Five Photography Projects You Can Do At Home
Hopefully everyone is safe and well at this unprecedented time. For those at home during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic, our photo and video guru Gareth has come up with five photo projects to improve your skills at home while social distancing. These have the added benefits of helping to keep you sane, helping with cleaning up your home and prolonging the lifespan of your food and drinks supplies! Read on for five easy and fun photography projects you can do right now...
Photography projects at home subjects covered:
- Food photography
- Pet photography
- Challenging lighting / low light
- Stock photography
- Black and white photography
Gear used by Gareth in the video (all available for safe online ordering):
- Sony a7R IV camera . See our blog post about the highest resolution 35mm camera on the market today. If you like pixel peeping, printing or cropping, this is the one for you.
- Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 lens. Ooh we like this lens a lot. It has a versatile focal length ideal in small spaces like the home. Results are razor sharp and it's compact enough to hold all day.
- Sony 85mm f/1.4 GM lens. This multi award winning lens is capable of the very highest quality possible. The fixed focal prime is ideal for portraits and further away subjects, including pets of course.
Think about composition and lighting for food photography
Home photo projects in more detail:
Pro tip. A handy accessory which is often overlooked can be used for any of these types of photography; the humble Grey Balance Card. If you take a photo of the grey card in whichever room you are photographing in, you can easily correct white balance for all of your photos in a single click in post production.
- Food photography. Styling your food or drinks is key to getting a tasty shot, along with lighting the scene. We’re using natural lighting from a window for our shots at home. Natural side lighting from a window can give a lovely diffused ambience to the food being photographed. We want it to look appealing and not too contrasty. Think about what area is in focus, whether the whole plate or bottle, or whether you want the viewer to be closer, with just a small section in focus. The composition is important, often what is seen in the background plays a key role. What story can you tell and what do you want to be seen by the viewer? Why not check our recent post by a professional food and drink blogger - how to take the perfect pancake photo, which is packed with food photography tips.
- Pet photography. We’re hoping for this one you have some type of pet obviously! People often take pictures of their pets in the home which can include lizards, rodents, cats and dogs. Being at home is a great excuse to practice timing. Make sure the eyes of your pets are as you want them, either open and alert or closed if they are sleeping. A smaller environment can be challenging so think about composition. What pose is the animal in? Are they jumping or running after a ball or snack? Christian Vieler has some incredible and really amusing photos of dogs catching treats. These can be grabbed at home with the right timing and lots of attempts! Pet photos make great keepsakes and you can buy photo frames from our website to present them in!
- Challenging lighting / low light - This is a great one for darker days or in a corner of the house which doesn’t receive much light. Low light will require your subject to be still, or for a high ISO setting. Meter against the brightest part of the photo so nothing is blown out. Low key photography presents a lot of opportunities around the home. In our example, Gareth is lit by his computer screen,. This provides a soft single light source for an atmospheric image. Be creative and seek out those dark corners, or moody self portraits you’ve been waiting to take! You could even try every room in house to see which gives you the best results, and try controlling any available light by opening or closing your window dressings slightly more or less.
- Stock photography - Stock image libraries have been around for decades with Getty Images being one of the oldest established in 1995. Whilst stuck at home, why not style a bedroom or lounge for interior shots? Or perhaps set-up interior accessory scenes with cushions, candles and nicknacks. All stock libraries can give you a ton of ideas for what you could photograph even in the home. If you have a family member with you, try can poseing them by a computer or reading a book. Remember that stock is all about styling. Pick a style you’d like to emulate and push it so that the image is obvious for that ‘look’, whether clean and well lit with flashguns (see our huge range) or naturally lit shabby chic scenes. At the end of this photo project why not join a stock library and see if you sell any images! (scroll down to the resources for more stock libraries).
- Black and white photography - Being at home is a great reason to try something new. Black and white is a classic look which can help (or be improved) with high contrast lighting, which is ideal for home-work. You could try portraits, or self portraits. Work in some monotone moods with plenty of contrast. This one really can throw up some surprises. Lots of camera s have a black and white setting which can really help when composing as colour will not influence your shot. Having a sturdy tripod can help a lot too with any low lighting or self portraits.
Shooting for stock images helps you stay tidy and could earn some extra money
Even the most simple light modifier
can bounce and reflect light when you are styling your picture. Reflectors can be really cost effective but make a huge difference with portraits, still life in virtually any scene.
If you are keen to sell your photographs, why not try two more stock libraries; Stocksy
are pretty new to the scene and well worth a look with edgier and experimental photos mixed in. Deposit Photos
run by Shotkit have a huge library of millions of images, but you just need one to go viral!
If you are suffering from any Coronavirus symptoms please visit the NHS website
straight away. We hope you are able to stay healthy while you stay at home.
Black and white portrait taken with natural light in the home
By Nick Dautlich