60 Photos of Relaxation at its Purest

Over Labor Day, many of you went to work with your cameras to capture the ultimate moment of R&R.

Lead Shot - 'Definitions May Differ'

The Seekonk Speedway annual end-of-summer Thrill Show. Not far from Boston, but beyond the suburbs lies the Action Track of the East. When you're in the crowd, you don't care about the project deadlines, how the economy is doing, or whether you left the oven on at home. You have one thing on your mind: watching cars get ****ed up. Go ahead, embrace your inner red neck. Cheer when the pools of fluid that have collected on the track throughout the night begin to ignite from the sparks of the car that lost a front tire; Cheer when that bumper that's been dragged around the track finally lets go; Cheer when there's one car left, rocking back and forth as the checkered flag drops. Just cheer - you don't have a care in the world. Nikon D90, 18-200 VR-II, 36mm, f/5.0, 1/25th sec, ISO1600
[Ed note: If fishtailing around a field of asphalt and mud in attempts to decimate other cars/people isn't R&R, I don't know what is.]
-Ryan Powers


Why Every Couple Needs a Fulltime Photographer

With a large music festival and video game convention in town, relaxation for me meant escaping the crowds and sound. This is a random couple (and seagull) who had the same idea, watching the setting sun finally break through a cloudy day. I used Camera RAW for the fire sky. Shot was taken with a Nikon D90 and 11-16mm Tokina @f18, 1/80, ISO 160, 11mm.
[Ed note: I hope that I looked this adorable last weekend with my wife on the beaches of Michigan.]
-Nick Sprankle

70s Postcard


Here is Napili Beach on Maui. I didn't want to come home. The water is warm and the sun is hot. Taken with my Nikon D50 with my 18-55 lens. I just walked around the hotels and shore looking for fun photos to take.
[Ed note: That (glass?) end table might be a bit anachronistic, but just go with it. We needed a palm tree in this collection.]
-Chris Zempel



Shot on a Canon 500D with a 50mm f1.8. ISO 100, 1/2000 at f4.5. It was the only lens I'd brought with me to Co. Kerry for the weekend, for my friend's 21st. I was just after popping over to the car to pick up the camera and was walking back across the beach. I really liked how every identifiable detail of the scenery was lost in the exposure (Take that HDR!). My white balance was complete shite, so the photo was desaturated and a cream and purple gradient was mapped on to it to warm it up again, but maximize the contrast between light and dark areas.
[Ed note: Quite a bit of post processing involved, but hey, it works.]
-Cian Markey

The Feet In Hammock Shot


This was taken yesterday resting in a hammock looking at the Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica. Later that night we actually got to see it erupt! Yay vacation! Not looking forward to getting back home to the real world... haha. Shot with Hipstamatic for iPhone (iPhone 4).
[Ed note: The rounded line of the hammock coupled with the matching color of the volcano keep it interesting.]
-Dan Jackson

Sleeping Like a Baby


Canon 5D Mark!! with 24-105L IS shot at 4.0 bracketed. +2 0 -2. Processed in photoshop CS5, Silver EFX Pro. Our family was all relaxing poolside this weekend, but none of us could do better than this.
-Jason Reed



While other people were out relaxing during their labor day weekend, my friends and I were studying all weekend long. Here's a shot of my buddy as he performs a physics experiment. Canon XSi, 10-22 mm @ 17mm, ISO 400, 1/60 sec , f 4.0
[Ed note: I love how a sophomoric activity was elevated by the brilliant execution of this photo alone.]
-Mark Lee

Winner - 'Labor Day'


Although it may appear to be, this photo is not quite from "a day at the spa". My wife was in labor on Saturday and I took this while she was resting in the labor&delivery room bath. The irony of the weekly theme and the act of labor seems quite appropriate for this contest. Taken with a Canon 5D and 85mm f/1.8 USM lens. ISO 400, f/2 at 1/80 sec, no flash just natural daylight. This is of course submitted with her permission and in honor of our newborn son, Theo!
[Ed note: A perfectly executed shot, but it's the context that made it a winner for me. The play on Labor Day was clever, and the juxtaposition of relaxation in a most nerve-wracking of time made it something I'll remember for pretty much as long as I remember things. Also, Wesley clearly risked his life and future happiness for this photo, which should be worth something.]
-Wesley Duffee-Braun

Following that brief respite, dare I say that we should all get back to work. (Find full-size shots on flickr.)


The Gallery

If you haven't checked out my new site Life, Panoramic (or even if you have), I published a handy cheat sheet version on the mainpage. It'll catch you up on a month's worth of photographer submissions in just a few minutes with the help of cutting-edge thumbnail technology.


Click to view

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