Working At Home

My practice is all about photographing out of doors. That’s what I have tended to do and my project is all about the environment. So the current restrictions on movement due to Covid 19 are a big nuisance.

Considering the big picture, I am fortunate. I am well and can carry on my job from home. The family members who got the virus have all recovered. I’m grateful for these blessings.

In a strange way I am also grateful for being forced to reappraise my photography activity. It’s so easy to do the same thing, time and time again. Sometimes a jolt is needed to get you out of the rut.

Twyla Tharp draws a distinction between a rut and a groove. A rut is doing the same old thing that you have always done and you start to get a sense that it is no longer productive.

By contrast, “When you’re in a groove, you’re not spinning your wheels; you’re moving forward in a straight and narrow path without pauses or hitches. You’re unwavering, undeviating and unparalleled in your purpose. A groove is the best place in the world”.

(Tharp 2006: 1960

Although I felt I was creating some decent pictures during the course of this module, I had a real desire to break out of my habits. I could see that they were constraining me. And then I found myself cut off from outdoors. This was a blessing, not a curse, an opportunity, not a restriction.

I started thinking about solastalgia, the distress caused by negative changes in the environment. I thought about what sort of fears one might experience at home. A list developed:


Some of those fears already overlap with environmental changes. Then I started to think about how I could create pictures that addressed those fears in some way. The picture above is an early trial. I am in my garden and having to shelter from the intense heat of a hot day. There are more ideas sketched in my notebook and I will be experimenting with them over the coming days.


Tharp, T, 2006, The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It For Life, New York, Simon & Shuster