Project 3: Exercise 2 ~ Holiday Photos

This exercise asks us to focus on Holiday photos, specifically the motivation for taking them, the extent to which we considered;lighting, viewpoint and composition. It also asks us to pick out examples of images which are more than just a record of place, things that take us back to that moment. To consider what makes these images special.

I’ve chosen quite a few images, which I guess isn’t a surprise given I had large volume of images to chose from in the first place. I’ve been trying to think about my motivation to take pictures on holiday in general and I’ve got a few thoughts. Sometimes I do go a little crazy and take lots of photos, particularly if the town or place has an interesting feel, colourful shops, interesting building designs, examples of type in everyday life, people that seem interesting, these things catch my eye. Other times my motivation for taking photos is to capture a moment, something funny that happened, the people we visited to travelled with, a day trip.

I must admit sometimes I get distracted by trying to find things to photograph, almost like evidence of having been somewhere, which is a little sad, because I miss out on actually just enjoying the moment.

The images that follow are from two holidays to Cornwall on separate years, we’ve been with the same friends both years which is nice and also might explain some of the consistency in subject choices. I’ll add my thoughts about the considerations asked for in the exercise underneath each photograph…








The photo above is really an image that takes me back to the holiday. My friend and I (pictured above), both have to follow gluten free diets, so we were really excited to find an ice cream shop in Cornwall that did gluten free ice cream cones and some dairy free ice creams. The picture capture our delight in eating those ice creams! Technically I think what works well here is the depth of field, we are in focus but the background is blurry. I also think the colours have a nice contrast here, the blue and red/orange against each other.







The image above is another moment capture – we were by a river which had lots of these Autumn leaves floating through it and I just liked the sense of movement and the coloured autumn leaves, I took a photo simply to record the moment. It’s probably an image that’s specific to my tastes so I don’t expect many other people to think its significant or special.







Another photo which seems to be a balance between capturing something of the holiday and something specific to my interests is above. I really love autumn as a season and collecting conkers is a bit of a seasonal pastime. In one sense it’s not a remarkable image – I could take photographs of conkers any-time during the autumn. What makes it special to me, is that it’s my husband who found them for me, and I took the photo of him carrying them, it reminds me of that walk. I did have to think a little about lighting here – it was a grey day, so I upped the exposure by opening out the aperture further for the photo.







The photo above is one of my favourites, again its about a specific moment. We were at a National Trust house and this little robin kept following us around, singing its little song. I took several photos of the robin, but I like this one because you can see just how close he was to us, my friend was sitting on the chair he landed on. Compositionally this photo was quite deliberate but rushed, I had to take pictures fairly quickly before the robin flew away.







The image above is one of the most thought about images, I deliberately chose to focus on the brightest red leaf which looked like a heart on the stone wall. It was more about capturing something unique in nature, in the moment as we were passing through a village.







Another image featuring leaves is seen above, it’s a bit of a theme running through the photos. I guess thematically the photo’s have a common focus on autumnal things.







In the photo above I thought carefully about catching the people walking down the hill in an area where they seemed framed by the overgrown trees and bushes around them. I guess it’s a thought out image that’s trying to catch a simple walk in the countryside.


In the photo opposite I tried to think about composition – taking the photo in portrait and slightly zoomed in adds to the sense of narrow streets and pathways we saw all around small village in Cornwall. It’s not a remarkable photo but it captures for me a little impression of what the places we wandered round felt like.





The image below was quite time/place sensitive. In the early mornings the light had a misty quality to it, and I wanted to try and take a photograph of that so I got up a little early and took some photos from higher up. I thought about making sure there was something in the foreground and the landscape, fields, in the background. Other than that there wasn’t much more thought to the photograph.







I didn’t take the picture below, my husband did, but I’ve included it as its a good reminder of what we did on the holiday. He’s captured a nice moment between my friend and I, talking as we walked through a town.







One final image below, of an artists/ceramicists studio we came across whilst visiting another National Trust house. It’s not perfect, it’s quite zoomed in but I like it because it reminds me of the find, and I like the notion of a having a small country-side studio. Perhaps more thought could’ve gone into making the image better compositionally, but I still like the subject.







On the subject of photographs on holiday using mobile phones, ipads etc, I don’t really take photo’s with these things on holiday. I’m not opposed to them, I just think the best quality photographs come from good equipment and something you have to take time to learn how to use. I think camera’s on phones can be a really helpful tool to capture something, say an item of clothing or number on a poster that you want to refer back to.

I actually tried to shoot some photo’s during one of the holidays to Cornwall using a film camera. I wrote about this in more detail here. I enjoyed not knowing exactly what the results were instantly, and having to chose carefully what I would make my subject. The results were interesting, I had the photos developed by Boots, because I don’t have any dark room equipment, and the results were grainy, quite muted colour photographs. But I kind of liked that quality when compared to sharp, clean images I normally see.

Anyway that’s enough on this subject.


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