David Gough Photography


Time To Get The Camera Out?

Posted on 26th March 2020 by David under Cameras, Creativity, Learning, Photography, Small spaces
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Tea pot and mug of tea
Study of a tea break

Could this be the time to get your camera out? Lockdown for the current COVID-19 virus might not seem like the best time to do photography, but you could find inspiration if you do. Not to mention keeping the kids amused!

I like photography quotes. Some are inspiring, some are amusing, some have great pearls of wisdom. And some, like this one, are puzzling. 

“If you want to be a better photographer, stand in front of more interesting stuff.” — Jim Richardson

This quote is even more puzzling at the moment with ‘virus’ and ‘social isolation’ mentioned on every news bulletin. How do you stand in front of more interesting stuff if you can’t leave your home? Your first thoughts are likely to be that ‘more interesting stuff’ requires travel to exotic places, and that’s not going to happen anytime soon.

Here’s another quote:

“When people ask me what equipment I use – I tell them my eyes.” — Anonymous

The thing is, you can stand in front of the 7 wonders of the world and still not see an interesting photo. On the other hand, you can stand in front of the wonders of your own world, your own home for the next few months, and see some incredible photos to take. 

What to look for

What to look for? Well, shapes, textures, patterns would be a start. The contrast between light and dark is another. You can also find interest in how different colours sit alongside each other. 

What to do? Well, what NOT to do is agonise over things. Instead just pick up your camera, the one in your phone will do nicely, and see what you can find. It’s not a competition, but there is a prize – the satisfaction of seeing things differently and creating exciting photos that tell the story of your world. 

Dishwater can be interesting
Reflections in dishwater

If you aren’t sure where to start, try these suggestions:

  • the kitchen sink – cups stacked on the drainer, or even piled up ready to be washed. Even the bubbles in the dishwasher can make an interesting picture (but don’t drop the camera into the water!).
  • reflections – what can you see in the mirrors about your home? What can you see reflected in the window panes? How about things reflected in kettles, pots and pans, or even spoons.
  • speaking of spoons, borrow a few things from the cutlery drawer and see what you can find in reflections, or even patterns if you arrange them on the kitchen table.
  • the garden could also be an excellent place to find interesting photos. It doesn’t have to be Kew Gardens in full bloom either – even a messy garden can have unusual patterns and textures. 

But don’t stop there! 

Don’t just take a photo and stop! 

Once you have your photos of dishes by the sink, or spoons on the table, consider how you can process them. If you are using a phone or tablet, I recommend an app called Snapseed, which is brilliant, full of tools to experiment with, and free. If you are using a computer pick whatever photo editor is available. 

Tulips from a different angle
Tulips from a different angle

Hint: save a copy of the photo and don’t edit the original. That way, you can try two or three different ways of processing to find a style you like.

The photos accompanying this article were all taken at home using a phone or tablet and edited in Snapseed. See what you can come up with!

You can find more phone photographs here in the documentary section of this website.

This blog post will also appear as an article in the next edition of The Purple Diary Magazine, a magazine based in Staffordshire, UK.

error: Words and pictures are copyright