Lockdown & Me

The tenth instalment of my #LivingInLockdown series, which I have debated for some time over publishing this particular post. I have written & rewritten it countless times in my head. This entry is more personal than my previous #LivingInLockdown posts, I wanted to document how lockdown has directly affected me, hopefully this series of photos does that to some extent. I much prefer being behind the camera than in front of it, so this self-portraiture instalment feels unnatural for me.

#LivingInLockdown

Back in March 2020 when the first COVID-19 lockdown was imposed upon us I decided I wanted to record the pandemic & subsequent lockdown somehow. It was always going to be a photographic project let’s face it.

Initially I considered a daily self portrait as a way of recording my experience of lockdown. That didn’t last long as 1) I’m not fan of always being in front of the camera, and 2) I’d basically forget to take daily photos. The above photos are my attempt at daily self-portraits. I later decided that recording particular themes during lockdown was more effective way of recording my experience of lockdown.

I proceeded to still take the occasional self portrait as lockdown has progressed to try to capture my mood at that particular moment, some of which I have shared in this entry of #LivingInLockdown.

Social Isolating vs Socially Awkward

Being someone who is socially awkward & a bit of a social introvert the thought of social isolating I have to admit did not fill me with dread like it may have done for some others. It was more like “I can do this”, in some ways I was quite looking forward to being able to work more from home.

Working From Home

Both my wife & I have been able to work from home, which was pretty easy going as our employers adapted to new ways of working. This wasn’t a completely new concept to me as I had worked from home partially prior to the pandemic. I enjoyed the freedom of home working & our own little home office that we created so we each had our own dedicated workspace.

Back to Nature

The first lockdown being during Spring & Summer definitely helped us stay positive. We used our allocated daily outdoor exercise to go on nature walks, which became photo-nature walks. This definitely gave me lots of inspiration for my regular photo posts.

Winter Lockdown

The 2nd & 3rd lockdowns have definitely been harder to stay motivated. Being during Winter has made us reluctant to venture outside for our daily outdoor exercise. I’m definitely not a fan of Winter or being cold. As a result I did not venture out much with my camera.

Furloughed = Demotivated

The last 2 months of our 3rd and most recent lockdown I have spent furloughed, which I have found the hardest. Having 2 months off with nothing to do & no where to go during Winter has completely demotivated me, even when it comes to activities that I enjoy. The novelty of having time off with no work quickly wore off after about 2 weeks. As my wife was still working from home I tried to stay out of our office as to not distract her from work. The highlights of my days have been when she finishes work or weekends so that we can do things together. I’m fairly independent but when it’s Winter and your extremely limited to where your allowed to go, being on your own is now fun. I can’t begin to imagine what this pandemic & lockdowns have been like for anyone who lives on their own. These times have been trying on us all, although I do feel that we have been quite lucky compared to some.

Looking to the Future

As we are now slowly starting to move out of lockdown (again) in the UK and more people get vaccinated, here’s hoping that we are heading towards brighter more normal times.

#StaySafe

Lockdown Looking Out

The sixth instalment to my #LivingInLockdown series. I’ve been holding on to this post for a little while now.

Breaking away from the black & white of my previous lockdown posts. It’s not quite went the way that I had originally planned when I first imagined the concept for this one. I hadn’t planned for it to be purely in colour. Also it’s no where near my best photography, not even close. So I hesitated over even publishing this post. As part of me is of the opinion that you should only publish what you believe is your best work. Then the other part of me thought wait I’m trying to document what hopefully is a once in a lifetime situation so just go with it. Maybe that’s the difference with documentary photography, it’s facts not art. Anyway it’s done now, I’ve published it to my site.

For some of us the only view of the outside world at the moment during lockdown is through our windows. As I’ve said before I’ve been lucky to be able to venture outside for exercise etc. Side thought – Think it would be interesting to see other people’s views from their windows. What’s other people’s vantage points are. I chose to focus on the view from the rear of our house from downstairs. The garden still needs a little work but is coming back in to bloom. It’s definitely been providing me with lots of garden wildlife to photograph. Lots of inspiration for future posts.

#StaySafe

Shopping in Lockdown

My fifth instalment of #LivingInLockdown, another glimpse in to life during COVID-19 lockdown in the UK.

One of the few occasions that we’re allowed to venture out in to the big world outside of our homes…shopping!!! Where even people who would normally hate the ideal of shopping are probably rejoicing to be able to pop to the shops. I have to admit I have only been out shopping once since lockdown (as my wife has been doing our weekly shop, so no change there…lol). We needed a few bits that we didn’t get on our usual weekly shop, so nipped to one of our local shopping centres, which inspired this post.

So far from what I have seen most retailers are adhering to our governments social distancing guidelines. Retailers are becoming our fourth emergency service, keeping us all stocked up on provisions. Thankfully most of the panic buying (pasta, toilet roll, etc) appears to be over and the shops seem to be pretty well stocked again (so my wife tells me). Like I said in my last post I think lockdown is becoming the new normal (for just now at least). We are being very British and just getting on with life the best that we can.

#StaySafe

Community on Lockdown

The third instalment of my #LivingInLockdown series. This instalment is from the streets of the local suburb where I live.

Everywhere is on lockdown, entire countries, cities, towns, villages, right down to our local communities. We find ourselves 5 weeks in to the UK COVID-19 lockdown. Social distancing, what started as being a bit of a strange experiment has now become the new normal as most of us have settled in to lockdown. Only key workers heading out to work. While the rest of us self isolate at home. The lucky few (or unlucky depending on how you look at it) can work from home (which I count myself lucky).

The street that I live on is pretty quiet in normal times to be honest. So I haven’t seen a big change to daily life on our street with lockdown. Apart from our neighbours possibly doing more DIY. I’m sure the lockdown has affected the people in my community in various ways.

Being at home more due to lockdown has allowed me to explore more of our local community, while on our daily (sometimes not so daily) exercise walks. Before lockdown it was all to easy to get home from work & settle in for the evening, then on days off to venture out further afield to explore. We forget to explore & experience what’s on our own doorstep sometimes.

#StaySafe

City on Lockdown


It’s been a week since the first post in my #LivingInLockdown series. While I was on annual leave last week I spent some of my spare time working on ideas to continue this series. Although this particular post is actually inspired by an outing we had into town on Tuesday this week (so that my wife could attend her blood donors appointment). So here is my second entry in the series of #LivingInLockdown – “City on Lockdown“, original title I know.

This was the first time that I have been into Sheffield city centre since the UK went in to lockdown over 5 weeks ago. It might actually be longer than that as I don’t tend to go in to the city centre much these days. It was very strange to be walking around the city streets that are usually bustling with life and see them almost empty of people. I think one of the weirdest experiences was hearing the town hall clock chime and it echoing along the empty streets.

In some respects it was nice to enjoy the city centre so quiet, but in others it was a very bizarre feeling. It made the lockdown somehow more real. Being at home for the last 5 weeks (apart from going out for a walk to our local parks as part of our daily exercise) I guess we’ve been in our own little bubble. In some ways the lockdown and the COVID-19 pandemic has been happening around us. Being in the city centre and seeing how deserted it was, with most of the shops, and all the pubs, and restaurants closed brought a reality of sorts to this lockdown. We have been very lucky so far that apart from both my wife and I now working completely from home and obviously not seeing family and friends we’ve been relatively untouched by the lockdown.

We’re both back to work and working from home this week after our weeks annual leave. When I’m not working I have more to share as I document #LivingInLockdown.
#StaySafe

Photography vs Lockdown

I’ve not been posting to my website as much of late. As for one reason or another I’ve not had the time or the motivation to blog. So I’m going to try and use some of my new found extra spare time to blog more and spend more time on my photography. I’ve previously only posted photo blogs and then only posted when I’ve had some photos that I particularly wanted to share. Going forward I shall try and share some of my thoughts as well. With this in mind I have added the new blog category of “Behind The Lens”. So here we go…

One thing that I have learned from the current Corona Virus lockdown that we all find ourselves in. Is while most of us are social isolating and or social distancing it’s important to take the time to enjoy the little things in life.

For me one of those little things is to try and spend more time enjoying nature. Although we are all on lockdown, we are still currently aloud to go outside for some form of daily exercise (walks, cycling, etc) as long as we adhere to the governments Social Distancing guidelines. Where we live we are quite lucky that we are surrounded by various parks, woodlands etc. So some form of nature is no more than 10 minutes away from our house. We have been trying to make the most of this and once a day taking some time to get out & enjoy nature. Our garden is also providing us another way of getting back to nature as well as providing some great photographic opportunities thanks so some of our garden wildlife visitors.

The above video was taken during a walk around one of our local parks. I was trying to capture the birdsong as well as the daffodils (sorry not the best sound quality). I also managed to get some nice photos of this year’s daffodils that are already in full bloom. I’ve not posted those up yet. Watch this space.

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