HOW DO YOU PHOTOGRAPH A LOCKDOWN?

How do I photograph a lockdown? I asked myself that question when the lockdown started here in Belgium around the 15th of March.

I knew from the beginning that I wouldn’t be able to shoot any documentary work in hospitals or anything. So I thought I’d end up with a series about emptiness. You know, the typical photos of empty streets, maybe a ray of sunlight hitting the one man or woman crossing the street. With that in mind I set out to shoot. I made a walk almost every night for about six weeks. This week was the first time I couldn’t get out much because of the weather. I usually go out after diner when the sun is low and you have that beautiful spring sunset light.

I didn’t look at my pictures in the last few weeks and I didn’t really know which direction this was going. I only knew for sure that it wouldn’t be what I had originally in mind. The city I live in didn’t look very different than before. People were still out walking and jogging. It didn’t feel empty at all.

With the weather being really bad last Tuesday I did take a peak at my photos and I can clearly see a series. Turns out I photographed a lot through windows and I shot random things that are lit up by the nice warm evening light. Nothing fancy, no story whatsoever. But it forms a coherent series and I like it. It shows emptiness in a very different way and I find it to be more optimistic than most things that I have seen coming out of this lockdown.

I have only edit a handful of photos so far and I’m not planning to post more of them on social media or on this blog because I’m thinking of make a zine when all of this is over.

Thoughts, comments, questions? Let me know in the comment section below.

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