Over the course of August of 2020, we invited photographers to send us photos shot during the lockdown. These images revealed the various ways in which we all engage with photography. For some of us, the stories were about how we interact with our homes and spaces and for others it is about documenting our world and how it has changed due to this global pandemic.
As a student of architecture and a learner of photography, I always wanted to try and capture new things from different perspectives. In the process of learning, I came to know that there is a whole new macro world out there, in everything we see.
In order to capture macro photographs in-camera, we need a dedicated macro lens which was really costly for me. So, I was looking for an alternative and found a piece of equipment called ‘lens reverser’, which costs around INR 350. This equipment helps us to reverse our basic kit lens (18-55mm Canon) and use it as a macro lens.
“Using this method for #macrophotography won’t give you all the options that the dedicated macro lens offers, like changing the aperture, and you may find some difficulties in focusing at the beginning. But this is a great option for people who cannot afford a macro lens. The pictures shown above are shot using the lens reverser and a canon 18-55mm kit lens during this quarantine. Hope this helps some learners.”
“Early in the onset of the lockdown, on one evening during chat-over-chai with my family, ‘My Way’ by Frank Sinatra played on my earphones. The sun was setting, the sky was picturesque, and all of my family was together – everything inspired me to create! I started filming little things we would do and how we behave in our personal spaces or when not under a microscope. Doing portraits was a challenge I then gave myself.
“As an amateur, you always see ‘portraits’ by the measure of a frame of a person’s upper body. Correct, but not entirely. Portraits are as challenging as they get and equally expressive too. Oh! The tales you could spin with just the eyes, the posture, the right light, and a 50mm. To capture an emotion – a story within that frame constraint is a journey you only admire more as you go.
“The scary turn for me, however, was the post-processing. How do I make my photographs ‘look’ the way they ‘feel’? A pretty picture is secure to make, achieving ‘the right histogram’ is alright too, but if being wrong by the texts meant my photos looked right to me, felt right to me – I might take that. Blown highlights, raw colors, and uncomfortable gradients, you name it! And so was put together a portrait series – an experiment that is helping me explore my idea of photography, and how pictures can make me feel when crafted right (my way).”
“‘aisī tanhā.ī ki mar jaane ko jī chāhtā hai.’
Little did I know coming home would be another lonely affair altogether. As I moved from one realm of loneliness to the other, from the hostel to my home, in June, all I could notice was the brazen absence of hope in those around me. The environment was sullen, hearts as emptied as the unkempt garden in front of our house. The only medium of solace I could find all this time was an ubiquitous pursuit of light, wherever I was. And of course, what other form to eternalise this pursuit of light than photography?
This experience has been daunting for me, and the need to photograph whatever I could find a ray of hope in seems to be as important as my existence itself.”
“Photography is one of the most wonderful things in my life. My interest in photography started because of my love for nature and monuments. I’ve always admired the beauty of nature and its lovely creations. I bought my personal camera last year and was eagerly waiting for the summer holidays, but the lockdown unfortunately cost me all my plans of exploring nature. So I tried different types of photography at home.
I noticed that there are some birds which come near my house in the early mornings and evenings, so I tried photographing them. These birds made my day. The time spent capturing them were the best moments of my quarantine.”
“The lockdown has given me a good opportunity to learn more about documentary photography and its nuances on various online platforms. I have started to develop a great affinity towards the genre of documentary photography and visual storytelling, and I am certainly aiming to venture into long-term personal projects.
“I felt it is important to document my neighbourhood during this crucial time, and the attached work is from the ongoing project I am currently working on to showcase evolution of the ‘new normalcy’.”
#InAugustCompany with Meenakshi Vydianathan, a student of class 8.
“When the Lockdown started, I was frustrated and annoyed at the fact that we could not go out or meet anyone… But later it hit me that it was going to go on for way longer than I expected it to, so I decided to put in this time into learning something new.
“I have always liked taking pictures of people, but it wasn’t until the lockdown that I realised that I wanted to do something serious with photography. At the beginning of the lockdown, I enrolled myself in an online photography course which taught the basics of photography using a DSLR, and later I joined a few Facebook photography groups and started sharing my work. Some of my work started to get recognised and appreciated, which helped me gain more confidence. Being more confident now, I’m enjoying the process of making pictures using smartphones and DSLR.
“Having discovered the world of photography, I look forward to pursuing this journey in the years to come.”
#InAugustCompany with Soundarajan
“Am I reflecting my thoughts in person or in terms of my actions? In this course of time, photography made me introspect about where I stand.
“It gives me breath to see how I reflect my thoughts, fear, anger, tolerance, happiness and complexities in managing relationships inside or outside my four walls. This course of time gave me an understanding about the complexity of the relationship I had with my father, and how a hitch in the family business took its toll on our personal life during the lockdown.
“I present my work ‘Far’, which is about the way I drifted from my father in my 30s.”