your generous comment Lissywitch – cheers:)

    – phil hemsley

  • Very grateful for the favouriting too:)

    – phil hemsley

  • Thomas Barker-Detwiler
    Thomas Barker-...over 3 years ago

  • Wow! That’s really kind of you to feature my work – thank you ever so much Thomas :)

    – phil hemsley

  • RobynLee
    RobynLeeover 3 years ago

desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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