“You don’t need to travel the world or be a National Geographic photographer to take a great picture,” says professional photographer Luciana Franzolin, who has been sharing her tips on ‘Staying At Home With Photography’ on Facebook for the last month. “You just need to look around and be open to seeing!”
Like the rest of us, Luciana has been stuck at home for most of the day. But that hasn’t stopped her from continuing her passion – and it shouldn’t stop you, she suggests, from picking up your camera or phone and taking wild and wonderful photos…
“Photography can be your best company wherever you are, even when you can’t go out,” says Luciana. And whether you have a camera or a phone, there’s plenty to explore: “The best picture of your life may be around the corner,” she smiles. “A walk around the block, carefully observing your surroundings, can reveal treasures you have never noticed before”.
A professional photographer, Brazilian by birth and currently a resident of Nicosia, Luciana is the Director of Training at the internationally-renowned London School of Photography, as well as a freelance photographer, writer, designer and correspondent. With work published in media worldwide, and a strong passion for travel, Luciana is a truly global professional who’s visited “Brazil, Venezuela, England, Scotland, Holland, Czech Republic, Hungary Austria, Belgium, France, Portugal, Italy, Cyprus…
“I don’t think I have travelled to as many places as I wished to,” she acknowledges, “but everywhere I went, I tried to stay as long as possible to be able to properly feel and understand all the singularities of each place and capture it. Travelling and photography have always been tied to each other for me. I cannot think of travelling without my camera!”
But when social isolation came into force, Luciana vowed not only to remain in one place, but help others to remain safe at home through a wonderful Facebook series she calls ‘Staying At Home With Photography.’
The twice-weekly post series is a comprehensive guide to subjects and techniques which any amateur photographer can enjoy. From Painting with Light to the Moon, Pets and Frozen Motion, Luciana is sharing her tips for creating amazing photos – even for those of us who have only a phone to hand.
“Almost every technique we cover in the articles can be done with a mobile,” she reveals. “Learning to observe does not require any equipment other than your eyes. On phone cameras, there are many features which pass unnoticed: you can set the area for exposure (light metering) or focus, you can zoom or change filters. Plus some downloadable apps let you have additional control of the standard camera features, allowing for features which mimic a professional camera: you can control ISO, Shutter Speeds, Selective Focus and Exposure compensation. You can change White Balance, and some apps allow for very long exposure time for light graffiti, for example.”
The majority of the Staying At Home With Photography tips are, Luciana adds, based on inspiring ideas and activities rather than technical aspects, so everyone with a digital camera can see the benefits. “People are sharing their images and writing to us to say how the tips have helped them to keep positive,” Luciana smiles. “Photography can be a great companion if you are alone, a great way to get to know yourself – especially through self-portraits – and helps to unlock creativity, because it encourages us to see everything in a different way. Looking at usual things from unusual angles and perspectives can only have a positive impact on every other aspect of our lives. It can also be a great bonding activity for families because it can involve everyone, especially kids…”
Luciana has all sorts of ideas for the younger family members, guaranteed to keep the kids busy and happy for hours. Toy Story looks at creating ‘stories’ with toys, à la professional toy photographer Mitchel Wu. Alphabet Photography asks kids to look around for things that resemble letters, and then combine their images to create words. And Colour suggests that children take snaps of objects which share the same hue, and then create gradient or contrasting images. “It’s important,” she adds, “to expand your comfort zone when you want to keep learning. Photography is a great tool for that as there is always something new to learn.”
Along with the educational aspect, Luciana also hopes to encourage and motivate with her posts, “to inspire more and more people to try photography as an activity during a time that’s very hard to go through for some. The posts are a call to look ‘inside’ and not ‘outside’ for interesting subjects,” she concludes. “And show how many things we can do with a camera – wherever we are!”
To discover Luciana’s tips on Staying At Home With Photography, visit the Facebook page ‘London School of Photography’