COVID-19: What are homebound photographers doing during the lockdown?

Normally, Vineet Vohra is all the time on the transfer. Over the previous 26 years, the common Delhi-based road photographer, and founding father of Art Photo Feature (APF) journal, has travelled incessantly for his work. But, though he finds the present lockdown, to restrict the unfold of COVID-19, difficult, he says additionally it is making him extra compassionate.

“I am realising how rewarding it is to have small pleasures in life such as drinking chai from a roadside dhaba,” he says, including, “I value and respect people around me a lot more. One will always remember how someone around you made you feel during this difficult time.”

For photographers like Vohra, the present restrictions on motion are forcing them to seek out recent methods to adapt their work for the new regular. Saying he initially discovered the first few days a great break, he provides, “then it started becoming claustrophobic in the context of photography needs.” Forced to remain house, he started exploring his dwelling areas. “After a week I realised everything is beautiful around me and the light falling off on certain areas in my house was simply outstanding, so I’m documenting these days,” he says. He can also be documenting his household and photographing birds.

From Sreeranj Sreedhar’s ‘Lockdown Series’  

Guruvayoor-based Sreeranj Sreedhar, a road/documentary photographer, and member of Indian Street Photography Collective (the In-Street Collective), needed to cancel a Theyyam picture tour to North Kerala due to the journey restrictions. “I am not complaining,” he says, including “There are pictures everywhere this is a great chance to get creative.” He is photographing at house, household and pet canine, and intends to name this the ‘Lockdown series.’

For journey and road photographers, folks are essential to capturing the character of a spot. That stated there may be the temptation {that a} lockdown brings – an important photo-op, the once-in-a-lifetime type. Like the Guruvayoor Sree Krishna temple proper now. “I don’t think anybody in living history has seen the temple this empty, without devotees or the customary rush hustle and bustle. It would make for a great image,” Sreeranj says.

Unable to journey for these photos, they are, nevertheless, resorting to inventive options, like drones. Bengaluru-based journey photographer Hari Menon says this is a perfect time for drone pictures, “Usually crowded places minus people have a very different character, the perspective will change from what we are used to,” he says.

Hari Menon’s photograph of his mother, shot at home

Hari Menon’s {photograph} of his mom, shot at house

Menon, who hails from North Paravur close to Kochi, returned house Bengaluru simply earlier than the lockdown. He went right into a 28 day self-isolation since he lives along with his 64-year outdated mom. “I am looking at this as a holiday, using the time to sort my photographs, do some reading, and checking out websites,” he says. He sees this as an opportunity to look via his earlier works, one thing he hardly ever will get time to do.

Like Mumbai-based photographer Avani Rai, “Whenever an event happens the urge is to go out and capture it. But since that is not possible now, I am going through my old pictures. Of course, I have seen these images but never truly studied them,” she says.

A self portrait by Avani Rai

A self portrait by Avani Rai

Avani is at present making an attempt so as to add extra colors to those by utilizing them to color blended media artwork. “I love painting but have never tried mixed media, so I am experimenting with that,” she provides. If not for the lockdown, she would have been clicking away at a hill station for a commissioned venture, capturing its summer time life. Instead, she is confined to her Mumbai house alongside together with her dad and mom.

Though Singapore-based entrepreneur-travel photographer Manu Ignatius has needed to cancel a few deliberate journeys, he’s utilizing this time to organise his pictures and work. He says, “I just got back after a two-month trip. I was in the US (California), in February visiting my sister. Before that, I was travelling in India (Bombay, Rajasthan, Punjab etc.) from end December to February. So, this break gives me a chance to organize the photos and videos. Of course, I miss going out and capturing moments. However, I take this as my opportunity to work through my pending media and revamp my personal website.”

Manu went into two-week quarantine after a colleague examined constructive for COVID-19, and documented the expertise in a vlog. “As a videographer, I have done similar videos in the past about my experiences for my YouTube channel, and also for my company. So, when I heard the news, it got me thinking, what could I do that is creative during this time? Hence the vlog,” he says.

Manu Ignatius’ photograph from his Singapore apartment

Manu Ignatius’ {photograph} from his Singapore residence  

Staying in a single place has compelled him additionally to be extra inventive. “Fortunately, I live in a place with a decent view. So, I try experimenting with what I can, from my apartment. That means, trying different lenses and filters on the frame,” he explains.

Wildlife photographers are additionally discovering methods to adapt. Aparna Purushothaman is savouring her new home, and its environment on the outskirts of Kottayam. “What your eyes see is always better than what a camera captures. We photographers miss that. Now I get to watch and enjoy those ‘moments’,” she says, including that she hasn’t touched her digicam all lately.

Aparna Purushothaman’s shot of view from her home

Aparna Purushothaman’s shot of view from her house  

“It is a reminder of what I am missing!” she says. She now is aware of that each morning a Rufous Treepie knocks on her window, sees sunbirds that go to her backyard, and flocks of parrots, parakeets and pigeons feed on the grain left behind after harvest in fields.

Aneesh Sankarankutty who specialises in photographing elephants is staying house, and consoling himself with the undeniable fact that the lockdown in proving to be helpful for wildlife. The first journey he intends to make is to the Nelliyampathy hills to see a favorite elephant. “There has never been this long a gap between my trips to Nelliyampathy all these years,” he says. Till then, he’s doing analysis and atone for his studying that can assist along with his fieldwork.

This enforced downtime is proving helpful for making an attempt new strategies. Vohra, Sreeranj and Menon are additionally mentoring pictures college students and fanatics, utilizing on-line discussions, workshops and pictures lessons to succeed in out.

A troublesome time

That stated, like everybody else caught on this surprising pandemic, photographers too battle to be productive. Photographer KR Sunil says it’s difficult to be inventive at occasions like this. Sunil, who has proven his works at venues and occasions reminiscent of the Kochi Muziris Biennale (2016) and the Indian Habitat Center (Delhi) was scheduled to go to Australia on an change programme, now postponed. “You look at the news on the television or the newspapers…I cannot be creative at a time like this. I just couldn’t bring myself to take out my camera during the (2018 Kerala) floods,” he says. The common temper of tension doesn’t allow him to.

“No photography, for now,” he says.

Keeping it modern

From Shafi Shakkeer’s Facetime photographs

From Shafi Shakkeer’s Facetime pictures

Fashion photographers throughout the world are now utilizing cell phones to shoot remotely– by way of Facetime or video calls. Shafi Shakkeer was reportedly certainly one of the first in Kerala to strive ‘Facetime photography’. He deliberate and ‘shot’ from Thrissur, and of the two fashions – one was in Kochi and the different in Kodungallur. “This is virtual photography, the model poses and I click, in a manner of speaking. The frame is set based on what is available…sometimes we use props to accentuate the mood,” he says. This type has solely two folks there may be one other model the place a 3rd individual, at the mannequin’s location, who clicks below the photographer’s steering. “There is nothing much really for the photographer to do,” he says.

All agree that it’s most secure to remain house for now, Menon attracts an attention-grabbing parallel saying, “I inform my college students, ‘balancing precariously on the edge of a cliff for one stunning photograph is great. But remember, you’ll get one other {photograph} provided that you are alive.’

(With inputs from Aishwarya Upadhye)

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