In many ways, the pandemic has brought hardship and even tragedy to all our lives. For me, it also brought creative renewal.
At the beginning of 2020, I was in the grip of a creative block and feeling at a dead-end in my landscape photography. I remember receiving advice from photographer/writer Guy Tal at the time, saying that one of the best remedies for a creative block was to stop doing what one usually does and do something entirely different for a while. This is exactly what happened.
Deprived of the freedom to go out to my favourite landscape haunts with my camera and, at times, even confined to my home, I sat in the house thinking, ‘So what shall I do now?’ And as I gazed around, I started seeing familiar objects in a new light. Items in the house were transformed from their objective identities into patterns of shadow and light, reflections, and textures. So I started photographing them.
The Lockdown Landscape series was born. As I continued working on it through the seasons and during different times of day, I discovered new images. It was also a very mindful practice. I couldn’t just go looking for photos. I needed to be aware of my surroundings with the curiosity of a child open to enchantment.
When the restrictions loosened up again, I found myself looking at outdoor landscapes in the same way. So this little lockdown experiment ended up enriching my photographic work and bringing me back to that sense of joy that photography has always given me.
All images photographed with a Sony A7R3 and either a Sony 70-200 mm f2.8 GM or Sony 24-105 f4 G lens.
Madeleine grew up in the 50’s on the north-eastern coast of the United States. She bought her first camera when she was 18, following in her mother’s and grandfather’s footsteps. But life got in the way, as it sometimes does, so it wasn’t until after her retirement in The Netherlands that she started taking her photography seriously. She has had her work published in On Landscape and the Dutch Natuurfotografie.
As a nature lover, she’s committed to treating nature with respect and is Community Advocate (Netherlands and Belgium) for Nature First, the Alliance for Responsible Nature Photography.