So how is lockdown life treating you? It appears that several more weeks of it are on the cards. I greeted the news with muted resignation and acceptance. I work in an industry that is not really functioning to any effective degree. Workwise I can hustle, communicate and prepare for when we are let out to wreak havoc on this planet once again, but earning potential for now is virtually non-existent.
More than ever I am falling back on photography as a solace. Not just going out and taking pictures, but also scouring the internet and social media communities looking for images that are life affirming, make me smile and also inspiring images of people tackling this carnage head on. In this hard time when we are beset by a permanent anxiety about a spreading virus, family at risk and our economic future, the value of photography to my mental health is huge.
In these times of confinement, where movement is restricted, our opportunity to take pictures is vastly reduced. We get limited windows to go out and exercise and the odd trip for shopping. Aside from that, our subject matter as photographers is confined to the home.
So how do we combat this? We have seen great examples of innovation and cooperation in this crisis. Breathing apparatus being created by adapting diving masks. CPAP machines reverse engineered and built by F1 teams to reduce the need for ventilators. We have seen incredible generosity and spirit epitomised by Captain Tom Moore setting a himself a challenge to raise and £1000 and raising more than £17 million. We all need to tap into the good and our own resilience as much as possible so that we don’t become overwhelmed by the negative aspects of our current situation.
As photographers let us innovate and be generous of spirit! As citizens, let us challenge ourselves to find the good and the happy and to share it in this time of need. To that end, I am asking all people, whatever your ability, to capture or find some happy images that will put a smile on someone else’s face and to share them. To challenge yourself in the face of adversity to find a positive subject and photograph it. If you cannot find a subject, make one.
Need some visual food for thought?
I have been out looking at ducks in my walk and I managed to find a mother and her baby ducklings. On the same day in Devon my stepfathers’ grandchildren nursed a calf and took a picture to send in.
John Mannell took this beautiful picture whilst on his daily walk. He was taking a picture of the window with the rainbow in when up popped Poppy with a beaming smile and a double thumbs up!
Ian Mann is isolated in a London flat. This is tough for anyone, but he has taken the challenge head on and does some really nice self-portraits to pass the time.
Another good potential subject is recreating famous scenes from the world of art and photography, using only objects you can find in the house. Here are the incredible efforts of the Hayward family.
Use your daily exercise trip and keep your eyes peeled. Use your imagination and your home and challenge yourself to find a subject. Look. Love. Capture. Share.
I promise that if you give it a chance, effort and some time, you will have found something that makes this lockdown a lot more bearable and dare I say it, at times even enjoyable.