Amidst the current Corona crisis, it is a difficult time for everyone. People are confined to their homes and are unable to enjoy the first sun rays of the year. Do You still want to fulfil Your urge of photography, it might be a good choice to be comfortable to find subjects from Your own home.
Therefore, I want to present You 5 tips, that help You to take better pictures out of Your window. Of course there are also numerous subjects that You can focus on inside Your home, but it is still not the same as getting at least a small glimpse of what happens outside. Learn how to make the maximum out of the current situation and how You can take pictures outside the window.
Normally my first advice that I give to Street Photography novices is, to get closer. That is done by Your feet and not with the camera.
However, the situation is entirely different, if You are forced to stay at home and physically can’t get closer to Your subjects. In this case, it might be a good idea to test out the tele-lens and get a new impression on how to use it.
If You interested in other subjects than Street Photography, learning how to handle the tele-lens might come in handy if You are trying out sports or animal photography. Learning new skills is never a waste and this time might be just right to get comfortable with a tele-lens.
Use blinds to Your advantage
Do want to play a bit with the foreground and a shallow depth of field? Then You can use lower top down bottom up shades to Your benefit. Let them down and keep the focus in the distance. The shades will now appear blurry and give fine new details, that make the picture a lot more interesting.
Play around with different perspectives and angles. Take pictures in-between the shades or just let them low enough, that they hide a little bit of the frame. You might also use the shades in bright sunlight and capture the resulting shadows.
It might be a bit overdone, but You might want to try taking a self-portrait with the shadows covering Your face and showing a nice angle. Get creative and use props like shades as a means to alter the image and encourage the imagination of the viewer.
Learn how to shoot manually
Are You still stuck in the automatic mode and let the camera decide what the right exposure might be and where to focus?
As easy as that might be, it might also limit Your creative freedom. Instead of getting the shot exactly how You wanted, the camera decides how the photograph looks like. Especially the focus can be quite unreliable, if You prefer to shoot with a lower f-stop.
From the comfort of Your own window, take pictures throughout the day and try to get the exposure right. Learn about the exposure triangle and get a feeling for the settings of Your camera.
This will help You the next time You go outside and take pictures in different circumstances. You may also explore how the settings are changing by shooting completely indoors versus shooting out the window.
Hand-in-Hand with acquiring new knowledge in shooting manually, You might try out some new techniques, that You were unable to follow previously. One of the techniques is shooting silhouettes, which means that a subject is placed against a bright background.
When shooting out of the window, try to find the right time when You are directly facing the sun. Now wait for birds to pass and capture them as silhouettes. It might require some patience but it will also teach You, how to manually expose and what is important when photographing silhouettes. Once You are able to roam the streets again, You can use that knowledge to Your advantage and take pictures of people with the same technique.
Shoot on film
Are You only shooting digital and have never tried film yet?
Then it is time to look for the old film camera in the attic and bring it to live again with some classic film. There are still many online distributors which are able to send You the needed material.
Once You have finished a roll of film, You can develop the material in a small home-kit. An entire darkroom isn’t necessary and if You wanted to get a feel for how the oldest image out of the window has been created, You might want to try out analogue film Yourself.
With these tips You are able to overcome the boredom and still improve as a photographer. Once You can go out on the street again, this training time will be beneficial and helped You in Your personal progress.