Are you a photographer stuck at home?
Most cities now have a “shelter in place” mandate to stop the spread of the awful Coronavirus. The safest thing to do is stay at home, but how can you keep your creative juices flowing? Our new normal (at least for the next 30-60 days) can be a great time to learn new skills in Photoshop, Lightroom, photography and video. I have found many ways to continue being productive and help pass the time while having fun. I would like to share a creative guide for photographers with you.
Below is my shortlist of ways you can be creative.
- Harold Davis books and videos
- Spring flower photography
- Macro photography
- Start a photo journal
Let’s start with Linkedinlearning.com
Formerly lynda. com., LinkedIn offers a plethora of online learning including everything you have ever wanted to know about Photoshop, Lightroom and ACR. If you are new to Photoshop, I would start with the Essentials Training Basics and Essential Training Photography. I took both courses and then I jumped on to Photoshop 2020 One-on-One Fundamentals. I have been a Photoshop user for almost twenty years, but I still learned so much about the software and how I can improve and enhance my photography. Best of all, the subscription is only $30 per month and you can cancel it anytime you want.
Here are some of the best tips I learned so far:
- Use the content-aware tool to extend a background when cropping.
- Add your copyright to an image that will be posted online.
- Use scrubby sliders to increase or decrease a setting (now I am getting really excited)
- Converting to a smart object for a non-destructive edit.
- Lots and lots of keyboard shortcuts.
Creative Live rocks!
I have been an active member of Creative Live since 2012. Their online workshops are intended for those who have a passion for being creative. You can learn new photography skills such as wildlife photography, or try something new like public speaking. (we can all use that). If you are a parent homeschooling your child, you can probably find some crafty projects to work on with them. Creative Live’s tagline is: Master your craft, your passion, or something new with creative classes taught by the world’s best.
The trick with Creative Live is to find out their schedule for their FREE ON-AIR and LIVE classes. They are usually during the day, and now what else to you have to do? You can also pay a fee to watch an online course at your own freedom. Creative Live offers a Pass for a very affordable monthly or annual fee. To learn more about Creative Live click the link below.
If you haven’t heard of Harold Davis
you are in for a big treat. He is not only one of the best photographers on earth, he is also a poet and wonderful instructor. He has a knack for creating beauty out of simple subjects and is willing he is to share his skill and talent. I would start on his website to learn more about his books, webinars and live workshops.
Harold’s creative vision is unparalleled in the industry. He has been one of my favorite photographers for a long time. I have enjoyed one of his webinars: Painting in Transparency Using a High-Key Layer Stack Webinar with Harold Davis, that I have watched it over and over again. For this process, you will need a lightbox, and there are lots of DIY instructions available online. It will be worth your time to check out Harold Davis.
The spring flowers are amazing
depending on where you live. In Georgia, spring has sprung, and the landscape is filled with cherry blossoms, azaleas, tulips, dogwoods, and a very high pollen count. Going outside in nature can be a great way to unstress in today’s uncertain times. Maintaining social distancing is a must.
You can research the botanical gardens where you live to see if they are open. Near where I live, Gibbs Gardens is still open. Although I have been there many times, I find the early spring to be the most beautiful time to witness and photograph nature. Gibbs Gardens is in Ballground, GA, about 50 miles north of Atlanta. If you go, make sure you pay online in advance and go online for their hours.
Macro Photography is like discovering
a parallel universe that can not typically be seen with the naked eye. I am just beginning my adventures in this genre of photography, so I do not have tons to share except get out there and give it a try.
You will need a macro lens or an extension tube kit. The extension tubes are the cheapest way to go and are a great way to start out in macro photography. I used the tube kit for years but decided to invest in a macro lens this year. I have the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro Lens which is an awesome sharp lens, which I can also use for portraits.
Macro photography is something you can do in your own backyard or at your kitchen table. Crawl around on the ground and look under plants and in the soil and you might be surprised what you can see with a macro lens. For indoor work, I usually buy a bouquet of flowers from Publix and photography them all week long. If you live in an area where spring flowers are in bloom, you will have a special advantage.
Lastly, I would encourage you to journal
during these difficult times. You never know, your journal could become a best-seller someday. Since you are a photographer, accompany your text with photographs that tell a story. Your story could be handed down to your grandchildren and great-grandchildren someday.
I hope I have given you enough ideas for a month.
Hopefully, we will not be hunkered down after April. We will all get through this together. Be safe, stay healthy and keep shooting!
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