Rediscovering Passion

Rediscovering Passion

It’s really no secret I’ve sort of fallen off with my photography. I still take photos when I go out whether it be simply for documenting an occasion or actually trying to regain some of the eagerness I had beforehand. It was only yesterday when I went to take some photos where I was around two years ago that I actually felt like taking photos not ecause I’d been asked or to say ‘I’ve benn here’ but because I wanted to.

It was a great feeling, experimenting with light, trying to improve my skills and also just being out actually enjoying photography again producing good results!

And yes, it’s been around five months since I last posted. Hopefully now I’m feeling some sort of drive I’ll have more to say! Even now I sort of regard this post as a kickstart to many more.

From Eastern Europe With Love

From Eastern Europe With Love

So I recently got back from taking a trip to Croatia for a wedding. The island of Hvar to be specific.

It’s a lovely place with a town (also named Hvar) spanning I’d say around a mile in diameter. Not large at all.

While I didn’t cope with the heat well at all, seeing as even here in the UK I find it hard to tolerate the very random and brief sunny spells that visit, I did adore the sights and culture.

The town itself is very picturesque with cobblestone streets, old stone buildings lined up, narrow alleys and stone steps for streets between the buildings. A welcome change from the wide busy streets filled with cars and red brick that I’m used to.

Compared to my previous trip to Paris however the atmosphere was very different and I noticed it straight away. There were tourists in Hvar as there was in Paris but the attitude of the locals were totally different. I suppose due to the size of the town itself it seemed like everyone knew everyone and seemed to get along really well. In Paris it was sort of like being alone in a large throng of people constantly moving. It made me feel very small and it was sort of exciting just exploring not knowing and knowing that no one would interfere or try to help. In Hvar everyone was the opposite. Friendly, outgoing and offering aid if it seemed like you needed it.

The town square in Hvar is the hub of activity with several food shops lined up side by side using an elevated square within the centre as a space for tables and chairs. I thought it was one massive restraunt at first before I realised the hedges between rows signified the boundaries of each separate establishment.

Aside from this the most noticable difference was at around 1-2PM.

The entire place just seemed to die off.

I remember walking up to a fort on the top of the hill which overlooks the town and coming back down to find pretty much every employee milling around outside their shop and simply taking in the sun. No one was bothering them either.

It was a strange sight to see pretty much the entire town on break as it were when back in the UK or even Paris someone seems to be on shift all the time.

Once the break was over though it was back to business as usual and it was strange to be standing observing the square as the employees went back to work and almost immediately tourists and locals came pouring out of their homes back into the streets to shop and dine.

The entire place is one of outstanding beauty, both in visuals and atmosphere. I do still prefer the business and more temperate climate of Paris however, where I hope to return later this year or early next year.

However, Croatia was definitely an eye opener though in many aspects and I can definitely see why some do love visiting these small and otherwise unknown places that fly under the radar for most people.

I’ve taken several photos along my journey that I’ve put below along with a video put together from footage I took while exploring during my spare time and not so spare time. Enjoy!

Hvar, Croatia – An Adventure In Three Minutes from Alex Holyoake on Vimeo.

New Family Members

New Family Members

I won’t be shy. I’m not a fan of pets. There. I said it. I simply can’t cope with looking after pets for extended periods of time.

Considering that, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that when my sister was gifted a pair of Gerbils (one of which is the most energetic animal I’ve ever seen) for Christmas, I was quick to point out ot my family that I, under no circumstances, would not be taking part in the care of the new family members. Continue reading “New Family Members”

LX & CRT In Paris

LX & CRT In Paris

So I went on a short adventure. Over the last couple of days I’ve been hard at work touring Paris and taking in the sights with my cousin Curtis. We started the afternoon we arrived, making our moves shortly after settling in. Navigating the metro was easier than expected, and felt very similar to London in most aspects.

The sights and views the city has to offer are fantastic. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a city that can offer such breathtaking views and shots. Unfortunately the constant travelling that we did and the infernal stairs we had to climb took our breath away too. I’m not one for long monologues about my travels. I’ll let the audio and visuals do the talking. Be sure to check out my Instagram over the coming weeks though, I’ll be uploading regularly some shots that aren’t even on my Flickr! Continue reading “LX & CRT In Paris”

Selfies At 50mm: A Tragic Tale Of Fail

Selfies At 50mm: A Tragic Tale Of Fail

Just let me tell you how much I deplore ‘selfies’ (of myself of course): A LOT.

There’s just something I dislike about taking photos of myself. Even my Instagram feed is filled with either my photography, or some decent photos of myself (bar the Skylanders woolly hat stint, blame the excitment… or Subway). I guess it’s true that photographers prefer to be behind the lens rather than in front… or maybe it’s just being in front of the smallest lenses, as most are taken with phones..

Either way, I hate them.

I do make exceptions on rare occasions though, usually for laughs and… laughs!

Yesterday was one such occasion. You know how it is. I’d been asked to take photos at a surprise meal, and it went without a hitch (unless you count the flash dying towards the end). Then, the friend who asked me to take the photos asks for a selfie!

Ah. Problem.

You see, the place was dark…so I opted for a 50mm 1.8 with a flash (in other words, it created damn near enough light to rival the sun)… and at a fixed 50mm zoom, you’re getting in pretty close.

Still, I gave it a shot, took the camera from around my neck, stretched out my abnormally long arms (seriously, no sleeves fit me, it’s depressing), and at the sacrifice of looking a little bit crazy, took the photo.

As you can see, it indeed was a ‘Tragic Tale of Fail’.

The Curious Cases of Retro Photography & Shaving

The Curious Cases of Retro Photography & Shaving

So, after a day of swallowing flies by the canal and eventually arriving home, I sat at my desk, transferred my photos, and began processing when a thought came to mind?

What is it with retro photography that seems so appealing?

So I sat… and sat… thinking of all the popular applications that make use of ‘filters’, and came to the conclusion that making a photo ‘wrong’ just seems attractive. It may as well be called brokography. I mean, taking a look at Instagram, Twitter, Oggl, and all the rest just seems to contradict the main point of a photo; to capture and display an image as close to human eye definition as possible, if not better. For years manufacturers have strived to increase photo quality, coming from half-baked fixed ISO film that could go wrong at any moment, to digital CCD’s and processors with the goal to reach the lowest ISO, a decent aperture, and a steady shutter speed.

Yet with the introduction of filters and companies such as VSCO, it seems like the clock just got turned back 30 years. Washed out imagery, distortion, grain, soft imagery, and the general question of ‘what even is this?’ seem to have made a spectacular comeback.

Then as I sat there, I began to look at these filters and effects in an artistic sense and see the point. I’ve used effects like these for a while, not all the time but here and there to sometimes add something fresh, but never really thought about what the different tints, low contrast levels, and other data could potentially mean in conjunction with the subject. For the most part it was just to make photos look pretty, but it became apparent that every subtle tweak of the vibrance, saturation, and other settings actually meant something.

So, next time you see a retro-styled image, take a look and have a think about why the effects have been applied. Sure, not everyone who uses filters actually thinks about them, but in the case they have been added purposely, you may just find some hidden nuggets within the RGB percentages.

In other news, I need a shave… and a hair cut. You can probably tell from the photo, but there’s no harm in re-iterating is there?

Slow Motivation

Slow Motivation

It’s been a slow year thus far, both in terms of time and inspiration. I just seem to have lost the drive to do much apart from live a monotonous college life, with little outside it apart from a few ‘extra curricular activities’. Don’t worry though, it’s back… or getting there at least.

I’ve actually picked up my camera properly with the intention of taking photos in what seems like months, and got back into the editing workflow. The only thing really is the appalling weather (100-mph winds and pretty consistent rain here in the UK), which can come out nice in a picture, but it’s not exactly the best to stand outside in or trek about in for hours with equipment. The desire to take is back though, and so is the desire to actually get something down on this blog apart from posts about my apparent lack of life.

Hey, at least once the end of June rolls around I’ll be free to update as frequently as I like.

Not sure if that’s a good or bad thing.