The bad medical virus
While the planet seeks a solution to the pandemic problem, may I suggest we use this opportunity to participate in an innovative photographic exercise? This might be just the spherical ray of light (corona) we photographers need in the midst of a dark and scary time. Fortunately, photography is a very personal process. We all use digital devices to capture interesting subjects and express emotions, but none of those devices are multi-person in function. So why not step up your personal photography and share your projects more openly online with a Corona photography workflow.
There are two obvious opportunities available to everybody that are both extremely safe while being very public. Why not join both the Facebook groups of your local photo club as well as the DPS Facebook group and (safely) start sharing more openly with thousands of your closest friends?
I’m appealing to the leadership of every photo and camera club to provide online assignments and challenges based on the subject of light. Publish each submission publicly and give recognition to all entries.
The assignments and challenges can be announced on club Facebook pages and posted (in larger sizes) on club websites. This will not only promote activity within the clubs but will share those talents with the rest of the world’s photo enthusiasts. This kind of effort will show the heart of the digital photo community and will widen the family circle and lift the spirits of millions.
Digital photography is a very dynamic and growing lifestyle, especially with the increased photographic capabilities of today’s camera phones. Photo clubs are comprised of all echelons of experience and all levels of equipment and now includes a growing number of phone photographers.
We’ve all seen some pretty amazing examples of great pictures captured by camera phones, with several clubs even featuring dedicated internal groups. The software features within these phones are both mind-boggling and beyond the capabilities of many very expensive dedicated digital cameras.
Add to this the ability of camera phones to immediately (and extensively) edit and post images to all forms of social media.
The good digital viral process
Lifestyle photography is widely accepted, and the sharing of images is commonplace in our world culture. Since we all travel with these mini-marvels, virtually everybody can participate in this Corona photography workflow project, and with little effort, it will go viral quickly. This kind of virus is good. This way, personal creativity can be unleashed and shared almost without limits in either subject matter or interpretation.
If well-coordinated, it can unite the minds and emotions of people and redirect emotions to a positive place while the medical world works diligently on an effective solution to the medical problem.
Social community should be a goal that is openly promoted and encouraged by local photo clubs sponsoring “socially distanced” group activities and photo opportunities. Photo challenges can be organized online through a number of social media. During a time of world crisis like we are currently facing, the nervous human psyche can either suffer fear-overload or be creatively redirected. This is one avenue that we can all travel safely.
Shared activities need not stop; they simply need to be redefined as virtual group activities. This new sharing can become interpersonal and actually create stronger bonds between individuals who otherwise might not participate in typical meetings.
Social media has proven to provide a community sharing process that is even more inclusive than literal clubhouse meetings. This digital extension of the photo community clubhouse has a very real chance to involve persons from all aspects of society and age groups.
Keeping your distance
Digital cameras offer the ability to capture images from a distance and thus maintain and observe the six-foot protection rule. Even if you don’t have a telephoto or zoom lens, the higher resolution of cameras and phones allows image enlargement to reveal distant detail – especially since Internet images are usually restricted to around 1500 pixels (long dimension). No longer are photographers restricted to close proximity to the subject to capture significant detail.
This resolution restriction can actually work to your advantage in this respect: you can enlarge images to a greater magnification with no noticeable loss of detail.
Keeping your distance also allows you to capture images more candidly and thus more naturally. This is how you turn a limitation into an advantage.
While the normal reticence of sharing in public is a barrier that holds back some from participating in public meetings, with this online Corona photography workflow, sharing ideas and experiences might just break that barrier for some and provide them a fresh opportunity to participate. Now they can share a voice and increase personal involvement in a (socially and medically) safe environment.
In social media, everybody is on level ground and has an equal chance to “speak up” and participate. Sharing is a vital part of the human experience, and this unique opportunity could provide that social spark that we need to get through this situation and be better for it.
The Internet provides both good and not-so-good subject material and expression, but within the individual online club environment, this behavior can be more carefully monitored and even protected.
Here’s what I propose that we adopt and promote without hesitation…
If you are not currently a photo club member (either local or online), join (at least) one right now; I am a member of several.
Each local club has a website and a Facebook page. Even if you only read DPS articles and rarely comment, this will give you a chance to speak out (in a silent way) and let us hear from you!
Search your favorite social media for online groups and clubs. There are dozens available, and many are geared to unique kinds of photography. There is rarely a fee involved, and your involvement is welcomed.
I just started an online Facebook group called “Corona Camera Club” just to push back on the negative connotation and put a new twist to the term. This will be a group based on light, not darkness. The basic “focus” of the group will be on the lighter side of photography. I invite everyone to join in and start sharing photos and posting positive experiences. There’s enough negative energy in the world right now, let’s turn up the light and keep it positive.
Club and group leaders
Post challenges to your members based on weekly (or monthly) themes. Keep these themes upbeat and creative. Provide online access to articles and presentations that would normally be presented in your local club meetings.
Contact all your members individually and encourage them to enlist one friend every week to join the group. This Corona photography workflow effort is like an old fashioned block party where all neighbors gather and share food and activities. Okay, we can’t eat online, but we can interact more frequently.
Don’t hesitate to research group sharing opportunities available to businesses and online schools to conduct interactive meetings and turn them into online clubhouses. I certainly invite your current members to join our CCC Facebook group too. Let’s make this a universal family project.
Take this opportunity to show your creative imagination. Share images that are upbeat, positive, and inspiring. We all need to be realistic about the problems and risks and our physical activities are restricted, but our minds can run wild. Use this time to brighten eyes and uplift spirits. I’m using this post to try out a personal interpretation of some of my nature shots.
Finally, make your contributions and comments often and regular. Since this Corona medical crisis has limited our physical gatherings, let’s just gather online and channel our energies in a more positive collective enthusiasm. Use your computer, your tablet, and your phone to connect with friends and loved ones using all the services that are available. Love and camaraderie are contagious too, and this kind of infection is all good.
Let’s determine to find the lighter side of this dark cloud and turn the threatening negative into a big positive. When this scary time is over, the new friendships and associations will be all the deeper, and we can resume our lives on a higher level.
Remember, the word corona only recently has been defined by a virus. One of the dictionary definitions of corona describes the super bright crown of light that surrounds the Sun. It’s time to get out of the darkness and dive into the light.
Let’s participate in this Corona photography workflow and give this word a new meaning as we lighten up.