We’re all staying home during this strange time and after binging too many Netflix series the question soon becomes, ‘what else can we do?’ Well, we can ‘GET CREATIVE’ for a start! It’s not like we haven’t ever been in a financial rut as artists/ filmmakers or creatives; we all essentially start off with little in the bank when we graduate from college – so, right now, we can pursue our creative vision to the max.
You may have a LOT of time on your hands, or not, but now is the moment to pause and think about the NEXT creative project you want to pursue. I am writing with an optimistic air, as well… I’m an OPTIMIST! And I do hope that the pandemic will pass and normal life will resume but considering this, it’s better to be prepared and have a dozen artistic and creative ideas ‘ready to go’ when this is all over than to say, ‘I just Netflixed a whole load of shows and ate my body weight in Pizza, the whole time.
Nature is literally on your doorstep, you could venture into your back garden and take a look at the trees, the plants, the lawn, the insects, the fruit hanging down from trees; and you could actually test the capabilities of shooting at various times of the day.
It would be to your advantage to see where the sun rises and sets in relation to your garden, so you know if you’ve got the advantage of a sun-trap (gaining the majority of sunlight throughout the day) or whether you’re only exposed to the sun at different times.
But what If I live in a flat, I hear you say?
To that I say, again, find the time of day that the sun is hitting the houseplant or go out on your balcony and check the plants you have out there and think about setting up two specific time periods for you to set your camera to take pictures. You could even set a timelapse test to ensure you can capture how the light moves around that specific section of your property
It’s right there on your doorstep…
This little Dunnock was caught using my phone held up to a monocular! During this period at home with wonderful sunshine, I’ve really taken an interest in watching what birds pay a visit to my garden and street. It’s a wonderful opportunity to spend 10 minutes away from a screen and pay attention to the outdoors.
One particular app I found really handy when essentially trying to expose for indoor and natural light photography was the pocket light meter app; which can help you decide/ dictate how you want to expose your pictures for the garden or for any interior shots you might be wanting to shoot in natural light or otherwise.
If you’re stuck indoors, why not photograph your mum, dad, flatmates/ housemates? Get them in their most relaxed position or even their most calm moments of serenity while we’re all forced to sit indoors and enjoy each other’s company! Nobody likes having their photo taken but if you try and take it surreptitiously you may see that natural photos beat posed every day of the week. Of course, make sure your subject is happy to have their photo taken; now isn’t a good time to create tension in a household!
While the sun’s out, now is a great time to play with natural light and shadow streaming in through the doors and windows. Above is a great example of a fairly monochromatic image but that still provides a sense of empathy with just the shadows cast across the model’s face. After all photography is simply capturing light in various shades so playing with the shadow is a nice way to alter the mood of a portrait or image.
Who doesn’t enjoy a dog/ cat meme on the internet? Well, here’s your opportunity to photograph your very own goldfish, dog, cat, and capture those moments that you know you’ll cherish forever.
Getting the animal to sit still may be the tricky part; but you can use various levels of shutter speed to capture still moments or hairy, fast ones!
Animals are also great because you are free to take as many photos as you like without getting on their nerves so it’s a great opportunity to practice with moving subjects. Although if you do want a still subject try offering treats or their favorite toy as a distraction to maintain attention. It can also be fun to try and capture an expression while they’re focussed on the toy or treat.
Like in the above image it’s interesting to play with perspective as usually our view of our pets is from the top down. Try and get to their level (or lower) and see if that opens up fresh perspectives. Make the small appear larger than life if you have wide-angle lenses.
Don’t expect your friends or family to be interested in seeing 100 pet photos though.
They say that what makes a good street photograph is about capturing an ‘expression.’
This picture highlights the brief moments where forces coincide in an image. In this instance, it could be that this is not too far from the photographer’s house or that’s his grandma! A great example of how to shoot out a window; here the POV is from across the street, presumably the balcony opposite which gives the audience a somewhat intimate view as we see the two individuals sharing a moment in unknowing unison.
It helps to have a long lens to capture something like this but as you’ve seen from my own work above it’s possible to improvise with things at home. Not only for enhancing images but also certain objects could act as filters: coloured glass, translucent materials, liquids, etc. It’s a chance to work on photography with limitations which can be both frustrating but at the same time yield special results.
As you can see there’s a lot to consider and a lot you can do when choosing to use your time and shoot indoors; or just outdoors in your back garden.
Things to think about are your camera settings and also what kind of essentials you’ll need to get into shooting your camera in a more feasibly simple way, and that can be just by knowing basic camera settings and knowing your equipment.
Article Written by: Rob Holder is the Director of Fable Studios, a video production agency in Bristol, UK.