Category Archives: holiday

Wow! Canada!

No one really wants to see someone else’s travel (holiday) photography, in which case, click away from this post now!

Vancouver skyline Trevor Aston Photography

Reaching an age milestone (I won’t see 39 again) we decided to take a family trip to Canada. We had high hopes for the trip, and weren’t disappointed.

We loved Canada, the word ‘awesome’ should be reserved for describing it. Not just the incredible landscape, but the wonderful people of Canada, so friendly and welcome. We were never left to doubt our welcome!

We travelled with Canadian Affair

We loved riding at the Montana Hill Guest Ranch

The Eagle’s Nest at Spences Bridges, BC was an amazing place to stay

Please don’t leave your holiday pictures languishing on the memory card, share them!


Caravan, Camping or Motorhome?

Caravan Camping Motorhome Show 2015 NECCaravan Camping Motorhome Show 2015I can’t find my award for ‘Best Broadcast 1995’. I wanted to show a picture of it just prove that I’d won it.  ‘Best Broadcast on the Subject of Caravanning’, awarded by the Caravan Club.  Caravan Camping Motorhome Show 2015Actually I think it was the only broadcast on the subject of caravanning in 1995, the 100th anniversary of the mobile home first being used for recreation.

We were lent a motorhome as we made the BBC Radio 2 programme and drove up to Norfolk to attend the Caravan Club annual rally at Holkham Hall.  We loved sitting majestically above the other traffic in the M11 jam.  I’ve always looked on enviously at motorhomes swanning onto the campsite, hooking-up and opening a bottle while I struggled with the confusion of tent-poles and bents pegs.Caravan Camping Motorhome Show 2015

The National Exhibiton Centre in Birmingham is staging the Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show 2015 this week (17-22 February) so it seems like a good chance to compare the three means of access to what the show catalogue calls ‘the great outdoors’.

Caravan Camping Motorhome Show 2015Caravan Camping Motorhome Show 2015Walking into Hall 4 at the NEC and as far as the eye could see were motorhomes, big and small, some sleek, some bulbous, some with flip-up tops but all full of holiday promise and lovely soft-furnishings. Just as I’ve never towed a caravan on the road, neither have I ever driven anything bigger than a Transit van, but I was here to imagine what it might be like to have either one of these homes-from-home. Caravan Camping Motorhome Show 2015 So I went in search of the most luxurious motorhome I could find.  This turned into ‘most expensive’ and I got to £124,810 for a giant 6-wheeled Hymer.  Sadly I wasn’t allowed in, probably they can spot those who can only ever dream!

Caravan Camping Motorhome Show 2015

I think this must be the servants quarters

With my sights lowered I moved onto the ‘Brownhills’ stand, a dealer from Newark in Nottinghamshire.  Their long stock list offered enough berths to solve the housing crisis.  I liked the smaller vehicles the best, but I could just imagine arriving at a site, getting settled,  then realising we’d forgotten to get milk and having to pack everything away.  Caravan Camping Motorhome Show 2015“That would be annoying,” admitted Martin, the Brownhill rep. “But it doesn’t happen, at least not more than once!”  Nevertheless, unhitching the car from a caravan must be more convenient I suggested.  “A lot of people upgrade to a motorhome from a caravan, not many go back!”

Caravan Camping Motorhome Show 2015

So cosy it makes you want to lie down for a little sleep

Caravan Camping Motorhome Show 2015

with practise you wouldn’t need to get out of bed…

I asked some people looking at caravans if they would consider camping in a tent and they laughed.  “With a caravan you’ve got everything there you could need.” There seems to be a bit of a hierarchy. “And if you’re in a tent and you get bad weather your holiday’s ruined.”  I admitted that I’d never towed and didn’t fancy it.  They insisted you soon got the hang of it, and then pointed me outside to the free ‘towing experience’ being run by the Caravan and Camping Club.

Caravan Camping Motorhome Show 2015

George, my patient instructor

Caravan Camping Motorhome Show 2015

hardly, I mean not a scratch on it!

I couldn’t resist and they’d been lent some nice Volvos.  Once they’d inspected my driving licence and rung up the DVLC to check it was clean I was introduced to George, my instructor.  George invited me to look down the side of the car and to take in just how much wider the van was.  He explained that while you turn later when you’re towing, you signal and then brake sooner.  I realised that the combination of car and caravan are quite substantial and I’d better concentrate.  We trundled around the NEC roads and out onto the motorway.  I was very aware of how I was driving, for once not on autopilot. Twenty minutes later, with no incidents I thanked George and returned to the exhibition hall.
Caravan Camping Motorhome Show 2015
I’d seen caravans and motorhomes, but so far no camping.  I found it down some steps tucked away in one one of the smaller halls.  I asked salesperson Alan if camping was just for the poor people.  His eyebrows raised at the suggestion. “With camping you can just throw everything into the car and you’re away.” I pointed out you can do that with a caravan and motorhome.  “Well you can, but you can’t take a van onto the sort of places I like to camp.”  He has a point, but I’ve hiked and camped; it was hard work.  “I just don’t like towing, and I can’t afford a motorhome.” He added.
Caravan Camping Motorhome Show 2015Much as I tried to stir it up between the caravaners, motor-homers and campers they all remained respectful of other people’s choices.  “It just depends on who you are and what you want to do.”  They all have at least one thing in common, a love of ‘the great outdoors’.  And those who love their caravans and motorhomes also seem to share a love of wood veneer.

Trevor Aston works in Richmond, Southwest London and Surrey as a portrait, event and editorial photographer.

Do better family photography on holiday

family in Central Park, New YorkOf the pictures I took in New York on our family holiday, the one I like the best is taken on the rocks in Central Park. It was still quite early on our first morning, we can’t quite believe we really are there and not just dreaming ourselves to be in some film or sitcom.  The camera’s sitting on the ground using the self-timer.

New York Street cornerI brought back several hundred pics of skylines, towering buildings, venders, fire trucks, cabs, cops, this street and that avenue.  Now when I look at them I think, so what?  They’re just pictures of New York, like everyone else’s, they’re not knew, they don’t capture our experience of New York. (We loved it by the way)  So this year I’m determined to get more pictures of my family; it’s probably the last time we’ll be four. Our kids are already too old to be coming on holiday with their parents but we’re paying so enough said.

family on the Spanish Steps

Not just the Spanish Steps in Rome, us enjoying ice cream on the Spanish Steps.

Views are to be looked at and experienced, not photographed by me.  Well, unless there’s a family member in the frame – all you tourists standing on Westminster Bridge getting a picture of yourself with Big Ben? Now I understand!  My family is no keener on being photographed than any other, so I’ll have to negotiate. I’ll agree when I can take close-ups so they can be prepared.   I will ignore the shot of the Taj Mahal over the water, but I shall make my son pretend to push up the leaning tower of Pisa.  These are not going to be award-wining portraits, but they will be portraits of our family at a particular point in our lives together – they will be portraits with meaning.

 


 

mum on beach with parasol copyI was surprised how few pictures I had taken of my mum, only finding out when it was too late!  I’m so happy that I found this unique picture of my mum from the mid 1930s.

 

 

 

 

messing around in Moma New York We all enjoyed our visit to MOMA, we had fun and this picture reflects it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

New York_0250 What to do when you’ve already seen the film? Photograph your family!

 

 

 

 

Frensham Pond_DSC7307_1709 We love every bit of our kids, so not every picture needs a face in it.

 

 

 

 

Brighton-24

They won’t thank you for taking pictures that make them look like an idiot!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brighton-23No one looks good with their tongue out!

 

 

 

 

Trevor Aston works in Richmond, Southwest London and Surrey as a portrait, event and editorial photographer.