The word ‘unprecedented’ is being used a lot at the moment and there is no doubt that we are living not just in unprecedented times but unknown and unpredictable ones as well. Each day brings new warnings such as: “the next two weeks are critical”, “it’s going to get worse before it gets better”, “deaths are doubling every three days”, “frontline staff don’t have enough personal protection equipment” and so it goes on.
Here in the UK, like many countries around the world, we are in lockdown which means only going out when absolutely necessary – to work if you are a key worker and to shop only for essentials. Other than that, it’s one walk a day for exercise for you (or your dog) provided you practice social distancing.
Like many photographers I’m finding these testing times. After all, there is only so much organising of your libraries, brushing up on your editing skills and watching of online photography related videos that you can do. There comes a point where the itch to get out there and make some images of these unprecedented, and even historical times, becomes too much. For this reason, like other photographers, I have decided to always carry a camera with me whilst out on my daily permitted walk or shopping trip.
Whilst images of well known destinations in large cities around the world, now empty of cars, people and even animals, make for sobering viewing, smaller towns and villages are also affected by the coronavirus and it’s equally important to document what is happening to them as well. The empty motorways that run close by such towns, their parks and play areas devoid of people, as well as the closed shops and empty high streets are appearing in every place in the country, and indeed the world, so we as photographers should be capturing these scenes for posterity and the record books (whilst obviously not breaking any of your governments rules and guidelines).
I feel the mood of the time is best captured in black and white with a suitable ‘noir’ makeover. Not just to emphasis the doom and gloom but to give the images a feel for how life really seems right now.
All images taken on a Fujifilm X-T3 with 16mm f2.8 lens. Processed in Adobe Lightroom and DxO Silver Efex Pro 2.