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  • Writer's pictureRuss Tierney

Lock down boredom beaters

CORVID-19, what can we do as photographers?

What follows is an expanded post I put up on Facebook!

How it affects Splash Point Photo?

It's obviously looking as though studio day's will have to be cancelled for a short while. Typically we host them every two weeks, so we'll look to reschedule any that are affected, but as we only have two a month, lets cross our fingers and toes that not too many fall foul of the current situation. Luckily, off the top of my head, I don't believe the next two have any deposits tied up in them, so we've got a four-week window at least, but we'll play it by ear and see how the situation unfolds!

In that time i'm looking at other means of keeping the studio busy and growing our community. The video at the top of the page is a taster idea of a new video project i'm working on with local photographer Alex Bytheway who'll be narrating it remotely. We'll be calling it one minute 101s, and they'll be designed as introduction videos for anyone who fears the studio or is a little wary through lack of experience. In a double whammy, they'll obviously show some of what we have here at Splash Point and help newer photographers with guidence to jump straight in. We'll start the series off with some easily digestible videos that will introduce you to different strobes. They'll compare the differences in strobe brands while showing how they all pretty much have all the same basic features. Ultimately, a light is a light is a light, and you pay for consistency and convenience in higher end gear. Of course, the higher end stuff will have more pro and specialist features that many will never use, or simply neglect to use out of habit, but realistically all you need is the basics to take great portraits! These videos will expand in to quick mini tutorials on lighting patterns and the effects of different modifiers on lights, and how you can combine them for more complicated looking, yet simple set-ups!

So what can you do as photographers? While i'm lucky to have a studio at my disposal, even if you're stuck at home you can do a little still life photography and experiment. Use a bit of window light and a reflector. Don't have a reflector? Use white paper or a white sheet! Use the sheet to soften the light if it's harsh, use blinds and curtains to change the amount and shape of light. Play with your speedlite flash. Explore the setting you never use and You Tube its features for practical application.

Start/get some blogs out (hey presto)! Exploring stuff you know, but doing it in writing, will help you think about it more deeply and either reinforce that knowledge or challenge it and where it can tail off too. Look at some places to get published. Collaborate with (online)magazines if it benefits your project or presence. Got a back catalogue? Look at stock sites! I wouldn't be surprised if they see an up turn in both applicants and people needing more generic photo illustrations as there's fewer new images to be shot.

Read! I may give light science magic a re-read as i've neglected my intake of new information. As suggested above, refreshers are priceless to reinforcing information you've long forgotten and knowing who you are as a photographer, plus it's also nice to remember how far you've come! Remember though, don't be preached to by books, just because they're published it doesn't mean they're right! Usually it's the same old painting by numbers rubbish while withholding the authors secrets.. which is why they're writing that and aren't David Lachapelle! Having said that, some do hold eureka moments that help you turn a corner, just take the authors' opinion with a pinch of salt and apply what you like and think will improve your style rather than changing it! Light, science and magic, however, is something of a bible to studio photographers and well worth a read.. but i think you should get started with our 101s first ;)

If you don't have the attention span or resources to risk finding new photography material to read, hop on to You Tube and watch videos. There's literally endless videos! Sometimes I watch ones that do nothing for my style so I can just to see how others work. Again, i'll take what I like from them and leave the rest! Sometimes I have them on in the background while doing other stuff in case I absorb anything subconsciously - that's genuinely not bad practice either, for some creators, part of their income is You Tube revenue, so you'll be doing people a favour too! Here's one photographer that isn't particularly my style, but i've been watching of late:

Or get your photoshop (or lightroom, or occasional shoot tips) on with Phlearn! Aaron Nace has a beautifully approachable style with very little ego and assumption as to your ability.

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