Capturing beauty in a crisis: The Lockdown Photographers

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coronavirus isolation photos

Covid-19, aka the Coronavirus, has seen the lives of millions disrupted entirely. All over the world people are out of work and confined to their own four walls because of the lockdown. For photographers and creatives alike this is comparable to having their wings clipped. For the time-being awe-inspiring locations such as beaches, forests, cities and more are off limits. Yet every day my social feeds are filled with colour, beauty and creativity by those who refuse to let this pandemic come between them and their passion.

I reached out to photographers in my network. All were happy for me to share their work and story of capturing their world during this lockdown. From Norwich to Beijing and many in between here are some of my favourite captured moments and stories from professional and amateur photographers in isolation.

Stretching the legs in Norwich, by Josh Hutch

Fellow Shocked Sockets author has been making great use of his daily exercise outing. For a hobbyist photographer he’s an absolute natural. No formal training, no work experience. Just a keen eye for detail and pure talent in capturing his surroundings. Josh has photographed my home city Norwich in ways I’ve never seen before.

“Strange times are among us all. It’s when the world has these moments that you forget aıout the beauty it has to offer. Times like when you are limited to one exercise outing per day that you realise how much you take for granted. Something like going for a walk with the family and appreciating what it has to offer. Wildlife and scenery. It’s those times I’m glad to be able to capture nature’s true beauty.

It’s funny, You can spend hours setting up in a studio to get that one shot or spend your whole day at a wedding trying to capture perfection but then go for a walk and realise you’ve been missing perfection everyday we just haven’t slowed down enough in our busy lives to see it.”Josh Hutch

Isolation by Steve Maydwell, Beijing

Introducing good friend of mine and solid photographer, Steve Maydwell. Another incredibly talented individual from the Midlands who emigrated to China several years ago. From day one behind the camera Steve consistently amazes with his work. From small parties to festival photography on stage with some of the biggest dance acts. Steve rapidly made a name for himself and his work became widely recognised.

Since moving to Beijing, Maydwell’s focus has moved primarily from musicians and gigs to urban photography. Quickly building a solid network of incredible subjects to shoot he got to work in his new surrounds. Although in Beijing, considered one of the first cities in Covid-19 isolation, Steve continued to shoot and deliver in the comfort of his home.

covid-19 isolation in beijing photos
“Took this selfie during my isolation. Bored one evening I decided capture a frame, using only my iPhone light and a cigarette.” – Steve Maydwell

House, home and beyond by Daniel Gheorghe

The most famous line in Shawshank Redemption is “Fear can hold you prison, hope can set you free.” Never before has this quote been more relevant for the masses. Unfortunately the world is being flipped onto it’s head and uncertainty witnessed at most corners.

coronavirus lockdown isolation photos

On the bright side disruption to transport networks and other industries has brought out positives. Air pollution in parts of the world are at the lowest they’ve been in decades. Uncovering the Himalayas from Punjab over 100 miles away as seen here.

himilayas visible from punjab

A little closer to home in Norfolk we have Daniel Gheorghe. Amateur photographer with a flair for talent. Spending his isolation period creatively has produced some incredible shots from around the home and beyond.

The small things by Elton Cilliers

As owner of EmC Photography, Elton spends most of his working life photographing other people and conducting workshops. Since warnings of lockdown were issued all work for this talented freelance photographer has come to a standstill. Without dampened spirits Mr Cilliers often takes to LinkedIn to share his experience of lockdown isolation and wealth of photography knowledge. Both images below were captured by Elton using an iPhone 6.

As a lover of the outdoors and nature, the lockdown has certainly presented it’s challenges with only being allowed out once a day for up to 60 minutes of exercise. However, when you do get to venture out, you tend to notice the small things. Photography is a great mindfulness practice also.

When you head out, take note of the things you’d usually overlook. Those little weeds that have a beauty of their own. Morning dew on a fallen leaf. A butterfly on a flower. A bee busy pollinating. Get down close, try varying angles and you’ll surprise yourself at the results you can get from the mundane.” – Elton Cilliers

#stayhomestilllife by Ashley Hewins, Netherlands

Another amateur photographer comes in the form of Ashley Hewins hailing all the way from the Netherlands. Hewins was fortunate enough to get his hands on a new camera prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. Using his time in isolation to set up his own scenes and capture still life around the house. Click here to see Ashley’s portfolio.

“I have always been a big fan of photography but only manage to invest in my first SLR right at the beginning of the Coronavirus lockdown. This meant that I was limited on the subjects that I could shoot as my ability to explore was now limited to my own home and a small radius of streets around it.

In response to this, I turned my attention to items I had around the house, including a few old bricks from the garden and a tin of fresh tea to try to invent my own still life environments. The limitation actually forced me to get creative with what I had and I ended up with some concepts I wouldn’t have thought of normally. I even found a hashtag on Instagram of other people doing the same #stayhomestilllife which created a great community feel to the project.”Ashley Hewins

ashley hewins photography

Still working by Ria Joynes, Leicester

Ria plunged herself into self-employment this year. Chasing the dream to become a full-time freelance photography only to encounter huge disruptions by way of lockdown early into her career path. While many professional photographers have turned to the garden, Ria continues to build a name from the comfort of her own home in Leicester.

“After leaving full time employment I took the leap to become a freelance photographer this February. I was busy filling my calendar with upcoming work, only to find a month later everything had come to a halt. All my planned work suddenly disappeared from my calendar, suspended in a coronavirus limbo.

I reached out to a potential client who was looking for a freelance photographer. Luckily I had the capacity to shoot safely from home. These images are the test shots supplied to the client shot during lockdown as I wait in anticipation to hear if the job will go ahead.” – Ria Joynes, www.riajoynes.co.uk

product photographer in leicester

Messages and messengers by Andy Pitt, Norwich

The business owner and recruitment specialist took to the streets of Norwich. In doing so he captured the Fine City under a blue sky with a hint of humour and solace. The images below were taken during Andy’s lonely walk into his recruitment office in the city. Shared to his network on LinkedIn with the accompanying status:

“pics of my lonely walk to my office in the deserted City of #Norwich , literally ones of people asked to see some more pics (as I took a few), so here they are. Have a good Monday…err, Tuesday..no, hang on…errr, oh bugger it! Have a good day whatever it is!”Andy Pitt, Norwich

stay strong photos
funny coronavirus sign

Morning by Rachel Wright

As part of a Close Range project Rachel has continued to capture the world around her during isolation. Her blog explains that photography plays a key role in her wellbeing and ability to cope with difficult situations.

morning photography

“With my camera in my hand I notice things, even on the greyest of days or in the most turbulent of times – a shadow, the curl of a leaf, a particular colour or texture that brings a moment of joy, and I can become completely absorbed in the here and now, the present moment, and my mental chatter just drops away.” – Rachel Wright, www.rachelwrightphotography.com

Our favourites from Instagram #lockdownphotography

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Enjoying his daily exercise!

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