It's time to fire up your creativity and thrive through turbulent times! Self expression through photography can offer a welcome distraction to the stresses of lockdown. Find out how photography has enabled me to appreciate the simple things through these unprecedented times.
With the second lockdown impacting on how we live our lives finding tranquility in the eye of the storm has never been so important. How we cope individually is testiment to our resiliance as human beings. We have all been effected by the pandemic in someway or another.
Lockdowns bring disconnection, isolation and change. Some of life's pleasures have been stripped back and bottled for a later date.
Finding ways to cope amidst a chaotic world is essential for our health and wellbeing. Being creative and appreciating simple moments can effectively alleviate the pressure life throws at us.
Explore your creativity and hear about my journey with photography since the pandemic...
A Little Update
In my last 'camera chronicle's' blog post, I spoke about how I was having a standoff with my Sony Alpha 6400. It was a daunting moment where I had taken the plunge to invest in a professional camera, but I had no idea how to operate it (apart from on and off that is!). I had relied on my trusted smartphone to capture some of the wonderful moments from my travels.
I am incredibly pleased to announce that after watching countless YouTube tutorials, my Sony Alpha no longer gathers dust in the corner of my room. I now feel confident we could have quite a friendship together. A mutual arrangement which is supportive during the tough times in my life. Who knows….we could even be the best of friends if it is nice to me!
View some of my travel images on What She Seeks photo diary page.
Surviving The Storm Creatively
The main theme for this blog post is not so much about my quest to master photography but rather how it has helped me to cope with the challenges of the past 6 months. We don't have to be an expert at something to enjoy it after all.
Immersing ourselves in creative projects can help lift our spirits and offer welcome relief from life's pressures.
Since Covid19 changed how we go about our daily lives, my wanderlust wings have been temporarily clipped and i have since adjusted to becoming a home bird again. Not being able to travel has naturally laid heavy in my heart.
With my travel plans cancelled over summer, I have attempted to adapt to the ever- changing narrative from the powers that be and work through things day by day. What else can we do? Adapt to survive the storm.
“Not all storms come to disrupt your life. Some come to clear your path”
It’s the Little Things
Photography has helped me to open my eyes to the simple things life has to offer such as the shape of the clouds, a building brought to life with street art or a flower that people walk past as they hustle and bustle through their day. I have found great solace in appreciating the unassuming things in life that I would normally not have paid any attention too.
If we slow down and take in the world around us it becomes a whole lot bigger and appreciated in a different way.
There is wonder and magic all around us.
Photography gives us an opportunity to be a spectator in our day to day lives and appreciate things we often take for granted. Stop, look out of your window right now and try and see the world through a spectator’s eyes. What can you see differently? What have you never noticed before?
Window Swap - The Perfect Cure For Your Wanderlust!
Missing travelling? Why not try 'Window Swap', a virtual travel website where users from all over the world share a video: the view from their window. Window Swap allows us to travel in these unprecedented times and see a little bit of the world through each other eyes.
Fellow Blogger, Travels with My Belly wrote a fantastic blog: 'See The World One Window Swap at a Time'. Read the blog here.
Five things that I have become more appreciative of recently
Architecture – The mishmash of old buildings with modern ones all with a story to tell of their history and journey through time. I find it fascinating how urban landscapes are shaped and influenced according to cultural trends and the impact of human development.
Flowers – I live in a very built up city but lucky enough to have the beach near by along with some beautiful places to sit and admire carefully created flower beds. This shot was taken during summer on my bike ride home from work.
Joyful Moments – Seeing people smile, children laughing and couples enjoying a beach walk hand in hand has given me great comfort during these challenging times. Seeing people happy has a ripple effect don't you think? It’s important to seek out joyful moments in our daily lives even when things are tough.
Changing Seasons – One thing us Brits love to talk about is the weather! This summer has been surprisingly good for sunshine, clear skie’s and minimal rain. The sky and sea are clearer from the reduced carbon footprint and a decrease in our movements. That is a definite positive to come out of the pandemic. I am also looking forward to the autumn colours and earthy tones that this season brings.
Sea Air – I have missed the mountains dearly. When I am living there my asthma and general health improves and my lungs feel so much stronger. The air is so crisp and pure it fills me with an energy I have never felt anywhere else. Beach life is still right up there with things to appreciate though. I have enjoyed some wonderful moments at my local beach, listening to the crashing waves and watching the sunlight shimmer across the horizon.
Change your perception to the pandemic, loss and change. Read this!
Finding Your Sweet Spot
I have always loved being creative in some form or other. When I was a child, I was a fairly good portrait artist. I could turn my hand to drawing people’s faces with artistic precision. I also loved dancing and did ballet and tap lessons for a while.
I find it hard to grasp why as adults we don’t make more time for creativity like we did when we were children. It is the one thing that is guaranteed to nurture our soul. We get so caught up in the daily grind we leave little time for the things that bring sparkle to our lives.
That’s the number one reason why I started this blog along with pursuing my love of travel and photography. It has helped me get back in touch with some of the things I have lost due to ‘adulting’.
We all have hidden talents that are lying dormant and crying out to be rediscovered. We all have something that makes our heart dance and rekindles a part of ourselves we have lost. Who knows where starting a creative hobby could end up? A new job or friendship or even the opening of doors to future opportunities.
Read about my journey into blogging and the birth of What She Seeks here.
One Click Away From My Best Shot
Since combatting the fear of picking up my Sony Alpha I have managed to get a few good shots. I have stepped out of my comfort zone a few times partaking in ‘Photography Yoga’ in public (You know….getting into all manner of positions, hanging off of walls and generally looking a little bit weird to get that perfect shot!). I love to get my geek on now!
I am immensely proud to have some of my early captures featured at a local art and antiques gallery.
Check out my first collection featured at Queen Street Photography Gallery here.
Learn & Grow
I have been learning to edit my images in Affinity editing suite (a fantastic and affordable alternative to Photoshop). This has also been a steep learning curve for me (I am yet to complete the course so will report back on how I found it).
I now have a general grasp of my camera settings and how they all work together. I understand that the elements of the exposure triangle (ISO – Aperture – Shutter Speed) is key to getting a perfectly exposed photo. I liken it to getting the ingredients perfectly balanced when making a cake. Did someone say cake?
I am still struggling with taking the camera out of auto mode and into aperture priority or manual but each time I venture out I learn a little bit more. Maybe learning photography is like learning to ride a bike? One day it just suddenly clicks…pardon the pun.
I have also learnt that composition is essentially the most important part of creating an amazing photo. If you don’t get it right, then no amount of editing post-production is going to fix it.
“Photography is the art of observation. It has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them – Elliot Erwitt”.
Check out the 10 top photography composition rules here!
I have found lots of inspiration for my photographic style on Pinterest lately. So much so, I have dedicated a board to it called Photographic Art. I have chosen some of my favourite themes such as black & white images, nature, and street art.
Quit Trying to Be an Expert at Everything You Do
I’ve realised that when you are learning photography or any other craft, it doesn’t matter that you are not an expert. You are doing something creative as a positive distraction from the stresses and strains in life. We can be incredibly harsh on ourselves when learning something new.
I am my biggest critic and have spent hours looking at professional photographer’s work thinking that I will never get to their level.
Creativity assists to enrich and enhance our lives. It doesn't matter about the end goal.
See Lockdown As A Blessing & Not A Curse
We are all faced with challenging times at the moment but we have the power to alter our perception of how we deal with it. If we swap feelings of anger, dispair and upset with creativity, peace and gratitude it may feel a little easier.
If we appreciate what we already have in our life rather than focus on what we don't the daily rigour may feel a little more tolerable. Try finding something that brings you joy and keep doing it. I promise it will work.
What creative things have you embarked on lately? I would love to hear about what you have been up to? Drop me a message or comment below and let me know!