It is a difficult time. The whole world is in lockdown because of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and waiting to get sick of COVID19 until we have the antibodies to cope with the disease for this season.
Many countries have placed their citizen under a ‘lockdown’ some countries have a complete lockdown and others a partial one.
These are extraordinary times. Something you will not experience ever again. The novel coronavirus will have a long-lasting impact on our societies around the world. As a street photographer, it is a unique time to document what is happening on the street. It is almost a necessity.
As a street shooter, how can you still create art when it is not possible to go out. Here are five projects that you can even do in these unique times.
What can you still do?
Remember with all these projects. Use social distancing. Keep a minimum distance of 1.5mtrs between you and someone else. Do not gather in large groups. Stay home as much as possible. Follow the guidelines of the government and do not deviate from them.
Try and use zone focusing at a distance of two-meter or more. This way, you know that you are more than the allowed distance.
For certain errands, you have to go, and it is still allowed to go out. (This differs from day to day and country to country so abide by the rules). Some still need to go to work. They will use their car, bike, public transport like metro’s, busses and trains. Go to the supermarket, The doctor, pharmacy or drug store. Take care for a loved one, parents, sister, brother or that lonely neighbour.
The most important thing during this coronacrisis is too look out for each other and take care of each other.
In a partial lockdown
It depends on where you live the amount of freedom you have. But almost always you can go out for a walk enjoy the outdoors. Go to shops, work in the garden and the house. Most with an office job work from home. And while the kids are home because they have no school, Help them with their schoolwork.
Rural area’s and the countryside
When you live in a small village, you have more space to go out. The police will not enforce that much as there are fewer people. You can document your town or if you live on a farm your surroundings. Maybe it is just business as usual, but what do you do differently.
In a small village
If you live in a small village, then you can still go out. But watch out and keep the mandatory distance. Walk to the local supermarket or drive to a larger supermarket in the city. Keep some groceries in the house so that you have food for three days and buy some extra every day. Some food is scarce, and shelves are empty because people keep hoarding. But during those walks keep your camera close.
In the city
In the city, bars and restaurants closed. Streets and town squares are empty. It is almost an eerie feeling. Shoot the dystopian atmosphere of the streets.
In a full lockdown, what has happened in Wuhan, China, and what happens in Italy at the moment. When you want to go out, you have to bring a form with you that explains why you are outside.
Rural area’s and the countryside
This is almost the same as in partial lockdown. There are fewer people, so there is more freedom to go out. Keep your distance from others. You can do landscape photography when you are a farmer document in the countryside.
In a small village
When walking your dog, drive to your work by car (do not shoot from behind the wheel. Stop and step out of the car or let someone else drive) or drive your bike. To the shop or someone, you care about shooting your surroundings.
Tale the mandatory form with you and shoot while walking your, what happens on the street and while you are at work.
For all situations, if you have a dog, you have to walk it. That is the time to shoot pictures and document what is happening and what changed. Take a different route every day and record what you see.
What camera to use?
The camera that you have with you. I have my FujiFilm X-Pro 2 with me. With a Peak Design leash so that I can put it around my neck and keep it short. But the quality of the smartphone is excellent, and you can shoot with raw if you want to. If you do not have your camera with you, use your smartphone.
Street photography is something you do for yourself. And it is your choice to publish it or not. But choose a medium to share your experiences with the world. Use Facebook, post it on Instagram with the hashtag #docoronacrisis or create a WordPress photography blog and publish it there. Creating a WordPress blog assures you that the images will always be available because you own the site. Instagram and Facebook can delete the pictures if they want to.
The street photography projects.
It is different than usual on the streets and in your home. Photographers always documented their home situation. Magnum photos did a project on the theme home commissioned by FujiFilm for their GFX system.
Be like a magnum photographer and document how the corona crisis impacts your home situation. The coronacrisis will not go on forever. Show how you and your family do things differently.
2. Street portraits.
When you walk to the shop or walk your dog, make street portraits. People wear facemasks, wear gloves.
Make portraits of people in these strange times
3. Shoot corona measures.
Shops and companies provide protective measures for their employees. Screens, Gloves and personal protective gear they close at certain moments.
Shoot what people and companies have done to protect them from the coronavirus.
The streets and town squares are silent, and people are gone. Tourists left, and shops closed.
Document the impact of social distancing and quarantine measures.
5. The impact of social distancing.
Show how social distancing impacts the people around you. What do people do to keep their distance? How do they interact with each other? Is there any way that some sort of social life can continue?
I publish a daily blog on the daily observations Instagram page. And later a gallery on this website.
I use the hashtag #coronadays for my project. In where I document what is an experience each day. And try to post something every day.