Love in relationships

To start with I’d like to say some words explaining what does love in relationships mean for me. It’s not just passion between new partners or a habit for those who’ve been together for years. For me it isn’t directly related to emotions. For me love is when you wish someone to be happy and you want to do utmost to achieve that. Sometimes it means calling father to say you love him or giving a hug to your sibling. Sometimes it means going abroad ASAP because your best friend needs an advice and support or vanishing from someone’s life because you’re an obstacle to his or her happiness. But sometimes love means just silently being beside the one you love whether it’s your parent, child, partner, friend or even a pet.

So for my Studio Practice project I decided to explore love in relationships and to remind myself and others that we should value our close ones. And here are photographs I took regarding this topic. For all of them I used a camera with a cropped sensor (factor 1.6) and a 50mm lens.

These ↑ are some of the first images I’ve captured for the project. I actually like only first 2 of them, because the third one has no focus, but it’s so hilarious that I just couldn’t ignore it. However, I’ve concluded: don’t want to miss out good image – learn to focus quickly! I had to use high ISO, large aperture and quite low shutter speed because of very poor lighting.

  • The first image was taken while a mother was dressing-up her son for the nursery. I like the photo because it’s very tender and hart-warming. It has ISO-1600, f/4.5 to keep both faces in focus and shutter speed 1/40 sec.
  • The second photograph was taken on another day just after child’s birthday and shows an uncle playing with his nephew. He has just presented a new toy and shows how to play with it. ISO-1600, f/1.8 to focus on a child only, 1/25 sec.
  • The third one is continuation of the game. Maximum ISO-3200, f/1.8, 1/100 sec. and, as I’ve mentioned, I didn’t manage to focus.


This ↑ photograph was made at my friends’ place. And I like it a lot. It seems to be ordinary and motionless, but it reflects relationship very well. I look at the photo and understand that it’s a normal calm condition for the couple and a usual pose for the girl resting on her partner’s chest. What I’m not really happy with is the perspective. If my fixed lens or the wall behind me had allowed me to change the perspective, I’d capture a little bit more of a scene. Because of poor light I used ISO-6400, f/4.5, 1/50 sec. In the result I had a lot (!!!) of noise in the photo, but tried to reduce it in post production by blurring some areas.

Who sad cats don’t love?! Well, I don’t know if they do, but I do know we can love them. I like all of these ↑ photographs because you can see these two enjoy being together. However I choose the third one as the best and here is why:

  • A luck of lighting forced me to use similar settings again, so for the first photo they were ISO-800, f/3.5, 1/15 sec.
  • For the second I used the same settings, ISO-800, f/3.5, 1/15 sec.
  • And here my fellow students enter the game 🙂 We had a group discussion about ower projects in the college and I’ve been advised either to move my project to the studio or to take an external flashgun and to bounce it from ceilings or walls. I didn’t want to photograph in the studio because I’d have to take my “subjects” out from their comfort zones and to lose the feeling of home. So I started to read about flash bouncing techniques and borrowed a flashgun several times from the college. At least I was able to use smaller ISO and faster speed! The third image: ISO-200, f/4.5, 1/60 sec. Goodbye grainy images 🙂 The photograph by itself is nice, I like to see these two cuddling up to each other.

Here ↑ are two lovely siblings and the same girl with her cat.

  • Sister tickling her younger brother. I’ve chosen this photograph because of happy expressions on their faces. You can see the boy enjoying the game, he doesn’t try to run away or to stop his sister. Here I focused on his face because he’s in the center of the situation and he’s the one whom the sister entertains. ISO-1600, f/7.1, fast speed to capture the movement – 1/320 sec.
  • The next photograph shows the girl hugging her cat and even talking to it. The cat doesn’t look very happy, but the girl surely is. And yes, that’s a side of love, so don’t move, Boo, and be patient 🙂 ISO-1600, f/4.0 was enough to keep them both in focus, 1/1000 sec. to capture that cat.

The last three photographs were taken in a family of newborn boy, he’s less than 3 months old on the photos, but very handsome already 🙂

  • The first one was taken when the father was changing son’s nappy. I like the way they look at each other and the way father is holding his son’s hand. And that’s the beginning of their life-long communication. ISO-800, f/6.3 to keep them both in the focus, 1/50 sec.
  • That’s one of my favorite photographs from the project. Mother looks at her child holding his hand, it reminds the previous image. So maybe this habit of holding hands is an expression of love in their family? Here I focused on the girl’s face because you can see she’s full of love and that makes her the subject of the project. ISO-400, f/6.3 1/50 sec.

For all the photographs I used quite a large aperture and close-up perspective to focus on the subject and to convey the mood of the people. A little bit warm colours to create the atmosphere of coziness.

In this project I showed several kinds of love in relationships and only a few ways of expression of love. I belive this subject can’t be fully researched, but should be explored again and again.

After I moved to UK I realized how important my family and friends are for me. I think most of the people who move away from their close ones feel the same loneliness and miss their loved ones a lot. But there’s something great about it all as it’s a chance to rethink relationships and to start to appreciate them as never before.


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