• Chris Sullivan

Quarantine Photography


With everything going on in the world at the moment, it can be hard to keep yourself from going a little stir crazy. Most parks are closing and many people aren't even allowed to leave their home for anything less than essential travel. This can definitely make things difficult for nature photographers who depend on state parks and wildlife refuges to get their images. But just because you are stuck at home doesn't mean you can't practice your photography techniques or maybe try things you haven’t tried before. I usually look for deer and other large wildlife for my subjects, but since they are currently unavailable to me I've had to look closer to home to get my photography fix. I've listed a couple of subjects that have kept me sane during this time so maybe they can do the same for you. Sometimes inspiration can be right out your back door!


Pets


This is going to be painfully obvious, but your furry companions can be the perfect subject of your quarantine photoshoots. Grab a few of their favorite toys or treats to get their attention and experiment with different looks. Change your height and angles to add creativity to your photos.



My buddy Simon was so happy to be playing outside that he didn't mind my camera following him all around the yard. Just by getting down low I was able to get a fun picture of him inspecting this clover flower. Changing your angle can help elevate your photography from snapshots to stunning and add emotion to your images. You don't have to lay on the ground but just try to get more on your pet's level.


With my other cat Penelope, I used the the clovers to make a nice contrasting background. She wasn't as excited by the flowers so I didn't have to get as low to the ground with her.


Flowers


If, like me, you have neglected your yard recently, then you should have plenty of potential photo subjects sprouting all over. Even the most humble of plants or weeds can provide great opportunities for fantastic photos. Try a macro lens or extension tubes to get up close and personal.



These dandelion photos were taken a few feet out my back door. I used an old Yashica 55mm Macro lens with a cheap 33mm extension tube on my Sony A6000. I converted it to black and white in Lightroom. It can take a few attempts to get the exposure just right but keep at it and you will be rewarded with a stunning image of an ordinary plant.



Gear


Use this time to really familiarize yourself with your equipment. If you have recently acquired any new gear, this is the perfect opportunity to really test it out. Practice manual focusing or even bracketing your images. Learn all the settings and modes you will need when you are on a real shoot and save yourself a few headaches and missed images down the road. I recently bought a Sony A6000 for a backup to my 7D and for video and I'm still learning the ins and outs of it. But, with these little practice shoots I'm getting there.


Your creativity is the limit when it comes to photoshoots like this. Experiment with different things around your home and different techniques and styles of photography. Hopefully soon we will all be back outdoors capturing all the beauty of the world but until then, stay healthy and keep practicing. And wash your hands.

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