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There’s no denying that we’re all on a bit of an emotional rollercoaster these days. The current lockdown and social distancing measures have put pay to seeing friends and family, going on outings and sharing celebrations. Parents have become teachers, and work life and work places have, for many, changed immeasurably. It’s no wonder that even the most resilient amongst us have found their emotional wellbeing well and truly tested.
And yet, despite all of this, I’ve seen so many great snaps of families out enjoying local walks, kids learning to ride bikes, home-baked masterpieces and gardens looking beautiful. As well as hearing tales of different generations getting to grips with technology, learning to Zoom, Skype and Facebook video chat, all as a means of keeping in touch.
These are such great lockdown stories, and with the government now shaping a roadmap for our return to a sense of normality, I’ve been thinking about how we can all document our journeys and tell our stories through the photographs we’re taking.
Be the star of your own comic strip…
Those of you that know me, know that I love a bit of superhero action, so how about having a bit of fun and creating a comic strip detailing this time? Starring as your own superhero is surely the stuff of childhood – and adult – dreams! And you can get your family involved too, even those you are distanced from, by sharing your pictures online, each making your own cartoon and then comparing the results.
There are many websites and apps out there that will help you create a photo memory board. Take a look at Fotojet – there’s a free, online comic maker to try that’s quick and easy to use. Simply choose a template, add your pictures – edit them if need be – pick a background, pop in some text or symbols, and then save, share, download or print. What a great way to create some fun family history – your own personalised, alternative time capsule.
Before you start creating your comic you obviously need some fab photography, so here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your smartphone camera…
- Check the lens. Is it clean? Fingerprint smudges and even dust from your bag or pocket can quickly spoil your photography·
- Keep your shot balanced by turning on the grid, or gridlines, in your camera settings and using them to line up any points of interest
- Don’t just zoom in, move closer if you can – you’ll keep more of the detail this way
- Sharpen the view before taking your snap by tapping the screen to set the focus
- Think about using natural light if you can, as the flash can be unforgiving. If it’s dark, a street lamp or lit-up shop sign can provide an alternative light source
- Try different angles, and different heights. Turn your phone on its side and try taking the picture horizontally. Consider crouching down low or perhaps looking down from above, you might find you can bring something unexpected to the image you originally had in mind
- Explore and experiment with the different photo editing functions on your phone and see how you can change and enhance your pictures
Smartphone pictures can be awesome, so why not get snapping and capture the memories you are busy making.
We’re living in an unusual and unsettling time right now, but let’s use it to our advantage and have a little fun along the way – I’d love to see how you get on with your photo cartoons so please feel free to tag me in your superhero social media posts.
Have fun creating!
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