With all of the pandemic panic flooding this internet, I’m doing my best to do my part in a positive manner. I’m staying home to try and keep myself, my family, and my community safe. In the beginning, I did find my mind being utterly obsessed covid-19 so I’m trying to put a spin on things for my own mental health. Therefore, I’m calling our shelter in place order a homecation. I’m taking advantage of quality time with the family. And naturally, I’m still finding ways to include nature and landscape photography in my lifestyle. Here are 11 productive photography activities you can do during your homecation.
Sun beams burst from behind trees on a running trail in my hometown.
1. Backup your Images:
In a perfect world, backing up your images would be automatic, and you don’t have to do anything. In reality, I know plenty of photographers who could use an overhaul on their backup systems. So take the time now to either manually backup your photos, research storage solutions, learn about RAID, and/or setup a cloud based solution.
2. Edit Images from Your Archives:
I haven’t met a photographer who doesn’t have a bunch of images just waiting to still be edited. So go through your archives, find an image, and make some post-processing magic.
3. Organize and Keyword Your Images:
Oh, this is the perfect time to sit down, reminisce about your old trips and keyword your images! Perhaps, I’m the only person who gets excited about keywords, but they are so helpful! Before you start, think of all the potential keyword categories that would be helpful. For example, I love using keywords to identify seasons, type of landscape (desert, mountain, waterfall, lake), geographical location, designation (national park, UNESCO site), and type of light (sunrise, sunset, midday).
4. Learn a New Shooting or Editing Technique:
Education in photography is a never-ending journey. If you can’t be out at a location, then learn a new skill in the digital darkroom. Try learning about dodging and burning, luminosity masks, or HDR blending. Perhaps read about smart objects, focus stacking, or perspective blending/focal length blending.
5. Practice Macro or Try Bird Photography In Your Backyard:
If wasn’t until I was unable to travel that I really started to dive into the world of macro photography. As a woman who loves her wide-angle lens, my macro lens has been getting a lot of love these days. It is such a fun and creative outlet. Moreover, it can be done pretty much any time of day.
6. Read a Landscape Photography Book:
While many claim that the #1 way to improve your photography is to shoot, I strongly believe that I learned a lot from reading photography books over the years. Reading gives a whole new perspective when thinking about the craft. Here are three books which come highly recommended. What photography book shifted your perspective on landscape photography?
Mountain Light: In Search of the Dynamic Landscape by Galen Rowell
Digital Landscape Photography: In the Footsteps of Ansel Adams by Michael Frye
The Art, Science, and Craft of Great Landscape Photography by Glenn Randall
7. Binge on Videos and Podcasts:
Thankfully, there is a multitude of educational as well as entertaining videos and podcasts on the internet to watch. Moreover, you can finally watch that video tutorial that you bought months ago but never actually watched. We’ve all done it at some point. I think Mark Denney and Sean Bagshaw have been making some great content on YouTube. Nick Page is always entertaining in his Landscape Photography podcast. Moreover, there are many great articles and video tutorials you can watch on Visual Wilderness.
8. Research and Plan a Future Photography Trip:
There is no better time to take some time behind your computer screen and plan a future trip. Where do you want to go? When is the best time to visit? Are there iconic locations to visit? What time of day is the best to photograph them? Use travel websites, local tourism sites, PhotoPills, The Photographer’s Ephemeris (TPE). This is the time to iron out all those details!
9. Find Other Amazing Landscape Photographers Around the Globe:
Every corner of the world is budding with amazing, inspiring, and talented photographers. I can dive deep in the rabbit hole of looking at the work of other artists. It is interesting to see their interpretation of places I’ve already photographed or become inspired to visit new places from their artwork.
10. Relive a Past Trip Through Your Photos:
Photos are supposed to tell stories. One of my favorite things to do is to look at exactly what I was doing 1 , 5, 7, and 10 years ago. Where was I? What trip was I on? What fun stories or adventures did we have? The 4 delayed flights, food poisoning, and breaking a camera body are all fun in retrospect. Well, after enough time has passed. And especially at this time in our world, who shared that experience with you? This is the perfect time to REACH OUT to your friends VIRTUALLY and share photos and swap recollections of what actually happened from that photography trip.
11. Register the Copyright of Your Images:
In a nutshell, under the Federal Copyright Act of 1976, all photographs are protected by copyright from the very moment of creation – so right when you press the shutter. As an artist, copyright provides a way to protect your work from being used, copied, or distributed without your permission. As a copyright owner, you have the exclusive right to sell or distribute copies of the work to the public. While registering your work with the U.S. Copyright Office is voluntary, it will be needed if you are ever forced to deal with an infringement lawsuit. Therefore, if you are regularly selling prints or licensing your images, then it may be time to look into registering the copyright for your work.
What else are you doing to remain productive during this time?