Photography and family holidays

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Articles have been published on the subject. It is often a matter of discussion among enthusiast photographers. Taking decent photos always requires studying your subject, the environment you are in, and, crucially when it comes to landscapes, waiting for the right conditions. Unfortunately this does not always go down well with family holidays, especially with children who have their own needs and their own routines. Nature often conspires against you, displaying the most fantastic rainbow right when your loved ones are crying for food and there is not even a McDonald in sight... You feel torn, you feel the pain for starving them, but a part of you is thinking about which optical filter to use in order to snatch the image which will potentially fetch hundreds of lucrative downloads on Sadly the ensuing argument can leave scars that take several days to heal... But here is a possible solution: engage them, help them embracing your own hobby! After all photography is fun in many ways, even when the end result is not worthy of the cover of the National Geographic magazine.

On our recent trip to Iceland I took in total 6 camers: two reflex (you need a spare body on your dream holiday!), obviously two smartphones (great to share a shapshot of your location with your friends and family in real time!) and two compact cameras, one per child. Just getting their hands, age 5 and 7, on a fancy piece of electronic equipment that until then was only for grown ups made a world of joy! Then they had a chance to learn what photography is about. That is, to capture a record of something that is special for us. They learn to observe and to take more in, to feel more of what is around them. The results? Can be pretty interesting, as this image here of an Icelandic landscape taken by my 7 years old daughter on her first photography outing shows.

I was impressed to see how they learnt not to just "click click click" everywhere because it's fun playing with daddy's camera, but they individually chose, totally unprompted, to take some images because they looked something special. Of course, they also did a great deal of playing and messing around with the new toys, especially when they learnt they could also record movies and look and lissten to themselves being really silly!!! Nevertheless, it did provide the car entertainment you need when you drive your family for hours across Iceland from one end to the other!

This end of year website update is obviously a lot about Iceland, with a dedicated photo gallery. There are of course new images dotted around the main galleries, particularly in landscapes and cityscapes. The event page has also grown, with the addition in particular of the Bologna street photography gallery. I had the chance during the summer to go on a street photography course, and this is something I would definitely recommend. It's great to learn to spot situations, shapes, objects that make for great photos. And I got to see a lot more of the places where we live, that we often tend to overlook!