Certo, Io resto a casa, ma non smetto di fotografare (Certainly, I stay at home, but I don’t stop photographing)Me, whilst paraphrasing the Italian PM’s “Io resto a casa” slogan
There is no doubt we live in extraordinary, largely unprecedented times, at least for the 1990s kids generation to which I belong. We live in a time when a growing number of governments, scientists, ER doctors and public health institutions repeat, day after day ,the same, simple, protective, yet also seemingly restrictive, piece of advice: stay at home. As a matter of fact, in a handful of countries, such a recommendation has been reshaped into an obligatory mandate in the face of a national emergency. The Italians have been the first to forge a hashtag out of it: #Io resto a casa.
A stream of appalling and grave developments, in Italy and elsewhere, confirm that we are indeed before a profound calamity of such magnitude that prohibits anyone from not adhering to the mandate “stay at home”. Of course, this will have a direct impact on our lives. In that vein, the way I carry on with my day to day business has , to a great extent, if not radically, changed and I am pretty sure the same proposition holds true for your life as well.
Coronavirus and Photography
“Io resto a casa” takes a hit on our hobbies, especially those performed outdoors and more specifically photography. In my opinion, it is a justified sacrifice we are called to make in order to protect ourselves and those around us from spreading the new virus. Still, unless you are strictly a studio photographer (for real though, who confines himself / herself just to this genre?) chances are your photography gear is rotting untouched on the shelves of your apartments.
In other words, most probably, you have already felt the burn of not pressing down on the shutter button. What I have strived to do is find a cure to be applied to this burn, by compiling a list of photography ideas in the era of coronavirus.
The common denominator of my six proposals is that they can be experimented with inside the four walls of your apartment. I honestly believe that every calamity can become a motive, or a driving force if you will, for self development and unmatched creativity, particularly when it comes to the art of photography.
So without further ado, here come my recommendations of stuff you can try out with your camera, whilst going through the covid-solitude phase at home.
- Create abstract frames
Lines, circles, textures, patterns, our houses can be packed with unexplored opportunities to create an abstract canvas. Just look out for little details, whether these are a souvenir from your trip to a Greek Island or a couch pillow. To prove my point, these are all shots I grabbed in different rooms of my family’s appartment this very morning.
- Childhood Memorabilia
You may have a younger sibling, whose toys you can “confiscate” for a little photo experiment. Or, alternatively, you may be willing to open up some of these boxes of childhood memorabilia stuffed somewhere in your house. Toys are intriguing and you can always get creative with them. Once again, I furnish proof of my recommendations. This is a bunch of photos I took 2 years ago, using my miniature soldiers collection as well as a lighter for the fire effect in the background. Important notice: Please, be very careful not to set anything on fire, should you wish to replicate the effect.
- Macro Photography
Now, I solemnly declare that I am no friend of macro photography, fascinating as it may be. However, if you are the proud owner of any macro lens, there is a wide range of photography subjects to focus on, from water drops to those flowers sitting in the balcony.
- Learning New Techniques / Enhancing your current skills
Ever wondered what is like to shoot with artificial lighting? I think it is about time you gave it a shot, even by utilizing your bedside lamp. Furthermore, you can challenge yourself by trying out a tad of product or real estate / indoors photography. Additionally, head over to YouTube where you can watch a bunch of tutorials on new shooting techniques, the improvement of your editing skills or gear reviews.
- Take a peek outside the window
There might be some vibrant spring colours in the neighboring garden. A plane that flies over your house. An extreme weather phenomenon forever frozen via your lens. Some birds casually chilling on the electric cables across the street. A mesmerizing urban sunset. Your balcony or window can become your gateway to a whole new photography perspective.
- Reviewing your old work
Quite often, I tend to take a glimpse back on some of my older photoshoots. Normally, I determine that these photos from the good old days suck. However, I cannot help but notice that once in a while I will come across a shot which I deem descent and yet initially it went under the radar. The “stay at home” period is a pretty good time to reflect back on your past galleries or re-edit some photos, from a brand new perspective, if I may say so.
For example, I was recently scrolling through my dropbox folders from my September trip to Portugal. I bumped into a photo I took in Sintra. Neither a magnificent shot nor a portfolio keeper, solely one that I fancied a bit. I downloaded it, run a quick edit on it and boom it now lies in my lightroom gallery.
Do you have any other tips for a “stay at home” kind of photography? If so, do let me know in the comments!
Oh, and please, a) listen to the doctors and support them in any way you can and b) comply with any administrative orders and stay at home. It can be real fun!