Documenting Isolation: How Lomographers Cope With Confinement, Pt. 3

The COVID-19 situation has brought a dramatic change in the world. All of a sudden, we're required to stay at home and limit human contact. This can be a burden to our entire being, so we find ways to cope. Here, photographers brettallensmith, chesco_perez, and deafness share their photo stories, insights, and experiences under lockdown.

Brett Allen Smith, Israel

Name: Brett Allen Smith
LomoHome: brettallensmith

Please tell us a bit about this photo series - Quarantine Nights.

The lockdown rules where I live have been extremely restrictive until recently: no venturing more than 100 meters from your home, no gatherings of more than 4 people at a time, and virtually no commercial activity of any kind. The city has felt completely dead on many levels. I shot these long exposures inside and outside my apartment during a few sleepless nights, honestly just trying to distract myself from the larger anxieties on my mind. All the restrictions (low light, limited distance, etc.) really forced me to notice things I'd overlooked a million times before, like an interesting window or a strange composition. Our dog has also been recovering from a series of intense surgeries, so documenting these moments - and our relationship with him as a family - has felt more critical than ever.

Credits: brettallensmith

How does the current global situation affect your creative process, your daily routine?

I always try to juggle a few projects across different mediums at a time (I'm a filmmaker as well), so thankfully I've found ways to adapt my creative schedule to suit these strange times. I don't know how I would cope with much of anything if I didn't have some kind of project to chip away at. My partner and I actually made this little short film just to pass the time - starring my beloved Hasselblad 500CM!

Credits: Brett Allan Smith

How do you keep inspired despite the limitations?

I'd say the first - and easily most difficult - step is to do everything possible to flush away whatever negativity is on your mind, and put yourself in a state of positivity. Even if it takes hours and hours of meditation and many cups of coffee. It is so essential to get your head to a place of clear-minded positivity. Sure, ingesting other art can be inspiring as well. But to push yourself to actually create, you really need to do everything you can to make it seem exciting and worthwhile.

Credits: brettallensmith

As a photographer/creative, are there any lessons or realizations that you picked up from the current situation?

It's very easy (and totally forgivable) to just not feel like creating something - especially with all the new pressures and uncertainties that come with a global pandemic. But even if you don't feel like making something, I find that if you can push yourself to just get the ball rolling, it's amazing how the hours can suddenly melt away. Sometimes just that first initial step is the hardest. I really believe that even just the technical process of making art can divert your attention to a better, more creative place. That's one thing I love about doing these meticulous long exposures because the technical demands alone force you to think creatively whether you're in the mood or not!

Any advice for Lomographers from all over the world?
Only that now is the perfect time to try something completely different. A new type of film, a new technique, a new subject, home developing - whatever! The soul of Lomography is about experimentation. And now is the perfect time to get focused and get your hands dirty!

Check out Brett's LomoHome for more photos!

Chesco Perez, London

Name: Chesco Perez
Social Media Profile: chesco_perez

Please tell us a bit about this photo series taken during quarantine.

This series reflects my vision of lockdown. The series begins with the first images that reflect the flower inside the house (Stay at home). The following images have been taken during my walks in my area. I wanted to reflect on the loneliness that this situation has brought.

Credits: chesco_perez

How does the current global situation affect your creative process?

The creative process has been positively affected. Being at home and with limited use of media has made me grow creatively and dared me to experiment with new ways. It has also made me work more on my book (before I didn't have that much time).

Credits: chesco_perez

Given the current circumstances, how do you keep inspired despite the limitations?

Just trying new things. A lot of mistakes.... but those mistakes will give You new ways to create. Also watching documentaries and tv shows.

Credits: chesco_perez

As a photographer/creative, are there any lessons or realizations that you picked up from the current situation?

Yeah, take time for Yourself and your family. During the busy days, we don't realize the things that really inspire us are the ones next to us.

Any advice for Lomographers from all over the world?

Keep shooting!

Follow Chesco on Instagram to see more of his photos!

Tornado Terrible, Japan

Name: Tornado Terrible
LomoHome: deafness

Please tell us a bit about the photos you took in this album - Spring 2020 under COVID-19.

These photos were taken on holidays at the end of March. At that time, the prime minister of the country had not yet made a big decision, because he was afraid of the failure of the economic policy named "Abenomics". I enjoyed the time with my family in my hometown and made a short trip with my wife.

Credits: deafness

Seeing that you have outdoor photos, is Japan not on lockdown/quarantine?

After that, the Naked King, uncomfortably, declared that something tough was happening. Not the lockdown but the self-restraint is enforced by the government. What that means is the exclusion or discrimination of immoral people through mutual surveillance by good Japanese people and mass media campaigns. The government of this country only expects the situation to be self-cleaned by such clean people. And many old people are expected to be weeded out, and they hope that the burden of welfare will be greatly reduced after this disaster is over. The above is my personal feeling as an old man and is an opinion that many Japanese oppose.

Credits: deafness

How do you keep inspired in taking photos?

I should have the freedom to go out with my camera. If I can endure lunch at a restaurant and keep my social distance with others, my behavior is not at risk of infection. However, good Japanese may look down on me as a fool like an ant from afar.

Any advice for Lomographers from all over the world?

I'm not a good man to give advice to others. I also know that many countries are in a more serious situation. However, if you have the opportunity to go out, I recommend bringing a camera. Corona will not be transmitted through the camera.

Visit Tornado's LomoHome to see more photos!

Alban Van Wassenhove, France

Name: Alban Van Wassenhove
LomoHome: jouxy

Please tell us a bit about this photo set taken during the quarantine period?

Inside is a series of photographs realized with my children in my “little” flat, during the Confinement period.

Credits: jouxy

Inside refers to withdrawal into one’s self, or in other terms, back to one’s self, this withdrawal allowing more open-mindedness to worlds or perceptions, usually hidden by the craze of daily externalization. It consists in discovering a whole universe – generally forgotten- in simple things, in seizing it in order to grow up, whatever the aim, whether to learn or to meditate. I wrote a poem about this series:

Giving oneself to the sun
And being blinded by it
And perceiving other worlds
And getting the planets aligned
And feeling the higher lights
And being inspired
And going back to oneself
And growing up again

Light is very important in this series, whether it is the Sunlight or the light from luminous objects such as lamps. It is an allegory, in order to show that living beings are attracted by Light, and go and fetch it in any crack they can find so that they can develop better.

Credits: jouxy

How does the current crisis affect your creative process, your daily routine?

Besides this series, I realized two other outdoor series during the only hour we were granted during the confinement period in France. The fact of having a restricted time-lapse allows to boost one’s creativity. This was the case for the series Inside, for instance. When the sun rays in my flat only appeared at some precise spots and at precise moments of the day ( knowing that sun rays change as every day goes by), I had to be all the more careful and concentrated on the light, so as to seize the perfect moment in the day when the light was beautiful. This perfectly fits analog photography, as it requires the photographer to think a lot more about his photographs.

How do you keep inspired despite the limitations?

I think limitations engender more inspiration. Some artists need some movement or external impulse to be inspired, but personally I really think that everything can be inspiring. What is more, being confined does not mean being imprisoned, and many inspiring sources remain available. I would even say that - on the contrary- I benefited from the supplementary amount of free time I had, to discover the work of artists I appreciate and follow on the various galleries on the Internet.

Credits: jouxy

As a photographer/creative, are there any lessons or realizations that you picked up from the current situation?

As far as photography is concerned, I learned to take my time, and to observe in a more accurate way, in fact, I learned to do things more slowly, in a more reflected manner, and better. Besides, it prompted me into doing large format photography in my future artistic endeavors.

Any advice for Lomographers from all over the world?

Besides my activities as a photographer, I also take part in a film-making movement named “Kino”, that exists in every big city, mainly in Europe. I would then like to share with you the motto of this artistic movement, which is: “Do well with nothing, do better with something, and do it now!”

Follow Alban's LomoHome to view more photos!


Thank you to all the photographers who shared their photo stories with us. In case you missed it, here are Parts 1 and 2 of this series. Stay safe and healthy, Lomographers!

2020-05-25 #videos

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