I think I'm nearly a month into self-isolation, and honestly, it hasn't been too bad. I already worked from home, we have plenty of food and supplies stocked, and I've been keeping busy with walking, games, puzzles, and books.
The only thing that I've really had a hard time with is not being able to explore the city and take pictures.
It might sound silly, considering everything that's happening right now, but wandering around taking pictures is where I find my peace. When I heard the news that Denver was on lockdown, I immediately felt disappointed since my safe haven was being taken away, albeit temporarily. In fact, there were a few days when I wasn't feeling inspired, just creatively frustrated, and I didn't do anything artistic.
This didn't last long, though. Fortunately, my eternally artistic spirit wouldn't let me sulk for too long.
I couldn't wait indefinitely to go back to my normal creative routine, I had to get this energy out one way or another so I turned to the things I see every day to try and find some magic in them.
From the living room window and front door to a growing palm tree and single dying carnation, I decided to look at these objects with a set of fresh eyes. I wondered if I would be able to come up with anything that excited me and I didn't know if I could make these things fit into my visual aesthetic, but I put my reservations aside and started snapping away.
I did this for about an hour. Just taking pictures of everything that looked even remotely interesting. Laying down, kneeling, and coming at things from different angles.
Outside of getting images that I felt like I could work with, I didn't have a specific visual outcome in mind. I didn't do anything with lighting or filters. I just worked with what was right in front of me.
Well, I'm happy to say my impulsiveness paid off, and I ended up with more pictures I love than I anticipated.
A couple of my favorites came from an illuminated, nighttime reflection bouncing off of a window. I noticed this dream-like composition from the corner of my eye as I sat on the porch and stared into the silence of the night.
I got lost in the lights that bordered the house, the contrast of the cool and warm lights, and the hard vertical lines against the soft, leafy shadows. I loved these images in particular because they exuded a certain feel that perfectly captured the magic and comforts of home.
I knew I wanted to build off of this feeling and add some adjustments to create a nostalgic essence. In the end, I came up with a series of photos that I am extremely proud of. Take a look at my favorites below, before photos included!
This natural contrast of light, color, and shapes made creating the effect I wanted easy.
The shadows of the plants through the window must have inspired me to get a closer look because once I was inside, I immediately focused on the delicate yet strong leaves, taking as many pictures as I could from as many different angles as possible.
When I edited these, I decided to stick with the same vibrant pink tones to get a consistent feel. I'm glad I did because pink turned out to be the perfect color for all of the pictures. Instead of overpowering the vibrant green, the pink and purple tones seem to enhance it while adding the nostalgic quality I was going for.
The more I reviewed and edited everything I captured, I got more and more excited about my impromptu photoshoot, and then I stumbled upon my absolute favorite: the lonely, wilting carnation.
The faint shadow on the screen, the deep teal blue in the corner, and the over saturated pink that highlights both the life of the flower and it's swiftly fading beauty all came together perfectly. But it's more than the visual elements. It's the feeling that I get from this picture that I love the most.
For me, this image sums up the feeling of self-isolation.
A single flower, all alone, trying to hold on to hope while surrounded by mystery and darkness. I think there are many people around the world right now that can relate to that feeling; I know I can.
We're all waiting patiently for a vaccine, for order, and for our lives to get back to normal, but will normal ever come back? If so, when will this all be over? Or has the world changed forever?
There are so many questions each of us has, it's hard to stay sane and grounded in times like this, but we all persevere in our own way and believe that things will get better, and eventually, they will.
As always, for me, my art provides me with all the comfort and optimism I need. If you'd like to see what else I've created amidst this COVID-19 crisis, check out the full series here.