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Distance, Isolation, Flatten

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My special lady friend working from home at her new desk

My special lady friend working from home at her new desk
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1 Comment |
jalan70 Ultimate
jalan70 July 31, 2023
A wonderful photo
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Behind The Lens


I took this photo in my home in the early stages of the pandemic, when stay at home orders were fresh and new.


This was late morning, in between meetings for my partner, Cass, who's pictured here. The dogs weren't used to having us both home yet, so they were keeping an eye on us to make sure they didn't miss out on anything. I opted for a day time photo for obvious reasons, it was the time that working from home happens.


The lighting was a bit of a challenge with the combination of indoor bulbs and daylight streaming through two windows on the right. (You can only see one, but the second one is there) I opted to shoot a longer exposure and in raw so that I could more easily manipulate the lighting later on.


I shot this with my Canon 80D with a 10-18mm lens and since it was a longer exposure, I had it on a tripod and used a remote trigger through the Canon app on my phone.


I don't think anybody knew just how big of an effect that COVID-19 was going to have on our lives, but at that point, it was big enough and I knew it was something people would be talking about for many years to come. That initial, clunky transition into long-term working from home, sheltering in place, as everybody retracted from the outside world. I had a job at the airport, which I lost due to the pandemic, so I had a lot more spare time. My partner? Not so much. So I wanted to memorialize this moment for her, that felt representative of a lot of peoples' experiences at that time. It didn't seem like something she'd need a dedicated space for, so she was still using the couch and a TV table as her desk and our living room as her office. The world map behind her felt like it really tied the pandemic theme together.


I did a fair amount of small changes and adjustments that added up to a bigger change. I wound up adjusting the white balance in two parts: those lit by the incandescent-looking LED bulbs and the other parts, lit by the sunlight coming through the window. I also adjusted the shadows and saturation to help her shirt pop.

In my camera bag

I always carry my Canon 80D with the favorite child of my lenses, my Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8, as well as my Canon 10-18mm for those times when I need to capture more of what's in front of me. There's also an Allen wrench for adjusting or tightening the Peak Design Clutch strap to the base, which attaches to my Peak Design Capture clip on my bag's shoulder strap. Plus a few microfiber towels just in case.


This is not a technically challenging photo, nor does it require the kind of fortitude needed to capture mountain climbing pics or anything complex. It's also shot in the middle of the day, so you don't even have to get up early. For me, the work was in picking out the right everyday moment that tells a larger story. So I suppose the real work in this is selecting which moment you want to keep, and recognizing it when it shows up.

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