When my children were in Primary School they had what they called hot day timetables or wet day timetables. These were contingency plans for when the children couldn’t play as normal. I thought it would be a great idea to explore this option for photographers as I had a comment from a new blogging friend who told me she was getting too depressed from being trapped inside in the extreme weather that the Northern Hemisphere has been experiencing. I understood it when I got it because I realised that it would be us in Southern Australia being stuck inside trying to stay cool that would be getting depressed because we couldn’t really get out and take photos.
I thought this would be a great time to take a look at what you can do when you can’t get outside to take photos. There are options, many of them really, not all involve using the camera, but there are things to do.
I think being in Australia summer can be the worse time of the year for taking photos. Unless you go out extremely early, or stay out very late, you are going to get shots that have very unforgiving harsh light in them. No shadows, or very little. There is that golden hour in the evening, supposedly a great time for photos, but if you have days where it is still around 40ºC at 8 o’clock at night, then it isn’t going to help, you will still have a very harsh light.
If you love photography and want to keep doing things, then what is there to do? There are many different types of photography that you can do indoors. It is easy to believe that you have to go out to take photos, but there are things you can do inside.
Still life photography comes to mind, whether it is working on taking photos of a bunch of flowers, or some of you ornaments. You can practice your lighting, how to set up a still life. Many people believe you need a studio to do still life, but the reality is, you can set up a still life setting near a window with muted light, with a piece of white cardboard as a reflector and have a piece of coloured paper or fabric as your backdrop. If you aren’t sure then there are hundreds of tutorials on the internet to learn from. Here are a couple of them
Food photography also comes under this now, with food photography becoming so popular it is great thing to experiment on. You could get yourself set up, then cook your meal or cake, whatever, then photograph it before you sit down to eat it. Though you might need to be quick or it might go cold.
If you have other people in your home you could experiment with your portraits. Try different lighting, see what you can come up with. Experiment with poses, see what you think works and doesn’t. Just explore how to take photos of people indoors with nothing but natural light. Or try some experimental light, what light do you get from a candle, or a torch?
For me one of the advantages of being stuck indoors is the chance to work on my photos, to do the advanced editing that I have wanted to do but haven’t had the time to do lately. I have a number of images that I would like to do more processing on and see what I can do to them. I like turning my shots from a simple snap to a fine art image.
Part of that means brushing up on my Photoshop skills and learning some new things. There are so many tutorials out there for how to learn Editing, from the very basic to really advanced skills. I don’t go searching for them, but I have found that creativeLIVE has had some great people running workshops on Photoshop. I particularly like Ben Willmore and Dave Cross and have purchased workshops run by both. I have learned so much from them. They have taught me how to expand my knowledge and really make me push my skills to try new things and experiment.
Of course, creativeLIVE don’t just do courses on Photoshop, they have a huge range of courses on offer and they aren’t that expensive to buy, not when you consider what you are getting. You can buy courses run by photographers on running photography businesses, or by photographic artists and how they work. It is a great resource. I know I am going to be spending time going over some of the courses I have purchased and seeing what I have forgotten, then work out how to incorporate it into what I am doing now.
There are other places like this, KelbyOne, also an online workshop site. They offer lots of workshops as well, but it seems to be done on a subscription basis. You pay $25 a month, I assume $US, and then you get access to everything. I can’t find a lot of information about it, but it could be great if you are learning photography. It is unfortunate that there doesn’t seem to be a trial period, or it doesn’t allow you to see what the workshops/tutorials are like. I was interested and pressed on one to see if I thought it was worth looking at, but it wouldn’t let me see it unless I paid money too.
I am not sure I would join it, I would hate to join and find there wasn’t much there for me. I think if you are learning photography it could be great for you. You might get a lot out of it, there might be a lot available and good value for your money. I’m still on the fence about it.
There are so many things to do that we often put off because we all have that drive to just take photos. It can be great when you are forced indoors and need to find projects to do. I know what I am going to do, what about you, do you know what you are going to do? Let us all know what you have planned.