• Matthew Brooks

So your stuck at home and you can't do photography...

“Home is where one starts from.” –T.S. Eliot

Pretty much everyone is currently either being told to work from home, or to self isolate (edit: In fact before I published this we are pretty much on total lock down) because of the COVID19 epidemic. If you are a professional portrait or wedding photographer then you will have found that all your work has disappeared in a moment. In fact pretty much most types of photographers will have found the majority of work if not all has been cancelled. But just because you are at home it doesn't mean that you can't do any photography at all.

There are plenty of types of photographs that are easily accessible without leaving the house at all. Macro photography, abstract, food, self portraiture, portraits of family members, documentary style family life.

Here are a few simple items around my house that I have tries to do some art and abstract stuff with. Just in case you are wondering what the objects are they are 1. the feather of a quill 2. bubbles in a glass 3. a twisted silicon dish scrubber 4. dare I say it..a toilet roll (don't get triggered over it) 5. some old tapes laid out in a pattern 6. some clothes pegs laid out in a pattern.

For anybody who loves flowers and nature then (assuming you have a garden) it is right on your doorstep. If you don't have a garden then on one of your infrequent shopping trips pick up a bunch of interesting flowers and see what you can do with the flowers. Spritz some water over them to get droplets on the petals which will make them more interesting still. You could also incorporate them in your self portraits somehow.

Don't just take one photo of an object either. Work the scene. Try different angles, different lighting or using other different household items to create different effects. Here firstly I picked a small flower from the garden. Placed it in a white bowl of water to get the white on white low contrast picture. The side lighting is only natural window light from my patio doors. Then I twisted the bowl around and repositioned myself so the window light was hitting the front of the flower, I added some purple plastic under the waters surface and held a small bit of paper behind to create a hazy reflection around the flower. Next image I used a small torch directly above to create a bit of a spotlight effect and it adds pop to the purple. The final image I shone the small torch through another bit of the purple plastic to create purple side highlighting.

This is just to show that you don't have to do anything drastic to change to photo. Then just pick your favourites to show.

Food photography is something that I want to get into. So during my time off I am going to start to build a bit of a portfolio. It may work well for you, if like me, you also have a love of cooking and of food. So far I have only dabbled. But you can get creative with it, try arranging the raw recipe ingredients creatively, try macro shots, get more artsy.

I'm going to start cooking some recipes and try and plate them as professionally as I can to then take some images in a style that could be described as rustic modern. Hey I get to take pictures and then eat those picture subjects, win win.

If you don' have a model to hand, use can always step in front of the camera yourself. Every photographer should have a decent picture of themselves for promotional uses. This is made easy if you own a camera with a side flip screen. As much as I love my Sony the lack of a side flip screen makes it so hard to do self portraits as I can't easily position myself in frame, cant check expression or lighting or if I blinked. If you have a flip out screen you don't have to keep running back and forth to the camera to check the shot. However if you have more patience than myself and don't mind doing this then self portraits are a great form of expressing yourself. Also a chance to try perhaps a new editing style or shooting style to see if it is something you like. It might be a case of nothing gained, nothing lost, but that's fine as you are being creative.

Now clearly this last set of pictures are not mine. I do not have all these animals and people living in my house. For complete clarity this final set are all off unsplash.com but they show off a wide range of different family life pictures that I cannot get in my house. Kids and pets will forever be a subject that many people will continue to photograph. But try and not get snapshots of them, try and make the pictures as photographically pleasing as you can. Follow basic compositional rules, try an obscure angle, capture a moment, be clever with what you include and do not include in the frame. P.S when I found the pug in the bobble hat it became my favourite photo I've ever seen.

Get out there (or in this case STAY IN YOUR HOMES) and get snapping away. It's tough right now but learning a new skill or enhancing a skill is the best way to whittle away your time. The photos will last forever.

If you need some extra help with your photography learning and don't want to sign up for an online course then I have a blog about the best photographic YouTube channels to follow. Click HERE to look at that blog. Check them out and enhance your knowledge.

Anyway, that enough from me. Thanks for reading and see you again soon.

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