You’re locked in, trying to protect yourself and others from an epidemic like few of us have ever known and someone throws a spanner in your best laid plan to sit this out with a good book. That someone is Pascal Ollier, put the blame squarely on him 😉 His challenge to you was simple : what are the best photographs you can make from the confines of your home, allowed walk, or shelter of choice?
As usual, the most interesting aspect of it all is how we each individually adapt and find a new motivation in what wasn’t necessarily a motivating subject.
Some have seized the opportunity to push their creativity to extremes and work harder, as evidenced by Philippe’s lovely post on deliberate shooting. Others have tried to maintain some modicum of continuity in their production. Others still have soaked up the concept of confinement and made it theirs and made it a subject in itself. Which is what I hoped to see, I guess, in this challenge. And what I tried to do myself, at least initially.
But, mostly, this was about finding something fun to do together, even when separated by thousands of miles and when stuck behind walls.
Predictably, given the season and our lack of travel, flowers have been a major favourite in the results that follow 😉 But not only. And we have a lot of variety in spite of the conditions!
So, thank you very much to everyone who played along! Your photographs bring joy and interesting thoughts to all those reading. I hope you all enjoy the spread that follows.
Paul explains : “Like many people across the country and around the world I have been “Sheltering in Place” and working from home for the past three weeks. I am fortunate in the we do not have mobility restrictions like some other areas. So I am able to get out and be away from home as long as I maintain my “Social” distance. I tried going to a couple of different locations while out, but found I preferred to just walk in my own neighborhood and started carrying a camera me.
These images were made while walking during the past week. The first two were made in my front yard.”
“At one time I really tried to practice macro photography. But that was then and these are now. For the image of the flowers above, I literally held my lens up to them compose on the rear screen of the camera and pressed the shutter button hoping for the best. Out of a dozen images this one had potential and the crop makes it work.
I made the image of the five mailboxes a few minutes after the flowers. I’m not sure why. But the light on them seemed nice and I liked the angle of view. The symmetry of the image kept it in consideration until it was in the final 3.”
“The last image above was made the day after the first two, about 3 blocks from my house. This mailbox is becoming a regular subject during my walks. It is part of a group of old mail boxes that are showing age and character in the form of rust and pealing paint.
Take care everyone.”
For me, confinement only takes on meaning, as in restrictive, isolating, imprisoning, frustrating, depriving, if there is a tempting outside world which cannot be accessed. If one had no conscience of that, even a cell might not be experienced as confining, it would just be our view of the world. Sort of a “Pirates of Penzance” view of female beauty. Only comparison lets us pass judgement and fuels our desires.
So, taking this challenge litterally, my pictures offer an view of both worlds. One inner, one outer. And guess where the life, the colour are…
This was tough. First, because my morale wasn’t all that good at the time and photographs rapidly turned to this:
Those were made during the 1 hour daily walk we are allowed within 1km of our home. And they were just bringing me down more.
But harder still was realising that I just don’t care about confinement photography. I have to be inspired by something to make a photograph out of it. I don’t have Philippe’s determination to beat the odds and dive into deliberate photography, making art from what is around me. When there’s nothing to photograph, I just don’t photograph. A book is just as much fun.
But I tried, because that’s what those challenges are for. To … challenge ourselves. Not as competition to compare our work with someone else, but to get our creative juices flowing so that, when something does inspire, we’re primed and efficient. So I tried, using what was around, essentially flowers, to make good photographs. And those follow.
All this made me focus. It made me think beyond an epidemic and get better at something that makes me happy. Thank you Mr Ollier.
Bob writes : “Sooner or later we all succumb to the ravages of time. How we perceive ourselves often conflicts with all evidence to the contrary. But does it matter? Ultimately, it is our spirit that is remembered. And only that.”
“Sometimes described as New England folk dance or Appalachian folk dance, contra dances can be found around the world, but are most common in the United States.
Two entwined human beings, what could be more uplifting?”
“Why do tulips give so much pleasure? Yes, indeed they are beautiful, graceful, elegant. But they emerge early in spring and, in one short burst, uplift us from the tethers of a cold, dark winter.“
“I have the advantage of having an amazing wife, who tends an almost-as-amazing greenhouse, where she raises orchids. I also go to the grocery store occasionally, where – among other things – I buy peppers, in this instance a yellow pepper. Through the magic of digital manipulation, I have managed to graft one of my wife’s phalaenopsis orchids onto one of my peppers, a cross-species hybridization if you will. Puts a coronavirus to shame.“
Jean-Claude writes: “March 26, Day 22 of confinement. Belonging in the high risk group, my wife and I are staying at home, to dodge the virus and help curb its spread.
We are fortunate to live in a comfortable house located in a relatively remote area of the Pacific Northwest. I have never enjoyed more its surrounding grounds, with a pond, a garden of native plants and bushes, and mature trees – western cedars, firs, madronas and maple trees. I venture out several times a day; nature has become my refuge. I often grab a camera, usually the iPhone or the Light L16 that sits on my desk, and take photographs in the backyard, something I have done rarely until now…
The times they are a-changin’. To all of you DearSusaners: stay safe and sane.”
Sateen writes: “To many women my age, absolute boredom is the kitchen. I have photograped mine to illsutrate lockdown. And cropped in cinemascope as a joke”.
“And absolute escapism is a desert island. So I photographed some from a Google search on my computer screen”.
Mike adds this quote to his gem of a photograph: “The trouble is, you think you have time.” Buddha’s Little Instruction Book.
Nancee writes: “Here is my contribution to the DS con(fine) art Challenge.I haven’t titled the two images, but together they could be called “The Effects of Wind on Water & Willow””
Dallas’ contribution is interesting in that it’s not a “home confinement” photograph but a photograph made as he was travelling and had to rush back home because of confinement measures. It’s a fun image and we need humour more than most things right now 😉
The challenge for April is Adrian’s Bayhem! In case you didn’t read his post, the idea of Bayhem (named after infamous film director Michael Bay) is to cram your frame full of visual elements. Think of a haiku and do the exact opposite, make it loud, make it chock a block with content, make it exciting and exhausting to watch. You know how you often like to make a serene, well composed picture of a tranquil lake with soft plumes of mist rising in the first pink rays of day? Well, not that 😉 😉
Then, if you want to plan ahead, Philippe has suggested the concept of RAW images. Photographs that depict something primal, as opposed to photographs that have been post processed to look spectacular. That follows in May.
For now, though, what do you think of our collective (con)fine art?
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