21 Apr 5 Things to Photograph during Lockdown
It can be tough knowing what to photograph during lockdown if you’re usually more into photographing landscapes or people. But there are plenty of things around your house that you can photograph if you start looking at them with a photographer’s eye. Anything can become a picture. But just to get you started, here are five things to photograph during lockdown.
I bet your parents always told you not to play with your food, right? Well, this time you get a free pass. Arranging food into compositions to record is something that artists have been doing for centuries, so you won’t be the first.
All you need to start photographing food is a table pulled up to a window. Pop your camera on a tripod and wait for the sun to go behind a cloud and you’ve got yourself some beautiful natural light. Just as the Old Masters used.
Now, if you’re a few weeks into lockdown your pets might already be fed up with you being at home all the time. But I’m sure with some careful bribing you can convince them to let you take at least a few photographs.
If you’re photographing indoors then you’re not going to have as much light as if you were photographing them outside. So open up your lens to its widest aperture and bump up the ISO. And try to capture them when they’re taking a moment to chill rather than when they’re running around the house.
When they live with a photographer, there comes an inevitable point in everyone’s life where they must be photographed. I’m pretty sure it’s basically the law or something at this point. Anyway, just convince them it won’t be as bad as they think. Tell them it’s just for practice and let them veto the pictures first before you work on them if they’re really unsure.
And if nothing else works just remind them how much they love you (or offer to cook lockdown dinners for a week or something). Or challenge them to find things to photograph during lockdown instead.
Just like when you’re photographing food, get them up close to a window and let the light work its magic. I promise, everyone reading this has a great spot for portraits in their house. You just need to work out where it is and take advantage of it. (And maybe hang a sheet of plain paper behind them or something if you have ugly wallpaper in your rental like we do).
Self portraits are another one of those things that artists have been creating for centuries. They can be a bit looked down on by some in the photographic world (I often get asked if I can’t afford a model). But self portraits can be a great way to explore different concepts and ideas. They’re also a way to test out technical aspects of photography without worrying about the results.
Be yourself, be someone else, be an abstract concept. You are free to test out all of the ideas you could ever think of on yourself as a model. Remember that nobody has to see any of the images if you don’t want them to. And it takes time to learn how to pose for yourself.
Both of the shots above were taken with natural window light, using the phone app for the camera to compose the picture, focus the lens, and trigger the shutter.
Now, not everyone is lucky enough to have their own little patch of green space. So instead you could photograph some flowers that you’ve picked on a walk, or even take your camera out as take some pictures while you’re exercising (as long as you can do it safely and within the guidelines that apply to you – don’t put yourself or anyone else at risk and don’t take the piss).
I love shooting soft abstracts of flowers. And I don’t even have any expensive gear for it like a dedicated macro lens. My kit consists of just my standard 50mm equivalent lens and then a cheap set of macro filters to reduce the focusing distance. I even wrote an article about how to use them for maximum abstract effect for Digital Photography School.
So that’s five different ideas for things to photograph while you’re cooped up in your home and restricted to where you can do. And none of them involve getting close to another human! Hooray!
Let me know if you try out any of these ideas of things to photograph during lockdown. I’d love to see what you get up to.