It is currently a Sunday at 2:15pm and I have only just started work, by the time I leave after an 8 hour shift it will be pitch black and I will be tired and hungry. I’ve been working late shifts for 4 weeks, which teamed with my need for 10 hours sleep, doesn’t leave much time to go exploring and take photographs on days that I work.
Now, using my days off to do photography is usually how I work around this, but some weeks you’ve got errands that need running on those days off, so this brings the question; how do I fit my need to take pictures into a busy working week?
Below are tips that I have found help me to get my weekly photography fix whilst I’m working full time. All pictures taken are using my Sony Xperia M5 which hosts a 21.5mp camera, however, all smartphones can create beautiful shots with the right person behind the button.
Tip 1: Look for close-up photographic opportunities in your workplace.
You don’t want to be conducting yourself in an invasive or inappropriate manner, or reveal any company identity in your images. What you are looking for is close up hidden beauty that goes unnoticed by many each day. This could be a flower bathed in sunlight in the company garden or the side of a path, trees that line the car park, the sun rising above the building as you walk in. Things that look as though they could be anywhere in the world, but you happen to find in your work environment. Here are some examples below of the photo opportunities I’ve found in my work environment. I was particularly surprised to realising that the trees in our foyer were growing oranges and waited until no one was around to quickly snap a picture.
Tip 2: Take advantage of the early mornings or the later finishes.
This is not always an option if I leave work when it’s dark, but sometimes I’ll be leaving work between 6-8pm just as the sun is setting and the clouds turn a stunning shade of pink. On the other side of things, sometimes I’m driving to work whilst the sun starts to rise and casts those half shadows over the buildings and fields. These are photo opportunities that are just falling infront of you with no previous planning, so take full advantage! I imagine if you are good at getting up and are early for work (neither of which are me), you could even take your camera with you to work one day to stop on the side of the road whilst you’ve got time to photograph the sunrise.
Tip 3: Late nights = Astrophotography’s time to shine
It took me a while to get my head around the relationship between exposure, aperture and ISO, but as soon as I grasped the basics my attention turned to taking photos of the stars. It amazes me that my camera can see so much more than my eyes can, it opens my eyes to the magnitude of space. When you get in from a late finish you’re often too awake to go straight to sleep and need some wind down time, on clear nights this is when I’ve been teaching myself about astrophotography. I’m still in the very early stages of learning this new form and when I get home from work at about 11pm, I’ll go into the garden for an hour with my tripod and experiment with different settings. If I hadn’t been working late I wouldn’t have been awake long enough for the sky to get as dark as it is at midnight, giving me a little peace and quiet in a busy week to learn new photography skills.
How do you incorporate photography into your everyday lives?
Amy Williams-Weeks (AWW)