Lily Wellan : Studying Photography in Cornwall.

Lily Wellan

Do you remember Lily Wellan? We featured her and her photography back last year (2018) and one lucky reader won a photo shoot with this promising young photographer. Well , Lily went away to study soon after and we have been eager to hear how she is settling in to student life. She is obviously a very busy young woman but when we started asking questions about how she was doing ,she generously made the time to send us this bulletin and these, her latest images.

So…. I am currently in Falmouth Uni in Cornwall. I started in September, and it wasn’t as big of a move as I thought it would be. I was definitely ready to leave home! My brother Josh and two of my good friends from Pembs are also here, so I don’t feel too far away.

The coast and landscape feel just the same as Pembs too so I felt very at home sooner than I thought I would. It didn’t take as long as I thought  to make friends here either….you just open up…. be yourself and you’ll attract the right people!

One of the challenges about being an independent adult (he ! he! ) but also what I enjoy the most, is budgeting. It’s hard as it’s something that is quite new to me and living on around 20 pounds a week is challenging in itself!

I am studying B.A. photography. It’s a fun course….very technical and creative. They really push you here to step out of your comfort zone and to work in different ways from what you are used to. Things like, using large format cameras, the different ways of lighting a subject in the studio, and even shooting with lights outside.

You can sign up to different tutorials everyday so you can keep pushing your knowledge constantly. This was also quite challenging for me, making a timetable for myself and planning out my weeks as we only have a couple of compulsory tasks such as morning lectures and meetings where we discuss our work and ideas.

One of my recent projects has been working in the studio, playing with lights, reflection and texture. I explored using reflective surfaces such as a mirror and tin foil and a corner made in the studio using ply wood to add extra depth of shadow into the photo. The mirror was quite bendy and when the light would hit it, it cast these beautiful complex shapes onto the model and the wall behind him.

I really enjoyed working with a male model, he was my partner in the studio and we worked together to create our own ideas. It was really fun and I learned a lot about studio lighting and different photographic techniques. I was inspired by the work of Man Ray for these images whose work I knew beforehand, but his work was really relative in this project as he also explores at shape, line, texture, reflection and contrasts using light and shadow..

I have also been looking at the work of Jack Davison who creates beautiful photos using reflection, light and shadow and a slow shutter speed. His work is quite abstract and ethereal which I really like.

A few students have been working with film creating moving image work which is really inspiring and definitely something I want to explore in the future, but at the moments there is a lot technically I want to work on with different cameras, different types of film colour and large format.

Honestly the list really is endless ! There is a lot of opportunity here! And that’s something I really love about being here but it’s also something I find difficult. Some people really get stuck in and are constantly producing amazing work and exploring new cameras and techniques, and I would rather take my time in figuring out the basics. The college are very accommodating with that, but I do find it to be quite fast paced a lot of the time. I guess is a good thing in a way…keeps you motivated. The more work I produce the more motivated I am for sure!

There is a lot of beauty in Cornwall. Having a boyfriend who lives very close and who drives is great! I love exploring different areas of the coast and small towns. It’s an inspiring place to be a young photographer.

I miss my animals…my cat and my dog, but there are lots of campus cats which is amazing. I miss friends and my family as well but have lots of plans for summer to spend time with them all.

I have a few Festivals booked too which is very exciting. I can’t wait to get all glittery and dance in the sun to some music. I also miss my bed, I have a single bed in uni and nothing will beat my amazing super comfy double bed at home!

Overall its a great experience here, the night life is good and have made some really good friends.

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