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Jul 23, 2020

Staying creative in isolation

Creativity keeps us optimistic and inspired

2020 has been an unusual and seemingly bleak year to say the least. It is certainly at the point now whereby it needs no introduction. Ever since we went into lock-down here in Melbourne around late March, I tried my best to keep the creative juices flowing and focus on the flip-side of the whole pandemic situation. The way I see things, there's a degree of powerlessness we have so there's no point trying to change what we can't control. As long as we're doing the right thing by each other's safety and our government's legislation, worrying won't really do us any good. At a certain point I think there's a large element of patience required... so why not find the positivity in this whole mess? I truly believe we will come out of it on the other side.

Empty shopping centre car park. Kodak Portra 160, Leica M4

Time is our most valuable resource

Unlike money, our time is finite and we can't produce more of it. So when the lockdown means staying home more often, that opens up the opportunity to afford more of it towards working on things we always put off. When it comes to photography, this might initially seem like a limiting factor given we can't go to the places we normally like to shoot, or likewise, for the company we usually like to photograph with. But, it needn't be completely limiting.

During the easing of restrictions around May-June, I used the opportunity to take a lot more photos around the neighbourhood during daily walks or while out shopping, perhaps in a style that I would not normally shoot. Things were still rather empty, and the neighbourhood was a little different as Covid-19 left it's mark. Doing this allowed me to exercise new skills in photography, and develop styles that I had not really worked on before. Sometimes you need something to push you to think laterally, and having all this extra time certainly won't do any harm!

Acros 100, Leica M4

In and Out

In our case here in Melbourne there was an initial lockdown period, then an easing of restrictions for a few weeks. At the time of writing this we are back in another 6 week lockdown meaning we're again restricted to things like shopping and walks outside for exercise. While locked up inside this meant forcing myself to think outside the box and photograph what I could inside the house. It also meant more time to work other creative ventures such as the Youtube channel, starting this blog, better health and fitness, printing more, organisation, catching up on half-done projects, reading, and a lot more. When things inevitably get busy again, many of us might wish we had so much free time... so it's best not to squander it all whether restrictions are particularly strict or not.

Exercise your eyes

A new way of living means a new way of seeing things. I started to look differently and deeper at the everyday elements around the house and neighbourhood; particularly the way the light would illuminate things differently as the seasons progressed. A different direction and quality of light means the same potential difference for the way you photograph subjects. Think outside the box and really study the way light hits subjects around your home, your neighbourhood, or wherever you may be allowed to go during this strange time!