This season of life has proved to be a time of picking up new hobbies and resuming old ones in an effort to remain connected with others. For some, photography is that hobby.
Harding students who practice photography have been using their time in quarantine to reflect on and hone their craft.
Senior Kyle Raney said he has always used photography as a creative outlet. He said he enjoys bringing his imagination to life through a lens.
“I have gotten to think of creative shoots with three of my friends and go out and make it a reality,” Raney said. “We have had a lot of fun, and it’s been a great way to keep us from being bored. While isolated from a lot of people, photography is a great way to still connect with people while also adhering to the social distance guidelines.”
Senior Kayla Stites has used this time to take pictures of her family members and has even taught them how to take their own photos.
“I think fun and comfortable settings turn out to be amazing pictures,” Stites said. “I actually taught my sister how to use my camera and had her take my engagement pictures, and I edited them.”
While photography gives people a chance to connect with others, it can also provide an opportunity to be isolated with nature, making it a perfect hobby during quarantine. This aspect of photography is what senior Aric Andreson said he loves most about the art.
“I love shooting in nature,” Anderson said. “I’m not really a people person, and the ability to just go out into nature and explore on my own is something that I have loved as a part of this hobby.”
Director of photo services Jeff Montgomery has also used this time to slow down and capture the wonders of nature.
“It is amazing what you can find if you go out and just pay attention to what is around,” Montgomery said. “I have really enjoyed using my macro lens to get really close to flowers and show the amazing beauty of the tiny details of individual blooms.”
The abundance of time on everyone’s hands gives them the chance to pick up a camera, whether that be a phone, digital camera or a Polaroid, and pursue the things they find beautiful.
“Be friends with your camera, have fun, try new things and be creative,” Stites said. “Make the pictures your own style.”
Raney said it can be easy to pick up photography, and anyone interested should just do it.
“Watch a YouTube video about how to work the manual settings on your camera and start shooting,” Raney said. “Take pictures of everything; grass, flowers and even your home can make beautiful photos if you try. I learned that one in Jeff Montgomery’s class.”
Montgomery said the art is meant to be fun, and aspiring photographers shouldn’t be concerned about having the fanciest camera.
“Photography should be fun, and if you pursue things that you are passionate about, you will be doing your best work,” Montgomery said. “Only photograph to please yourself, and don’t worry about your gear. You can do great work with a really old camera, the newest camera or even your phone. Photography is not about the gear, but about the content of your heart and mind and what you want your photo to say.”