Photography at Home: Creative Quarantine Series

I did a conversation about shooting in manual mode with your camera and put together a mini little guide to do some practicing right at Home.


Your f/stop is your camera’s iris, is determined by your lens and will rarely change unless you want it to [I like mine as low as the lens will go, usually f/1.4]

ISO is essentially the sensitivity of the camera’s ability to gather light. This will affect the amount of grain in your image. The lower the ISO, the better quality image you will get. I aim for 100iso outdoors and, depending on what I can get away with, 400-800iso indoors.

Your shutter speed is the amount of time your camera is taking your photo. The faster the shutter, the less light will be in your photos.

To help you in your photography journey with the current situation of the world, I wanted to give you a few ideas on how you can practice and shoot right at home.

I really liked this graph from Marat online
  1. Pets

You will be passionate if you shoot people you are passionate about. One of my favorite subjects is my dog, Indiana. I love taking photos when he’s not looking in his own world or when he’s in motion running towards me. He’s not always up for it at first but always is onboard after a few reward treats. Another fun idea might be giving your pet a bath or dressing them up if they’ll let you. Shooting a portrait of a family member or spouse is also great, if they’ll let you.

indiana my dog shot on film
Indy shot on 160 porta film in the backyard. f/1.4, ISO 200, shutter 1/1250

2. Food

No one can make fun of you for taking photos of your food at home. This is a great excuse to put together a candlelit dinner or order takeout and practice shooting. Try different angles, shooting into the flame, wide angles of the whole table. Lots to play with and a delicious meal to celebrate after some shooting.

3. Go for a walk

Springtime is still in full bloom and walks seem to be the trend these days. Grab a mask and your camera. One of my favorite things is going on a photography walk right after it rains. The water droplets are so fun to capture up close and puddles make great reflections.

4. Experimentation

Do you ever notice how shadows change in your home throughout the day? I have a very modest one bedroom apartment that is difficult to find inspiration sometimes but my go to is always shadow play. Try manipulating light, shooting through interesting glasses and objects like magnifying glasses or interesting fabrics.

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Playing with burning sage. Leica M240, 50mm Summilux, f/1.4, ISO 200, 1/125

5. Self Portraiture

How many times have you asked someone to take your photo and it wasn’t at all the vision you had in your head? Most of my self-portraiture work developed from a fear of approaching strangers and that I wanted to have full control of how I was captured. This style of shooting requires patience, lots of problem-solving and a can-do attitude. A tripod will really come in handy for this [a shelf or ledge will work too]. Practice using your camera’s timer, a remote cable or see if your camera as wifi with a companion app from your phone. Utilize the ‘Live View’ on your camera if you have it to set your frame. This is where the manual settings really come in handy as your lens will work better if it is manually set or pre-focused on an object that will be in your same focus line. It may take some time to get the hang of it but I hope that you’ll experiment and try. I find the biggest rewards from overcoming the challenges of shooting self-portraitures. I enjoy spending time alone + learning without limits or an agenda. My self-portraiture work is what really makes me feel like an artist. I can create any story I want and pair it with the perfect mood, setting and tone.

Window self portrait, Canon EOS-R using remote app, f/4, ISO 200, 1/30

Every time I take a photo I become a better photographer. I hope that you learned a few things and are inspired to practice shooting manually!


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