In Australia right now, it’s bushfire season. And this year, it has been a particularly bad one. That means that for a significant part of the Summer so far, I’ve been stuck indoors trying to avoid noxious bush fire smoke. To top it off, now we have the Coronavirus to contend with. Usually, the majority of my photography is based outside. But to keep myself sane, I’ve been busying myself with photography projects around the house. Here are some tried-and-tested photography ideas for when you are stuck indoors.
Photograph the ordinary
When you’re stuck indoors, it can seem like the subject matter is limited. However, under the eye of the camera, ordinary objects can become extraordinary.
As photographers, we are trained to seek out unusual and distinctive subject matter, so day-to-day objects can fall by the wayside. But responding to the subjects in your immediate environment can offer a new creative perspective, expanding your photographic repertoire.
Try blurred or unfocused photography
Photographers generally strive to achieve sharply focused images. But if you’re stuck indoors, shifting your technique a little can be a refreshing change. Blurry or deliberately out-of-focus photography can render unexpectedly beautiful results.
During a longer exposure, try physically moving your camera around to cultivate streaks of light. Or, instead of focusing on achieving pin-sharp photographs, switch your camera to manual focus and embrace an intriguing blurry aesthetic.
Abstract photography is a field of photography that doesn’t rely on objective subject matter. Instead, abstract photographers aim to convey ideas by focusing on the emotive experience of image-making and viewing.
There are plenty of subjects found indoors that you can use to generate abstract images. Try isolating subject matter with macro photography, or focusing in on interesting textured surfaces.
In terms of photography ideas for when you are stuck indoors, this has to be one of my favorites. This little project involves photographing the stress-points of plastic objects.
While it might not sound particularly exciting, taking photographs of polarized plastic reveals colorful, otherworldly visual attributes in materials that are often taken for granted.
With a polarizing filter, a computer screen and a selection of plastic objects, you can investigate the materials around you in a whole new light. Have a look at the full guide here.
Get into physiograms
Another great photography idea for when you are stuck indoors is physiography. Physiography involves recording the movements of a swinging light suspended over a camera during a long exposure. Because the light source needs to be suspended from a sturdy roof or beam and the project needs to be performed in the dark, physiograms are a great photography idea for when you are stuck indoors.
Check out the how-to here.
Switch it up
This photography idea for when you are stuck indoors is a simple one – change it up a bit!
Photography at home can impact your practice in every environment. So, if you are inclined to photograph in color, why not take advantage of your time indoors and practice black and white photography instead?
If you are used to shooting landscapes, try focusing on details around the house. Have a go with a lesser-used lens, or even have a go at improving your camera-phone skills.
Whether it’s online, in a book or a magazine or on a podcast, there is a wealth of information about photography available. Reading up on photography is a great photography idea for when you are stuck indoors. Study new techniques, brush up on your photographic history, revisit camera theory…the options are endless.
Grab a book or kindle etc, settle in and get some knowledge.
Re-visit old photos
If (like me) you have a steadily growing stockpile of digital images that need a little TLC, you’re in luck. Being stuck indoors is a great time to revisit those old files hidden in the depths of your hard drive.
If you aren’t in the mood for photography around the house, editing old photos is a great alternative. Plus, you may find some gems that somehow went under the radar!
Being stuck indoors may seem like a real pain…until you realize the wealth of photographic opportunities around you! Whether it be experimenting with abstraction, polarization, or physiograms, or taking some time-out to study or re-visit old photos, there are plenty of photography ideas for when you are stuck indoors.
The hard bit is choosing which one to try first!