Photography, and especially photography in New England is always about finding ways to make the best of the condition with which you are presented. Rain, fog, snow or just “bad light” all have their own particular challenges. Capturing special images is always about getting the most from what nature provides.
|Captain Rodolph Bowles Sargent|
For some professional photographers, social distancing and cancellations can be a devastating issue. I assume wedding, sports and event photographers are hurting, but for most recreational and landscape photographers, there is still plenty to shoot. I don’t have to worry about social distancing from trees, lakes or mountains. All I must do is stay away from other photographers. Still, self-quarantining has affected our lives in many ways and since photography offers chances for escape from these pressures, I thought it might be helpful to suggest some photographic opportunities both in and out of the home.
Since on the outside, we are still in the middle of the dismal gray spring “stick season”, this week I’ll start with photography within the house.
Photography “In Place”
We live in a beautiful part of the country, but what can you shoot when you are stuck inside of your home. After hip surgery, a few years ago, I was largely restricted to the house. After the Hycodan wore off, I started looking within my limited sphere for things to photograph and actually found quite a lot. I started with macro photography, and discovered detail all around that I had never noticed before. I hobbled from room to room scanning for compositions made from some of the simplest things, a clock face, detail in an old portrait and the decoration on a gourd from the Galapagos Islands. Indoor plants and flowers were also great subjects.
In floral photography, precise focus is always important. The key is to make sure that, if nothing else, the stamen is sharp, and the background is soft and uncluttered. You might try shooting some of the flowers with backlighting. Trans-illumination can have an electric effect on the floral colors. You will find that the indoor macro subjects are endless. You don’t need a special camera or lens to photograph the familiar around the house, but as you move close, depth of field and shutter speed can become an issue A tripod or some other means of stabilization can be helpful to keep your images sharp.
|Nellie at Eye Level|
Just two quick keys to better pet photography. First get down on your knees (if they still work), or lay on the floor, to shoot your friends at eye level. Whether you are photographing wild animals or your pets, this is always a more personal and dramatic angle. Secondly always focus on the eyes. Everything else can be fuzzy, but if the eyes are sharp, no one will notice.
|Feeder Through the Open Window|
|House Finch Pair|
|Drowning Pool Iceland|
I hope this brief discussion will trigger your own photographic exploration of your restricted space. I would welcome your ideas about other sources of indoor inspiration. For the members of Keene State College’s CALL program Photography Club, I look forward to seeing some of your pictures as you find ways to brighten this challenging time. To spare my mailbox, please send only small jpg images.
|Doolin Rainbow, Ireland|
For more inspiration, check below for some other links to my relevant blogs. Also go to Part II of my Isolation Blogs where I will explore some of the opportunities available outside as the drab “stick season” gives way to the buds of early spring.
Jeffrey Newcomer, NEPG