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

Update & Thank You

I would like to say thank you to my followers & readers, your support is really appreciated. Your likes & kind comments encourage me to continue to share my work & keep blogging.

I count myself as a photographer first and a blogger second. The blogging part does not come easy to me (as you can probably tell from reading my posts). Knowing what to write often has me staring at the screen as if starring in to the abyss, my mind completely blank. I have lost count the amount of times I have written a paragraph then rewrite it several times until I’m happy with how it sounds.

So my posts have been a little sporadic of late. It’s the double edged sword of lockdown & being furloughed, all the time in the world to do whatever you want (well from the comfort of your home) and having none of the motivation to do it. This past couple of months since being furloughed I am really struggling with being motivated. To my kinda followers & readers please bear with me.

I have a few ideas up my sleeve for future posts. I’ve managed to venture outside for a couple of local photo walks, which I plan to share. I am also continuing to work on ideas for my #LivingInLockdown project that I started during the beginning of the pandemic back in March 2020.

Over the past few weeks I have made some minor cosmetic tweaks to my website, which hopefully make it easier to navigate. I am also working on a potential new section to my website, which hopefully will go to plan and I will be able to publish soon.

Thank you again to my followers & readers. #StaySafe.

Winter In Lockdown

The eighth instalment of my #LivingInLockdown series. Who could have imagined that 10 months after the first national COVID-19 lockdown that we would find ourselves in yet another national lockdown.

Now we find ourselves in Winter (which inspired this post), a new year (“hello 2021”) and our 3rd national lockdown since this pandemic began 10 months ago.

This selection of lockdown photos was impromptu compared to my earlier #LivingInLockdown posts (sorry for the lack of photos). As since Autumn, due to work commitments and if I’m honest just sheer lack of motivation. I have not spent as much time recording lockdown as I did in the first lockdown back in Spring. So I took a brief moment out from working to capture the beauty of the recent snowfall from our windows.

Although I am not a fan of being cold I was quite pleased to see the snow (helped by the fact that I did not HAVE to go out in it). As it motivated me to go outside for exercise & take photos (socially distanced of course). Some of which I have already shared on a previous post “Snowfall”, I still have a few more to share when I get around to it. Part of me would be happy if it snowed for the duration of this latest lockdown.

It’s safe to say that I have found lockdown during the Autumn & Winter months harder to stay motivated. Is it because the weather is colder? Is it because lockdown/pandemic is wearing me down? Is it a combination of both of these? The colder weather has definitely made me less motivated to go outside for our allowed exercise. So as a result I have not spent as much time on outdoor photo walks as I did during Spring & Summer. I am not complaining though, we have been very lucky compared to some. Thankfully to my knowledge we have not contracted COVID-19 and are healthy, our family and friends are healthy, and we have been able to work consistently thus far during the pandemic, which I think has helped us keep a level of routine and sanity.

#StaySafe

Lockdown 2.0

So here in the UK (well in England at least) we find ourselves 12 days in to another country wide lockdown. All going well it should only last for a month, ending on the 2nd December 2020. Not to sound pessimistic but we were told that last time, and 3 months later it was still in effect. I’m not going to get all political or get in to my thoughts of what I think will or should happen next on here as its not the place for such ramblings. So moving swiftly on I’m taking each day as it comes and trying my best to look on the bright side of life. You can find the silver lining in most things if you look hard enough.

Although I am working throughout this second lockdown (so my free time will be limited), I want to try to record some of this second lockdown in a similar way to the last one with my #LivingInLockdown project. It will be interesting to see the differences as we’re now in Autumn heading in to Winter instead of Spring in to Summer.

#LivingInLockdown the story so far

As yet I’ve not had the opportunity to get out with my camera, we’ve not really been out for daily exercise like we did during the Spring Lockdown. The colder temperatures & wetter weather hasn’t really been encouraging us to venture out for walks.

Whatever happens in the coming weeks, lets all stay safe.

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

Time On Our Hands

The fourth instalment of my #LivingInLockdown series and I didn’t even have to leave the house for this one. So definitely practising #StayHomeStaySafe. This one is not my best photography work I have to say. Documentary style photography isn’t my normal style of photography. Although after all these years I still don’t really know what “my style” is.

So time is something that a lot of us have at the moment. How are all spending it? My days when I’m not working from home I’m trying to spend more time on my photography, which anyone who follows my blog can tell from the drastic increase in blog posts of late. We try to go out for a walk most days so that we’re getting some form of exercise and fresh air. Apart from the not being able to venture far when we do go out, I’m rather enjoying my wife and I being able to work completely from home. I’m definitely finding working completely from home less stressful.

Although days & weeks are sort of merging in to one at the moment. I don’t think we’ve lost track of time yet, wait what day is it? I think working from home has kept us both sane. There are moments when it’s hard to get motivated, so far we are surviving. I’m a bit of a night owl so the mornings are probably the hardest for me. Also when the weather is dull & grey, even though we can’t go out as much I still prefer to see the sun shining through our windows.

I guess one of the things that lockdown is teaching us is to make the most of our free time. Spend it doing things that you enjoy, take joy from the little things in life. Time may be endless, but it also does not last forever.

#StaySafe

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