Coffin Lids on a Photography Holiday?

Surely not! You didn’t photograph coffin lids on a photography Holiday?

Well, yes we did, actually. In fact we photographed all sorts of amazing subjects during our latest Photography Holiday in Menorca.

The photographers remarked on the huge variety of photo opportunities they enjoyed and the extraordinary locations I took them to.

We found the coffin lid when we crossed over to Isla del Rey – also known as Hospital Island, or Bloody Island. It’s just a small island out in the middle of Mahon Harbour, and I’ve been taking photographers there for some 8 years now.

The British built a hospital there way back in the early 1700s for the sick and injured sailors and soldiers of the Royal Navy’s Mediterranean Fleet. The hospital was in use by the Spanish military until the 1960s and then it fell into disrepair. This year marks the 300th anniversary of the hospital.

Local Menorcan volunteers have been working to restore the place and we have been visiting and photographing it regularly. The volunteers take us across to the island by boat – a trip that takes only a couple of minutes. We are always made very welcome and after exploring and taking lots of photographs, we are invited to a slap-up breakfast of Menorcan food, wine and beer before climbing into the boat for the short return trip.

Photographing a coffin maker during a photography holiday in Menorca

Great light, great subject - and I even like the half-hidden photographer peeping around the doorway. Photograph by Bill Hammerton

We always make a point of photographing the craftsmen in the workshops. The people are usually busy restoring everything from old wooden window frames to fearsome surgical instruments.

photographers on holiday

Bill Hammerton (left) - the one with the splendid headgear - and another member of the group, Jeff Marshall, during their Photography Holiday. Oh, and that's our assistant Laura in the background

When we went into the workshops this time, there was a chap restoring a coffin – not a photo opportunity to be missed. He was very kind, and invited me to lie down in it if I wanted. I refused politely.

Bill Hammerton took this photograph, which at first I thought would be a whole lot better without the other member of the group peeping round the doorway in the background. Then I started to see the irony of the shot… and I now believe the photograph is a whole lot better for having the photographer in there.

I love the expression on the man’s face. I love the lighting – a good example of Bill taking on board my instruction in the use of sidelight – and I love the setting and I love that half-hidden figure taking pictures.

Altogether I think the picture is a real winner.

So yes, we do photograph coffin lids on our Photography Holidays in Menorca – all part of the wide variety of ‘live’ subjects we enjoy.

Just two places available on the September Photography Holiday – BOOK NOW

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