Ihave to admit that I got a bit obsessed with the Helter Skelter at the end of the Palace Pier in Brighton.
I used to work opposite it in the late 80s selling sunglasses and saw so many people take a ride on it. It’s such a simple concept! With no moving parts, just a spiral wooden slide. I never saw an unhappy face get off the rough matting at the bottom of the ride.
I’ve seen all sorts of people take a ride on it. Even saw the late political commentator and broadcaster Anthony Howard take a trip on it once. He smiled that famous gap-toothed grin too as he alighted. I even met the American Actor Brian Dennehy next to the Helter-Skelter on the day that Lee Marvin died. I offered my condolences to his friend. And of course, a mention to the 80’s pop band Swing Out Sister who got chased by a group of screaming fans. Yep, some fun times were had at the Helter Skelter.
I first captured the Helter Skelter with my Google Pixel 3 XL phone, in normal jpg mode. The photo showed real promise. I returned on a cloudy day with my Lumix DSLR and shot this from the perspective you see. It was a fiddly job getting the alignments right (pain in the arse to be honest) it took a long time. But I got there in the end.
What captivates me about the Helter Skelter is the artwork on the outside. The red and blue wavy lines that draw the eye up to the top, get narrower and narrower as they do. Old-school fairground artwork has always had an almost sinister feel to it, definitely not missed here. Almost like it’s enticing the potential rider up the inner staircase and up to the top…
The Look & Feel
I ran a few adjustment layers over the composition in Photoshop. Then started playing around with the look and feel that I worked on with a client’s pictures. The look is from the Grand Theft Auto Vice City game which features outlined images of Miami in the mid-’80s. A look that promotes neon lights and Kodak film skies. I know it doesn’t have a Miami sunset look to it, but the technique I used achieved the look and feel I was after.
Own This Print
Printed on Hahnemühle Printing Paper
Hahnemühle’s authentic Fine Art paper is regarded as top-of-the-line. It is often used for exhibitions and limited-edition art prints. All Hahnemühle papers have been certified by independent institutes to be highly resistant to aging and are vegan, in order to meet the highest requirements.
Also available as a digital download for £10