BUT YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE BORED!
During the coronavirus pandemic, various stages of lockdowns and stay–at–home orders have been issued in every state. No crowds allowed. Masks are recommended. Stay at least six feet apart from anyone in public. Stay home whenever possible. All this can be very difficult for a photographer. When you have to stay home, what do you photograph? Haven’t you already seen everything a thousand times? It turns out, when people are supposed to be bored staying home, photographers and other artists have actually been given a gift: the gift of being forced to be live in the moment and find new ways of looking at things.
Spring is a wild time in Indiana. Yesterday, the temperature reached the 70s and it was sunny and windy. Today, it will not get much above 50 and will be windy and rainy all day. Tomorrow, it’s supposed to be back to sunny and warm. At least, it will be sunny and warm after we get out of freezing temperatures tonight. All these changes in the weather do result in one great thing. The number of photographic opportunities in my own backyard grows exponentially.
When you first entered this website, you saw a photograph of a dandelion head. I love dandelions. Many people believe they are weeds, but they are actually members of the sunflower family, providing the first food for Spring bees. The bonus of buttery yellow flowers and spectacular seed heads gives us the opportunity to create art.
There are as many ways to photograph a dandelion head as there are photographers. I chose to take this almost–round dandelion into my kitchen and set it up in a small clamp with a slate cutting board as a background. The window over my kitchen sink provided the light, and a small white card reflector softened the shadows on the seeds. The result was an interpretation of a dandelion that gives a different view of something so common we see it every day in the Spring.
Thinking of new ways to show everyday things is the best way I know to stave off boredom! Here’s another example. Nearly everyone I know has a pantry full of spices they seldom use. This time, I emptied out some old spice jars onto another slate cutting board, added a few nuts and a fondue spoon, and placed the whole thing on a short table in front of a sliding glass door. The colors are nice, and I think there’s kind of an “old world” feel to the way the spices look in the photograph. Again, this is just my looking for a different way to express my belief that there is art in everyday things.
How have you kept boredom at bay during the pandemic of 2020? What stories will you have to tell your children and grandchildren about how you continued to create art, even when you couldn’t go beyond the boundaries of your own home?