My Own Family: Holiday Snaps of a family photographer

As a family photographer on shoots, I usually take out two great cameras (always pays to have a spare in case you drop one, and it’s great to have two different lenses ready to go at a moments notice) and about three lenses with fast autofocus systems. I’m usually out for several hours at a time, long enough to let my shoulders recover after a busy beach shoot with those heavy cameras! I don’t shoot landscapes ever really, unless there’s people in it and it’s sunny. However on my own family holidays I break all these rules.

On my own holidays, I’ve only taken a manual focus lens for many years, no fast modern autofocus, which would allow me to take shots and not lose track of where my family have got too! I generally take one lens, a manual focus perspective control 24mm tilt-shift lens. This is a lens type used in architecture mainly, and is generally only used when mounted on a tripod. If you want to make photography difficult and martyr yourself in the process you take such a lens, and if you’re really silly you then also take heavy Neutral density filters to cut out all the light so that you have to take images at really slow shutter speeds requiring good sturdy camera holding skills.

However this is the point, I see the photographic challenge as a bit of an adventure. I was looking for blurred movement of people, raging rivers (it always rains heavily for us on UK holidays), contrasts in colour, tone and movement. I love using the tilt-shift as it makes the viewer look at what the photographer wants them to see, can connect spatially things that have half a mile between them, and is just a lens that allows you to be more creative than other lenses.

If you’re into your photography, buy a tilt-shift lens, and if you hand hold it, holding your breath, don’t take took long to create your compositions, you too may spend a walking holiday catching up with your family 🙂 As for the Peak District, it’s as far away from the flat lands of Norfolk as you can be, has so many great walks in a tiny area comparatively, great caves, people, food and places to visit, and when I was younger I spent a great summer dry stone walling there so always love to get back.

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LONDON - PARISOLIVIAphil barnes photographer logophil barnes photographer logo norfolk uk