Making something out of nothing

The world is in a very strange, scaring and uncertain place right now. I’m lucky enough for the time being to be healthy and safe at home. As I’m writing this, I’m living in New Zealand, our borderers are closed, the whole country is in lockdown and no one’s leaving their homes except for essentials and fresh air. Police are patrolling the streets and to go anywhere important, one needs permission or a pass given by the government. All because of Covid-19. But out of all this negative, scary time in history, there is a small positive… we all have been given time.

For most of us photographers we need to go places, we need to be where the action is, we need to go to a studio or event. And well right now the world isn’t holding any events and most places in the world aren’t letting people travel. So what can we do? We can be making something out of nothing. We are creatives, we capture time, light, ideas and moments. And right now all of these things are happening right where you are. So start looking.

I myself have started learning, up-skilling if you will. I have also started studying available light in more detail. I’m busier than I’ve ever been before. Video calls, online group games, talking, writing, social media, making content, helping other people make content, and all from the confinements of my home.

I’m making the most of the time I have been given. And I’m also making something out of nothing. Creating as creators do. So have you got a camera, are you in lock-down? If so I have some small photo projects for you to do, because you can’t tell me you don’t have the time. And at the very least this might help keep your sanity.

Available light study
Here we are setting up a still life near or at a window. If you have a tripod great if not a set of books or a table will do. If all else fails just hold your camera. And take a photo of your still life every hour through the day. And just see how the light falls or hits your subject matter.

Take a photo of yourself every day that you are in lockdown. Pretty simple right.

Still life
Get a table, a bed-sheet and make yourself a little studio setting and put some objects in it and start playing around with light, focus, aperture, double exposure whatever. Nothing is wrong here, just experiment, play and learn.

This one is a little hard out, but interesting, you will need to leave your camera somewhere where it will not move. Take photographs over a long extended time period. It could be the sun moving across the sky, the movement of a house plant, or decomposition of food or a flower. strange but super interesting once you see the end product.

File organisation
Getting all your archives in order, boring I know, but now you have the time.

Clean and format your computer
I do this every 6-months. I format my computer to clean it out and reinstall all my software. Only do this if you can back-up and store all your work and files off the computer first.

Look around your home and find the parts that can be framed into abstraction, a kitchen corner, a tables edge, the window light, or the ceiling light fixture. See if you can frame your living corners in such a way that it becomes unrecognisable. Lines, shapes, textures can all help achieve this. This is where less is more.

Learn your camera
For some of us, we know our camera… well, the parts we use. Why not learn the other things your camera can do that you never use. My camera has a bulb mode that can also be set to 1-minute exposures. Not impressive but something I didn’t know before. What can your camera do that you never knew before?

What you can do with your time is endless, well in the confinements of your home anyway. But take this time as a gift, a gift you should take advantage of, instead of watching day time tv, gaming or refreshing the newsfeed. If not to create, take this time to reflect, slow down, and do the things that take time. writing, reading, study and even putting in the time with someone you need to connect with. The world is at a time where we are all scared, no one knows what the future will bring, so live in the moment and take each day as a blessing. A blessing you need to capture, take hold of and be grateful for, even in the dark time you can be the light that everyone sees.

Oh and remember to stay safe and wash your hands.

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