COVID-19 is here and countries around the world are introducing increasingly restrictive measures to halt or slow the spread of the virus. For photographers (and many others), not being able to get out into the world to engage in our craft is challenging. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do within your own four walls to keep your mind engaged and your passion for photography alive.
Engage with Your Old Photos
This might be the time to tidy up your catalogue, apply what you have recently learned to older photos or update your website or portfolio.
Revisit Your Old Photo Books
Many of us bought a range of books as we developed our skills. We even read some of them. Now we have an opportunity (and time – so much time) to revisit these books and perhaps examine those bits we skipped over before.
Work on Increasing Your Knowledge
Are you one of the many photographers who has an irrational fear of flash? Do you still wonder about how sensor size affects depth-of-field? Have you always wanted to try out the Brenizer method? Set yourself a goal to learn something new or increase your knowledge in a certain area, think about how you can simulate certain set-ups at home and just try stuff out. Then take your newfound knowledge out for a walk when the current crisis passes.
Learn from the Masters
Watch documentaries on some of the greats, explore their websites or images online and really get in deep with the work of others. To start with, why not take a look at the work of Ansel Adams, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Elliott Erwitt, Annie Leibovitz and Martin Paar, ground-breaking photographers who introduced new ideas in various fields. Then explore how modern photographers like Alison Jackson, Paul Ripke, Thomas Holm, Haris Nukem or Alec Soth approach their work.
YouTube, YouTube, YouTube
Never has it been more acceptable to disappear down the YouTube wormhole – if done productively. There is a lot of clickbait and rubbish on the popular video service, but fortunately there are also funny, talented and helpful photographers out there. Here are a couple of our personal favourites:
Sean Tucker: An acquired taste, but Sean explores a lot of the psychology behind photography openly and honestly and deals with issues many of us have faced at one time or another.
Kai W.: Kai made a name for himself at DigitalRev TV and has now struck out on his own. His irreverent style may not suit everyone, but his equipment reviews are a lot more hands-on than others.
grainydays: Jason Kummerfeldt doesn’t take himself or his work too seriously but revels in the fun that can be had with film photography. His uncomfortable interviews with other photographers are the closest thing to a comedy series about photography I have found.
Peter McKinnon: A must for both photographers and filmmakers, Peter’s channel includes a number of “why the hell didn’t I think of that?” hacks and great tips and tricks you can try out at home. The videos are also well-produced and a pleasure to watch.
Piximperfect: Unmesh Dinda provides an incredible range of sensible, high-level and easy to follow Photoshop tutorials. Both informative and inspiring, the videos actually encourage you to try out things you may never have thought you wanted or needed before.
Peter Coulson: Peter’s channel offers simple and interesting behind-the-scenes videos of his shoots. Nothing polished, just an insight into how the celebrated Australian fashion photographer gets his incredible results.
Go Beyond Photography
There is a lot of great art out there. Throw on some music, watch some films, look at some paintings and sculptures – anything to keep the brain engaged. You never know what may end up providing inspiration or opening up new worlds. Look after yourself and others and stay safe,
The PIXEL.GUIDE team