Whilst we all face challenging times due to the Coronavirus lockdown, some people have been using this time to start up new projects and ideas that are centered around our current limitations. UK based video producer Adam Plowden has been documenting his surroundings whilst on his occasional trips for essential items and is encouraging us to stay creative.
Hello Adam, tell us a bit about yourself?
Hello, I’m a video producer and director of photography based in Surrey, UK. My work mainly focuses on video content for live events, advertising, and marketing, in which I’m lucky to travel and capture great stories and messages for brands, events, and clients.
You backed the Kickstarter for the Lomogon 2.5/32 Art Lens, what was the appeal originally?
I’m a fan of the Helios lens, famous for its swirly bokeh, so when I saw the example photos captured with the Lomogon 2.5/32 Art lens I was intrigued. I’m always on the lookout for ways to create unique and interesting visual styles on the more ‘creative’ video campaigns I work on; can the look, feel and flare of a ‘classic’ cinema lens be recreated with an alternative? This lens sports unexpected creativity over a ‘clean’ image, which I was particularly interested in too.
Tell us a bit about this series of photographs you are sharing with us and what drove you to do this?
I started taking this series of photographs because of firstly documenting this very bizarre time in our modern-day lives; which has quite literally been flipped upside down. We are adjusting our chaotic and busy lives to one of self-isolation, which I have tried to capture in the photographs of my local area. The descriptive text that Lomography uses for the Lomogon Art lens has been summarized to this quote: “Shoot from the hip, catch your subject off-guard and capture the beauty of the world in its constant state of motion.”
After reviewing a blog post for the lens that I began putting together earlier on in the year, it suddenly struck me that right now the world is almost stationary, but with a sense of urgency to have some normality. Whether that is walking the dog or buying groceries. I thought that it would be an interesting challenge to use this one lens to document the current situation, considering the state of flux we are in, rather than motion.
In a time when people are being forced to restrict their movements do you think it's important to stay active and creative?
Yes, definitely. Going for a walk, run or cycle while maintaining social distancing is important for our health and our sanity. Research has proven that going for a walk (even a short one) can boost creativity. You never know where inspiration may lie, and at the moment photographers, video producers and creatives appear to have lots of time on our hands. You may live in an urban or rural area, so why not try to explore what is on your doorstep (while observing your government guidelines too). Having a camera with you to take some photos or capture a bit of video gives you something to focus on, or create a distraction from the goings-on.
How do you find shooting with the Lomogon 2.5/32 Art Lens ?
I use a lot of different lenses for my video work and the photos that I take too. The unique design and construction of the Lomogon Art Lens is great in hand, with a very smooth focus barrel. The offset circular aperture wheel does take some getting used to. One thing that I noticed about using the lens is that I don’t spend as much time focusing on composition, settings, and focus, and spend more time being creative with the unexpected look that the lens may give. It feels like a more liberating way of capturing images, quite the opposite of making sure that the subject is tack sharp, or the horizon line is right.
Do you have any tips on changing people's mindset about being creative in these difficult times?
Try not to get down about the loss of work, travel or opportunities that has been the result of this pandemic. Although we are spread across the globe, many people in creative
industries are in exactly the same position. So, in a bizarre way we are all in this together, which is a kind of unity. With plenty of time on our hands, now is a great opportunity to learn new skills (I personally am enjoying the various courses on Masterclass.com), update your website or have a personal review of your creative direction. Are you living to work or working to live? Is there something that you really want to do when all of this is over? Make a plan to make it happen.
We've seen some amazing ideas and virtual socializing events come out of this situation, have you seen anyone else creating something positive and exciting?
We are adaptive creatures, and it’s been incredible to see our lives transform from physical presence to a virtual one. Zoom has been a great platform for me to communicate with friends and clients, so maybe host an interactive virtual exhibition or watch party for your latest creations. If you are currently seeking an opportunity to keep the creative juices flowing, check out this open brief from the United Nations. They are looking for creatives (from all areas, not just photography or video) across the globe to make content to help battle against coronavirus.