BECOMING BETTER PHOTOGRAPHERS FROM HOME

COVID-19 Edition. Part I

In a time when we should all be staying at home to help stop the spread of COVID-19 it may seem that, photographically speaking, there is not much to do. In part, it’s true, but like with most bad situations, this one too has silver lining: Being stuck at home gives us all the opportunity to improve on some of the things that when we are out photographing, we forget to do or pay attention to.

So with that said, today is the first of a series of articles in which I am going to propose some exercises that will help you to better understand the light, composition and how to be more creative when sequencing a project or series.

1. STILL LIFES & BEYOND

Using some elements that you have at home such as bottles, glasses, cups, shoes, flowers, pieces of clothing… you can set up “scenes” in which you will be able to appreciate, in a controlled environment, how light affects the “subjects”, the background and even the composition. Don’t just take a photo of your still life, move the elements to try out different compositions (rule of thirds, rule of odds, diagonals etc) and for added complexity, try creating a still life according to a colour harmonies, for example complimentary colour harmony with reds and greens or blues and oranges (for more about colour theory and harmonies, click here).

Another fun still life option is to choose a photo that you like from one of the great masters of photography and try to replicate the frame, composition and lighting of that photo. Look for their geometries, the angle from where the photo was taken, etc. You will see in a clear way the photographer’s mental process when photographing the scene.

still life excersie
2. CREATIVE SELF PORTRAITS

The self-portrait is a photographic modality that has always existed. From Hitchcock’s cameo appearances in his movies to Vivian Maier’s stylish shots on the streets of New York and in her home.

It may seem easy, but it is not, at least if you want to do it in an interesting way. A good option that will allow you to go beyond the mirrors and reflections it to choose 3, 5 or 9 items that you think represent you and photograph them as well, always thinking about the light and composition. Once you have done that, try sequencing them.

This exercise will not only make you think about the technical aspect of photography, but you will also become a story to tell and making this synthesis of yourself will help you do the same when you want to explain a trip or project that interests you when you have your freedom back 😉

3. DOCUMENT EVERYTHING

The other day talking to Rory Doyle (renowned American photojournalist and Ambassador of The Raw Society) he said, “Right now, a person alone at home doing nothing is a story.”

I know that everyone is saying this right now and you might already be doing it, but I want to reaffirm its importance. Unfortunately, we are living in historic times and this little black box that we all hold in are hands is now, more than ever, a powerful tool that will allow us to document a way of life that will one day (hopefully soon) cease to exist but that will go down in history forever. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want you to put yourself in danger by risking going out. What i’m saying is document your family, your day to day, try to discover those little things that usually go unnoticed and tell your own story about this historic moment.

For more inspiration on documenting your family, check out Sally Mann’s work on family

I hope you enjoyed this article! Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram 🙂

@the_raw_society | @jorgedelgadophoto | @christelle_enquist

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