While we’re certainly living in unsettling times: forced to cancel events, and observe quarantine measures and social distancing due to COVID-19, there are many things we can do to stay creative and productive. Our fellow photographers are coming up with tips and suggestions on how to keep our skills sharp even with the limitations that come with being stuck at home. JT of Run N Gun, who suggests we think of this situation as a gift of free time, recently shared his quick video and blog post about 10 things you can do to keep boredom at bay while holding out.
Try macro photography.
Whether you’re new to the genre or have made it your specialty, this is the perfect time to do macro photography. Take the challenge of seeing everyday things differently or exploring miniature worlds through your camera and macro lens. Try shooting extreme close-ups of household objects: pencils, food, fabrics, textures, and more.
Clean your gear.
You should regularly be doing this anyway. But if you have some cameras, lenses, and accessories still waiting to be tidied up, you have no excuse to neglect them now! You can even clean up your work station, studio, and storage areas while you’re at it.
Organize your drives.
If you haven’t organized your hard drives and media in a long time, now would also be a great time to do so. Since you’re not adding a lot of files, it’s a great time to give your internal and/or external drives some error-checking and defragmenting to ensure optimum performance.
Re-edit old photos.
Want to see how far you’ve gone with your photography skills? Why don’t you breathe new life to your old photos that you might have either forgotten or disregarded in the past? If you’re new to photography, this is also the perfect time to make better edits using skills and techniques you’ve learned so far.
Update your portfolio.
This is another of those things you should be doing anyway. Always make sure your portfolio is up to date! You can take JT’s example and take the first week of self-quarantine organizing your files, re-editing old photos, and updating your portfolio. Who knows; maybe you have some old photos that are worthy of adding to your current portfolio!
If you’re into portrait photography, we’re sure you find it frustrating that you won’t get to work with a model or even a friend to practice anytime soon. Take this opportunity instead to shoot self-portraits with some techniques or styles to try next time. As mentioned by JT, it will also let you have a better understanding of what it’s like to be on the other side of the lens.
Create new presets.
Apart from checking your preset library, you can also take this time to create you own presets. For faster workflow, JT suggests making your own presets for different kinds of photography. If you’re getting into a new genre, for example, you might want to create one or two presets for that you can quickly use to apply different looks.
Back up your media.
This is another important part of every photographer’s workflow, so if you were too busy to do back-ups, you have plenty of time now. Nothing sucks more than losing years of important work!
Another great use of your time is learning something new to further your craft along. Whether it’s something to enrich your current project or a new technique to add to your skill set, use this time wisely to become a better photographer.
Lastly, while you’re stuck at home due to the quarantine, it doesn’t mean you have to entirely isolate yourself from the rest of the world. Today, there are many ways to keep in touch with friends, family members, colleagues, and even other photographers across the globe: all of them can give you feedback about your work. There are also many online forums where you can share your work and ask for feedback.