Photography in the Shadow of Coronavirus

It’s Thursday April 2nd, the day after April Fools Day.  But there weren’t many jokes yesterday as the world approached 1 million confirmed cases of the subject of all news outlets; Coronavirus.

My photo jobs have dried up as a result of the mandatory shelter in place orders.  I am in the process of editing one last portrait session from just before this craziness and am hoping that summer and fall weddings aren’t affected, if not just for me but very much for the sake of my clients who have worked tirelessly to plan their weddings.

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Leica M6 TTL 0.85 | Leitz 9cm f4 Elmar | Kodak TMAX 100

I’m fortunate enough to also work in broadcast television where I’m considered essential personal and even have a slick letter from my boss that says so.  I keep it in my car in case I am stopped while driving to work, which, itself has become a harrowing experience.

JohnnyMartyrPhotographerCorona

I am humbled by having a constant, well-paying job while other photographers scramble to pay bills.  A friend of mine and prolific local family shooter, Britt Beals, closed shop early despite having families request that she just use a longer lens when shooting them!  Many photographers don’t have such willing clients though, and simply aren’t getting paid for the foreseeable future.  And for them, I truly hope that they can find alternative means of income such as licensing out their existing work.

In the meanwhile, I am enjoying time with my kids.  Admittedly, they are also driving me crazy but it’s great to have so much time to spend with them while we aren’t stressed with schedules.  I was amazed to pull this image of them out of my developing tank.  It was only a few months ago that we were at an outdoor restaurant enjoying brunch among a crowd.  It feels like a lifetime ago.

1930LeicaKids
1930 Leica I/III | 1935 Leitz 5cm f2 Summar | Kodak Tri-X

I had plenty of film to last me through the next month or so for what I call “stream of consciousness” shooting, or unpaid, unplanned photography.  Similarly, I see many shooters online doing macro photos and “around the house” style images including this hilarious post by Vincent Morla which emulates famous photos using himself and everyday objects/settings.  Check out his article at On Film Only for a good laugh (but don’t forget to return here to my blog!)

Museum
By Vincent Morla

Despite having enough film on hand, I decided to support Film Photography Project and Kodak by buying 30 rolls of TMAX 100, Tri-X 400 and TMAX P3200.  This is the volume I’d usually buy to cover one wedding but felt it was important to throw some money at the businesses that support me.  Additionally, who knows how long this situation will continue and if I’ll still be able to get film.

Luckily, Film Photography Project and B&H are still able to accept online orders but that isn’t the case everywhere.  I see other shooters talking about making processing chemistry from common household products as they are unable to get fresh chemistry now.  I also have a stockpile of chemistry so I spent half a day last week processing film and will be doing more soon.  Quarantine is a great time to catch up on old work, if you can!

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While Kodak is supplying their stockpile of alcohol to New York for the production of hand sanitizer products, Ilford has stopped making film for the time-being.  I have 30 rolls of TMAX P3200 but will likely pick up some Delta 3200 soon just to support them.  Apparently there is plenty of available stock.

AshleyMilesIlford
Leica M6 TTL 0.85 | Leitz 5cm Summarit |Ilford Delta 3200

I took this shot of Ashley Marie from Vinyl Rhino on Delta 3200.  A local performer who is likely taking quite a financial hit in this concert-less time in which we’re living, Ashley is now using her Facebook page as a daily advisory to stay healthy and stay indoors.

G.A.S also kicks in when you’re without anything to do for long periods and eBay never seems to close!  In addition to photography, I also own the world’s largest collection of Night of the Living Dead trading cards.  So I ordered a few cards that I was lacking.  And photography-wise, I ordered an original box for my Yashica A and a Leica ITDOO hood which is also in its original box.  The Yashica box is apparently going to ship but the ITDOO is in Argentina and the seller asked that I wait to pay until he notified me that he’d be able to get to the post office.

ITDOO

I sure hope I get the ITDOO but I of course also hope that my friend in Argentina stays healthy.  After this awakening,  I have closed my eBay store and will stop buying so as not to endanger anyone who isn’t in need of keeping a business a float during these crazy times.  Additionally, eBay fees are a bitch!

I’m also taking some time to catch up on blogging.  Tuesday, I published the introduction to a four part series regarding my comparisons of Mike Eckman’s Leica copy cameras to my original Leica’s.  I will publish the remaining blogs on the next three Tuesdays.  Hope you catch me again for them!

So that’s pretty much what’s going on in my world of photography under the shadow of Coronavirus.  What are you up to?  How are you keeping up with photography while stuck indoors?  Or have you given up to pursue other hobbies in the interim?!

Thanks for reading, happy shooting and most importantly STAY HEALTHY!

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3 thoughts on “Photography in the Shadow of Coronavirus

  1. I’ve been compiling info about places that have stayed open, from retailers to labs, etc. Unfortunately the labs closest to me have closed down for the immediate future, they just weren’t set up for any mailorder or online business. The university darkroom has been closed for a few weeks now so I’ve nowhere to develop at the moment. Perhaps at home, but I’m not set up for that just yet. I hope the labs that stay open get enough business, I intend to use them. It’s either that or I just wait until everyone opens up again.

    Liked by 1 person

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