Photograph selected by Leica to feature on the LFI Gallery Covid-19 #stayhome project page.
Covid-19 Lockdown Photography Project
During the Covid-19 Lockdown I have started a photography project – photographing teenage life at home in Oxford. At this time the children are unable to attend school and only allowed to leave the house for exercise once a day.
Lack of routine can be challenging at these times. There will be an extended period of adjustment to this new and uncertain world pandemic. Normally the kids are untroubled by world news, but at the moment there seems to be a low level of constant anxiety as the BBC news is directly affecting the whole family for the first time. This can manifest in different ways, perhaps losing temper or seeking parent company more often.
Everyday activities have assumed a greater significance and I have set myself the challenge of using my Leica cameras to take an interesting and different photograph each day to try and show this. I expect the kids will remember this period for the rest of their lives.
As a professional photographer for over 20 years the challenge is to consider what to photograph and when and keep the project style consistent. I want to capture what under normal circumstances would be a trivial subject and elevate it to this new significance.
Leica LFI International have been featuring my images on their #stayhome page and other galleries. You can see the photographs they selected here, and also the pages where they appeared –
Photography Selected by Leica to Appear on their Gallery
Photograph of Looking out of Window during Covid-19 Lockdown
Clementing pausing from her book to look out at the river next to the house. Having been for her walk this morining that’s it now until tomorrow.
Photograph of Teenager checking Phone
Edmund checking Instagram on his phone before coming downstairs for breakfast. The almost constant communication between friends has kept him mentally positive throughout these times.
Taking a break from online schooling
Clementine taking time out to catch up on a film, in a break from online schooling.
Ed Surrounded by his hobbies
Photograph of Edmund surrounded by his hobbies during lockdown. He is lying on the piano stool playing on his phone.
School has begun for the summer term. There are technical issues at every turn. Hopefully by the end of the week everything will be working smoothly.
Reading on the Terrace
Clementine sitting in the sunshine to read her book by the river, as she has to stay at home.
Getting Ready for Home Schooling
Preparing for the first day of home schooling. Laptop at the ready for facetime lessons and written homework. Teachers have to adjust also to teaching to a remote classroom, some students away now in different time zones. I thought I’d include the typical bomb site of a teenager’s bedroom, which is being ignored for now.
Cutting her Dad’s Hair while the Barbers Shops are Closed
With no barbers open these days, Douglas has put his life into Clementine’s hands and handed her the clippers for his number 1 trim.
Brushing Teeth a Mundane Daily Chore
Bruthing teeth – a necessary daily chore.
Breakfast during Lockdown
Picture to show family life during lockdown. This image is a reflection shown in the oven as a large part of the family conversation now revolves around the menu for evening meals . The children are catching up on news with their friends via social media before starting their day of home schooling.
Helping with the Washing-Up
It is strange to be eating at home on a school day, with everyone being together for every meal. Even the household chores can be a break from home schooling, a view through the kitchen window added to a sense of reflectance. Photograph selected by Leica to feature on the LFI Gallery Covid-19 #stayhome project page.
Lunchtime during Lockdown Photographed from Above
A cheering lunch complete with lemon drizzle cake. Keeping the teenagers happy. Photographed from above to alter the perspective, using my trustee Gitzo tripod. A couple of years ago I carried out much research into tripods to find the lightest yet strongest and settled on the Gitzo carbon fibre.
Cooking a Roast for Dinner
Edmund preparing the roast for dinner. Despite his expression here he really enjoys cooking but the onions had made his eyes stream with tears.
Cleaning the Oven
Edmund is cleaning the oven after a roast. Strange times indeed – Kudos to him. Photographed employing a very wide-angle lens close up, which for a portrait is not something one would normally consider. I used the Voigtlander 15mm lens to generate this unusual perspective.
Edmund Hoovering the Hallway at Home
Photograph of Edmund hoovering the hallway at home during lockdown.
Golf Putting Practice at Home
The lockdown has now closed all the golf courses, so the most practice that can be carried out for a keen golfer is putting practice at home with a green baize mat that can be placed anywhere for a bit of variation.
Back to Golf
Wednesday was the first day when Lockdown started to ease and Edmund could return to the golf course.
With no CCF at school during lockdown Clementine is putting her orienteering skills to use by studying a map of Oxford to help her plan her next exercise outing.
A new pair of bright red laces for Clementine’s beloved Dr Marten boots – to match her dress and the Leica red dot incidentally. If you are going out for only one hour during lockdown be sure to look stylish.
Learning a New Instrument – The Electric Guitar
During lockdown, learning the basics of rock guitar. A challenge which takes time but there is plenty of that a present.
Working on the School Robot for Robotics Competition
School science projects need to continue during the lockdown. Here Clementine is upgrading the school robot entry into this year’s competition at Southampton University.
Putting Winter Blankets Away
Tidying up with summer approaching means putting winter clothes and blankets away.
Many hours of lockdown are spent playing the piano the concentration makes for ideal escapism. Here the headphones prove a useful tool in a crowded home with the electric piano and TV all in the same room. Photograph selected by Leica to feature on the LFI Gallery Covid-19 #stayhome project page.
Watering the Garden
Edmund getting the garden watered, an opportunity to try and spray his increasingly annoying sister and parents.
Getting the Bikes Ready for an Outing
Getting ready for a bike ride. Pumping up the tyres after a couple of years of neglect, ready to go in a couple of minutes. For shallow depth of field so that the face is sharp and remainder softly out of focus, I used a Leica 90mm portrait lens – the Summicron APO.
Teenagers Checking their Phones
The children keeping on top of social media after lunch – anywhere will do.
Tackling a Jigsaw at Home
Tackling a wooden jigsaw, it has 2 layers to the scene so much harder than it looks.
Photography Project – Image of Empty Shopping Mall
Edmund taking some time to scoot around an eerily empty shopping mall in Oxford. No one was in the mall at the time, even though it would normally have been a busy bank holiday Monday. The sign says ‘THANK YOU NHS’ for all their work during the Covid-19 crisis.
Lockdown Walk around Oxford
Clementine shown here during her daily period of exercise. She is pictured walking past SAID Business School in Oxford. The pedestrian area shown is normally bustling with students and workers.
Fast Scooting in an Empty Oxford
Edmund takes the opportunity for some speed scooting in a completely empty shopping mall in Oxford. Such strange times.
A Countryside Walk near Home
A short moody walk for exercise. Sometimes even teenagers need sun and fresh air to boost their morale. They are missing their friends and fun time away from their parents during lockdown.
Taking a Breath of Fresh Air amongst the Spring Blossom
An evening walk along a new route through the Oxford pathways. Here captured framed by the Spring blossom
Walking over Oxford Bridge during Lockdown Walk
Cleme’s walk took her over one of many little used pedestrian bridges in Oxford.
Walking the Neighbour’s Dog
During lockdown people are allowed one period of exercise per day, so as a favour Clementine took her neighbour’s dog for a walk to Port Meadow in Oxford. Another wide-angle portrait shot from very low down directly towards the sun. Shooting into the sun often gives some of the most dramatic photographs. The 21mm Leica Super Elmar is fantastic at controlling flare, whilst maintaining contrast, and the results always surpass my expectations.
Photograph – Sitting on a Bench During Lockdown Walk
A short pause on Clementine’s quiet walk today to watch the world go by, just one jogger and some geese.
Playing the Organ in Oxford Church
Edmund playing the John Malcolm Reed Organ dated 1907 in the very quiet and remote church at Binsey near Oxford. I suspect Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells had never graced those keys before.
Railway Bridge in Oxford
Daily walk, here pictured walking beneath a railway bridge on a canal path in central Oxford, not far from the railway station.
Throwing a Stick for the Dog
Walking a neighbour’s energetic dog during lockdown on Port Meadow, a tranquil area of Oxford that has been untouched since Saxon Times and popular with dog walkers and the occaisional brave swimmer. It is a welcome relief to be out in the sunshine for both the dog and teenager.
Photograph of Teenager during Daily Exercise Walk
Teenager during exercise break, photographed in a tunnel with soothing graffiti behind.
Rainbow within a Rainbow
When a rainbow jumper finds a chalk drawing of a rainbow in the next street you have to take a photograph. The rainbow has been a strong symbol of these times, signifying hope with perhaps, some metaphorical gold lurking at the end.
The Bridge of Sighs in Oxford during Lockdown
Photograph taken in Oxford during lockdown of Bridge of Sighs with teenager standing beneath the bridge. A beautiful blue sky but no one around even at the weekend.
Edmund choosing bunches of asparagus during a lockdown cycle ride from a nearby Oxfordshire farm.
A Slideshow of all the Photographs from the ‘Teenagers in Lockdown’ Photography Project
Oxford Mail – Coverage of Photography Project
Great to see the Oxford Mail have picked up our story on ’Teenagers in Lockdown’ and given it front page prominence and a centre double page spread no less!
BBC – Coronavirus: Your pictures of lockdown at home
Lockdown photograph chosen to appear on BBC website to illustrate their brief of ‘Your pictures of lockdown at home’
BBC – Your pictures on the theme of ‘urban living’
Photograph of Clementine getting ready to go for a walk in Oxford over lockdown this summer. She is extremely fond of her Dr.Marten boots and has an array of different coloured laces for them.
Lockdown 2 & 3 – Chess
Photography of the children playing chess. The Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit has inspired a chess craze in our house.
The games take place either with the imitation Lewis chessmen set as seen here or online on one of the many chess apps. The online apps allow the children to play with contemporaries from school or other players all over the world. U-tube is a constant source of inspiration as commentators run through famous chess matches of Grand Masters and explain their moves.
Other games which have occupied the family are Bridge online and regular games of Scrabble after lunch.
Statistically just 13% of students studying computer science, gaming and related courses in the UK are girls. In our house the RaspberryPi has provided many hours of entertainment with the robot that was brought home from school in lockdown 1 and here to assist with improving coding, and learning more Python, in preparation for university in the autumn.
The below photograph was taken whilst Clementine was coding at one of the computers. The final picture consists of a montage of the screen and image, shot separately.
Exercise in the Snow
Finding fun things to do during a winter lockdown is not always obvious – walking in the snow was definitely a high point of January 2021.
Pancake making for Shrove Tuesday
Having fun with tossing pancakes was another entertaining thing to keep the troupes happy and keep them away from screens and schoolwork for a few minutes.
The hysteria rose to new heights when one of the pancakes was thrown up so high it stuck to the kitchen ceiling.
Featured Article on SLR Lounge
One of Douglas’s articles giving advise getting your photography business through a recession was featured on SLR Lounge. The full piece can be found here – SLR Lounge Business Article
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