British Grand Prix 2019 - Formula 2 - 'Chasing the Dream'

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This year at the British Grand Prix I had the pleasure of photographing the stills during the making of a four part documentary about the young and aspiring Formula 2 drivers called ‘Chasing the Dream’ due to air at the end of August on F1TV, it will then be available on other platforms which are to be confirmed.

The idea for the documentary is the brainchild of Martin Turner, former head of F1 Sky Sports and Sky Europe - keen to tell the story about the often forgotten Formula 2 championship and the journey the young drivers take to realise their dreams to become Formula 1 racing drivers and world champions - working with Rory Child from Golden Child TV, Martin is making this a reality.

To read more about this exciting commission click on the ‘Read More’ button below which redirects you to my automotive and lifestyle photography ‘Stella’ website where this blog is based.

Thank you!

Stella

 



Oxted Gasholder - Courtyard Gardens Build - July 2019

The sheet piling is taking place for the construction of all 3 Blocks, A, B & C, this photograph was taken on 17 July 2019,

The sheet piling is taking place for the construction of all 3 Blocks, A, B & C, this photograph was taken on 17 July 2019,

Welcome to this months July blog about the progress at the St William, Courtyard Gardens development here in Oxted, this blog is number 7, previous ones can be found here.

For my regular readers and locals, you will be aware that the gas holder that once stood on this site for over 50 years was deconstructed earlier this year, its removal has made way for the construction of 111 luxury apartments due for completion summer 2021, my regular monthly blogs will keep you updated about the progress over the next two years.

This month I attended the site on July 17th, one of the hottest days of the year and the ground was dry and relatively easy to walk on, which compared to my visit in June when there was so much rain fall it had to be pumped away and the ground was very wet and slippery.

My past visits had all taken place on overcast and cold days, it was interesting to visit on a day when the sun was beating down as it made me realise how exposed the site is and how the people working on site need to have regular breaks and drink lots of water to prevent dehydration, I felt drained and I had only been on site for 45 minutes before 9.30am!

Machinery and operatives working on the insertion of the sheet piling, during July 2019.

Machinery and operatives working on the insertion of the sheet piling, during July 2019.

The apartments are being built in 3 separate Blocks - A, B & C - Block C which sits north of the former Johnsdale car park has had the sheet piling inserted.

At this moment in time the crane and the rig are being moved to the top section of the site nearer to the railway station to allow for the sheet piling of Blocks A & B, this process will continue until mid August when my next visit is due. A new contractor will be brought in after this to do the foundation bearing piles which will continue through to the end of September.

The photographs I have taken (the sunshine makes all the difference) below show and tell you more…

Where possible the concrete broken out from the base of the gasholder has now been crushed and reused on site to form the piling mat, additional crushed concrete is brought in as well.

The Echo Barrier used on site is scientifically developed by leading acoustic engineers, acoustic barriers are the most effective temporary noise control solutions on the market. They typically reduce noise energy by up to 99%, and are lightweight, weatherproof and adaptable to any setting.

Piling is an essential part of building works to ensure strong foundations and prevent the risk of any future subsidence or ground movement.

If you are interested to know more about purchasing an apartment, follow this link to Robert Leech, the Estate Agents for this development by St William, part of the Berkeley Homes Group

To keep up to date with my blogs and to sign-up to my monthly round-up newsletter please scroll down to the ‘Subscribe to Our Newsletter’ button below to enter your contact email address.

I’ll be back next month with further updates, watch this space for further developments.

Thanks for reading, bye for now.

Stella

 

SMS Creative Photography - Update - Leaving 83 Station Road East, Oxted

Since I was last in touch in June I have been extra busy with commissions, which have taken me away from the studio and delayed my blog writing, this tied in with moving out of my lovely premises at 83 Station Road East, Oxted, means I have pushed back the leaving date to Saturday 10 August 2019.

Firstly, to update you, during the first weekend of July I was away selling my limited edition automotive photographs at the Parallax Art Fair from the exhibition ‘A Drive Down Memory Lane’ which was a great success! I am selling the original ‘artists proofs’ at a reduced cost for the car lover in your life, a few are currently on display in the studio window if you would like to purchase one or two - this link to my ‘Stella’ website tells you more about the collection.

Secondly, the following week, I was away photographing during the British Grand Prix at Silverstone (you may remember I was there last year photographing Formula 1), photographing stills for a fascinating four-part documentary about the Formula 2 drivers called ‘Chasing the Dream’ - due to air mid August on Sky TV, I’ll keep you posted on this one and will share my blog in the coming weeks once I have finished editing the 2,000 plus images! If this is a subject that interests you, you may well want to sign up to my blogs via my Lifestyle and Automotive website ‘Stella’ here.

Thirdly, at the studio I have been photographing portraits for headshots and family photo-shoots, if this is something you would like to do before I move on please do get in touch, this link tells you more about the headshot service offered. You may also want to call in for passport photographs before Saturday 10 August as I will no longer be offering this service after my relocation.

Last but not least, my monthly visit to the former Oxted gas holder site took place last week on a gloriously hot and sunny day, my blog about the progress will be out at the end of the month, it really is beginning to take shape!

Just to let you know the studio will be closed on Saturday 3 August as we celebrate the wedding of a much- valued former member of staff Ben Rosser, incase you are wondering, yes, I will be photographing it!

If you would like to know more about my relocation, this previous blog tells you more, but please don’t worry I’m not disappearing, just finding a new way of working more efficiently.

To keep in touch with my regular updates please follow me on the social media icons below, and to subscribe to my monthly newsletters click on the ‘Subscribe To Our Newsletter’ button also below.

Thank you for your much valued custom over the past 23 years, I could not have got this far without you, I look forward to sharing my next chapter with you…

Stella

The shop front 1997 right and 2019 left.

The shop front 1997 right and 2019 left.



 

Oxted Gasholder - Courtyard Gardens Build - June 2019

On site at the Courtyard Gardens housing development for 111 luxury apartments.

On site at the Courtyard Gardens housing development for 111 luxury apartments.

Welcome to this months June blog about the St William Courtyard Gardens development here in Oxted, this blog is number 6, previous ones can be found here.

For my regular readers and locals, you will be aware that the gas holder that once stood on this site for over 50 years is no more, its removal has made way for the construction of 111 luxury apartments due for completion summer 2021, my regular monthly blogs will keep you updated about the progress.

The buildings works are beginning to take shape, the previous two bases where the gas holders once sat are less visible now. This photograph taken on 11 June 2019.

The buildings works are beginning to take shape, the previous two bases where the gas holders once sat are less visible now. This photograph taken on 11 June 2019.

Moving on…

I look forward to my monthly site visits because each time I photograph I can see a vast difference that never ceases to amaze me, and this time was no exception. I know very little (maybe nothing) about the building process and find it fascinating to see the different processes involved, from the excavation, to the soil examination, to the air purifiers, that intermittently blast a mist of a fragrance that is reminiscent of freshly ironed cotton sheets, into the atmosphere to dissipate any potential soil odours. Vibration mechanisms are in place to monitor in real time the noise pollution so it is kept to a minimum and dust machines are in place to settle any excess from spreading.

The remaining rim of the base of the gas holder is over one metre wide and deep, during the removal process we have heard a tapping sound during working hours (my studio backs onto the site), which has been the result of the gradual destruction of the concrete to make way for the building works to take place. Some of the hardcore on site is recycled for use during the building process.

The photographs below show the preparation of the ground works before the sheet piling takes place next week during a six week period. There is no longer gas on the site as all essential gas equipment has been relocated, but occasionally people may notice some smells as the next phase of groundworks begins, but hopefully the air fragrance will be sufficient to destroy this. There will also be increased noise and vibration during this period. I will be on site in July to photograph this next stage.

The photographs below give you a sense of what it is like.

Each time I am on site I meet a different team of contractors as the development grows, but the two people from St William, who have remained constant are Joe Pallister the Project Manager and Ness Kingham, the lovely Site Manager, who accompanies me on my visits and tells me more about the build process each time, very educational. On this particular occasion the heavy rain over the past few weeks was one of the topics of conversation as it had made the site very muddy and slippery, a pump was needed to drain the excess water that had collected at the lowest point, it looks like we have experienced the wettest June on record!

The photographs show different machinery that is required on site to excavate the soil, move rubble and prepare the surface for the next stage. What once looked like a familiar space to me no longer feels or looks how l once remembered it.

If you would like to keep up to date and sign-up to my monthly round-up newsletter please scroll down to the ‘Subscribe to Our Newsletter’ button below to enter your contact email address.

I’ll be back next month with further updates, watch this space for further developments.

Thanks for reading, bye for now.

Stella

 

Exciting Times Ahead for SMS Creative Photography

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Exciting news for SMS Creative Photography following on from my January blog about my changes for 2019.


As many of you know I started my photography business on the high street here in Oxted on 10th February 1997. Since then I have forged so many wonderful relationships with you, photographing your weddings, your children and families and other wonderful life and business events, because of you my business has grown beyond my wildest dreams and my commissions have taken me far and wide and continue to evolve with diversity.


As previously mentioned my own family have flown the nest and other exciting opportunities beckon, that I now find myself in a position to change the way I work and to move my lovely business off the high street and adapt with the 21st century to work remotely, read on to find out more…

My passion for my work as a photographer is pulling me in different exciting directions with continued local commissions and photographing at events such as the British Grand Prix. Further afield I will be embarking on my role as a cruise ship speaker, to enlighten and entertain passengers with presentations about photographing at the British Grand Prix 2018 and other commissions in the world of Formula One and high profile motoring events. My first cruise will be later this year, travelling worldwide once or twice a year on luxury ocean liners such as Fred.Olsen, Cunard and Royal Caribbean to name a few, I will keep you posted about my activities.

As a result of this, I will be giving up my premises to allow a new and exciting business to enjoy the town in August 2019.

So this isn't au revoir, arrivederci or even goodbye, it's just a different way of working where I can use my time and expertise more efficiently and above all continue to deliver a personal and professional service and keep a foothold in the town at a new location as and when required.

I have been very fortunate to have been invited to have the use of a meeting room during the week at The Investment Boutique by my lovely customers Richard Arris and Helena Bakunowicz, who took over the premises opposite the Oxted Little Waitrose store last year, The Investment Boutique is a trading name of Raymond James Investment Services Limited.
Richard and Helena had their spacious new office refurbished to a very high standard last September and I thank them for this opportunity. I am very much looking forward to being able to arrange appointments for post location photo-shoot viewings here and a pop-up studio too, with the added benefit of on-site parking, what more could I ask for! I will also be exhibiting some limited edition photographs on their walls.

The studio phone number will remain the same and I am happy to visit you in the comfort of your own home for photo-shoots and consultations about any projects you may have in mind that you would like to discuss.

I will be increasing my online media presence to keep you updated with my activities and will, of course, continue with my blogs for both SMS Creative Photography and the other branch of my business ‘Stella’ www.stellascordells.com which has been growing steadily in the background over the past 6 years with lifestyle and commercial commissions outside of Oxted.

Please feel free to follow me on my social media platforms; Instagram @stellasms & @stellascordellis - Twitter @stellasms and Facebook SMSCreativePhotography and SScordellis

Thank you for your much-valued custom over the years, I can’t wait to start this new and exciting chapter with you.

 Stella

 





Oxted Gasholder - Courtyard Gardens Build - May 2019

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Welcome to my fifth blog about the construction process of Courtyard Gardens on the former gasholder site here in Oxted.

For those of you who live nearby and are regular readers of my blogs you will know that the gasholder no longer exists and during the past few weeks the building works have started to take shape.

The demolition of the gasholder and clearing of the site is complete ready for the building process to commence, this photograph is how the site looked on 15 April 2019.

The demolition of the gasholder and clearing of the site is complete ready for the building process to commence, this photograph is how the site looked on 15 April 2019.

St William, who specialise in redeveloping redundant gas holder sites across London and the South East has now taken over as principal contractor. The project team have now moved to the site and into the new cabins during the building process.

Friday 17th May was my first time back on site since the demolition came to an end last month and it felt like I was somewhere familiar but unfamiliar at the same time. I could see and feel the layout changing, the ground felt different, there were new faces on site, new machinery and the access areas were different and the two-storey cabins were a hive of activity.

I could really get a strong feel for the size of the land and the vastness of the build and the works that have to be done to accommodate the three blocks that will combine to make the final housing development, delivering 111 one, two and three bedroom apartments nestled in private communal landscaped gardens.

Read on to see and find out more…

The first thing you notice is the construction site entrance gates at Nursery Way have been installed and timber hoarding has progressed around the perimeter.

Groundworks have begun, starting with the removal of the tarmac from what was Johnsdale car park and the contractor is continuing to break out the concrete gasholder walls and base. Once all the concrete has been removed from the gasholder it will be processed ready for re-use on site for formation of the piling platforms.

Air quality, noise and vibration monitoring have been set up around the site by external environmental consultants which provides real-time information on the activities being undertaken.

I am finding it fascinating to photograph the building process and enjoy learning so much about it. So pleased I have captured the process from the beginning because I am already finding it hard to remember what it looked like this time last year, if it’s the same for you, you can refer back to my previous 4 blogs that started in January to refresh your memory.

During the course of the next 24 months I intend delivering one blog a month with progress photographs from my site visits - with thanks to Ness from St William for escorting and accommodating me, my cameras and my curiosity on site.

If you would like to keep up to date and sign-up to my monthly round-up newsletter please scroll down to the ‘Subscribe to Our Newsletter’ button below to enter your contact email address.

I’ll be back next month with further updates, watch this space.

Enjoy the bank holiday weekend!

Bye for now.

Stella