Going a bit stir crazy in self-isolation? Looking for some fun activities to burn through the hours? How about trying your hand at some of these, especially if they are out of your comfort zone. If you normally photograph landscapes or people, these might just be the fun diversion you are looking for, and there is no need to leave the house.
I wrote an article last Christmas on adding some cheer to your images with bokeh, but it doesn’t have to be Christmas to have a little fun with some bokeh. Grab some Christmas lights or that brass wire with tiny LEDs glued on (everyone seems to have that these days) and really have some fun.
This is loads of fun and there are different variations to try. Grab a teacup and saucer, and mix some cornflour into some milk (to thicken it up a bit). Fill the teacup to the top, then drop ice cubes into the cup and capture the action with your camera.
You will want a fairly fast shutter speed at least 1/1250s or slightly faster, so using a speed light to help capture the shots is advantageous. You could also use colored water in a tall glass, or using an eyedropper or syringe drop liquid into a bowl of color water.
Alternatively, if you have an old fish tank, you can place it on black matting (rubber if available, but not shiny) and fill it with water, drop random vegetables, old tech, soft drink cans, toys…whatever you can find and catch the action. Be warned that this can be VERY messy, but it’s loads of fun.
Still life lifestyle shoot
Still life isn’t for everybody, but how about more of a lifestyle editorial style shoot? Take a look in your bathroom or laundry. Does it belong in Home Beautiful or Renovator’s Delight magazines?
Perhaps neither, but look at things a little differently. Stage a shoot in there. Have you done some home renovations? Why not set up an editorial style shoot and cover that — make it a fun post for social media and show off your handiwork?
If you’re anything like me, food seems to be something we are all going. So instead of eating it, try shooting it.
Make some cookies or your favorite dish and instead of eating it, grab your camera. Clear some space on the kitchen bench and use natural light if available and work on your food photography skills. Not sure about staging, light, etc. I wrote a post here to get you started and here to give you some great food prop ideas.
Flowers in ice
This is great fun but needs some prep and some patience. Get some flowers from the garden and place in a takeaway food container (or similar) and fill with water, then place in the freezer for at least 24 hours.
Roses are great but experiment with a few different types — some flowers handling freezing better than others. Place on a white or light colored plate (something flat is good) and capture the results as the ice block melts and the flower emerges. If you get really impatient you can place under warm lights or use a hairdryer to speed up the process a bit.
Grab your macro lens and head out into the garden, set yourself a theme and capture some macro magic! What about “new life” to celebrate spring? Or autumn colors, leaves or flowers … whatever takes your fancy.
Don’t have a garden? How about kitchen items? Utensils and such. I wrote a post about that recently, too.
Don’t tackle these all at once. Set aside a project a day and really get involved in the setup, the shoot, the cleanup and the edit. Maybe even involve the kids if they are going stir crazy too. Mind you if you have kids there is a whole other set of options with models, perhaps only too happy to dress up and play along as well.