When this whole horrible COVID19 experience started—back when we thought maybe we’d be in lockdown for a few weeks, not a few months to a year—I thought to myself that at least it might be something worthy of documenting with my camera. I considered the world so changed and strange in this moment in time that no one would really understand it in the future unless people tried to capture the experience.
But the truth is, I’ve really struggled. The world generally doesn’t look transformed. It doesn’t even look abandoned in many ways. It’s more eerie than that. It just looks like a perpetual early morning before people are out on the streets. Or what Sunday afternoons used to feel like in England in the 1980s. For the most part, the visual reality of this situation conveys almost nothing of the experience of living through it. In fact, at times, while it feels desolate and strange and disconcerting—terrifying even—it looks almost idyllic.
A better photographer than I might be able to capture the feeling. But in the meantime, here’s some of the surface reality of San Francisco in April and May 2020. I’ll probably post some more in another couple of months.
5 replies on “Lockdown Photography (Part One)”
A few weeks ago I took some of London, mostly early in the morning. By the middle of the day London feels like an early Sunday morning but early in the morning it’s pretty eerie. For the full blog-time nostalgia vibe I’ve uploaded them to Flickr. https://www.flickr.com/photos/benterrett/albums/72157714251918093
Oh Ben, these are wonderful. One thing I think stands out for me is that you’re using wide angles a lot more and that helps to reveal how empty everything is. I should have thought of that. Thanks.
Hi Tom, nice to see you again in the blogosphere! Nice post! In feedly the images didn’t load though, I’m not sure why. Also do you plan to switch to https?
Hi there – two questions – let me see.
(1) Yeah, I don’t know what’s going on there. It just seems to be affecting feedly, it doesn’t seem to be affecting any other RSS reader. It’s a completely standard off-the-shelf version of WordPress, so I’m surprised it doesn’t seem to be working for them, and I’m not quite sure what to do about it. Do you have any suggestions?
(2) Switching to https – yeah, I expect to do that at some point in the near future, but obviously I haven’t done it yet. It has been a while since I last ran a blog and got it up to date with all the recent stuff, and I’ve never set up https before, so I want to make sure I don’t bugger anything up when I do it. If you have any pointers, please let me know.
The feedvalidator has 2 suggestions, perhaps related with the image loading issue in Feedly: https://validator.w3.org/feed/check.cgi?url=http%3A%2F%2Fplasticbag.org%2Ffeed%2F
About https, well it depends on your VPS/Hosting setup. Most people rely on letsencrypt.org for their certificates, there’s a lot of documentation online. I use it and I’m very happy with it, highly recommended!