My Experience In Quarantine

Being outside and being able to live life “normally” seems like a fantasy at times. New headlines appear every day about the coronavirus, and watching the news feels surreal that I am living through a pandemic. It can become very overwhelming and hard to adjust to. I usually distract myself with homework, reading a book, or just being on my phone.

Trees and plants that have grown their flowers because of springtime. 

My shadow when standing on my bed around 1:30 PM when the sunlight shines on my pillow through the skylight on my roof.

A series of photos that are taken around the same time of day when the sky is clear.

The corner of my living room that has some of the many plants my mother has been taking care of during quarantine. 

Out of the five people in my household, my brother and dad are the only ones who need to go outside for work. I am so grateful that I don’t have to go outside and possibly be exposed to or give others COVID. I miss being outside and being able to enjoy the sun and spending time with friends. Through photography, I am reimagining what it is like to be outdoors again. Sitting on my balcony and looking out my bedroom window have been the best ways for me to bring the outside in.

My brother still wearing his mask after just coming in the apartment from being outside.

Shadows of plants that are cast across the walls of my home around 6:30 pm every day.

My mom reading on our balcony during the sunset. She just got a new book that she was eager to read.

My mental state has been up and down during quarantine. Sometimes I feel super productive and can finish all my work at once, but some days I don’t even want to do anything. The work in school is harder to learn over the internet. Since I was being taught a certain way for so long it was confusing to switch to remote learning. Then to have a huge workload and be expected to be able to adapt at the snap of a finger. There has been a lot of anxiety and confusion but one thing that has helped is getting into a routine. I try to stay in a routine that forces me to wake up somewhat early enough to get work done that day. I also find comfort in being able to stay home with my family and pets. However, it has also been hard not being able to be with my friends. I went from seeing them almost every day to not seeing them in almost 4 months. 

A strawberry reflecting in the water on the table underneath it.

My family’s refrigerator which is covered with family memories and a note my siblings and I wrote for our parents' anniversary.

Photographing during quarantine has been a new experience for me because I usually go outside to photograph with friends. I thought it would be difficult to do since I was creatively limited to the inside of my apartment. As I spent more time indoors, I started to see things that I didn’t notice before like the way sunlight or moonlight enters my apartment. I noticed how in my room if it’s a clear night I can see the moon through my skylight. I recognized simple details like the photo of a strawberry I was cutting at the time, and played with the reflection of the water on the table and the vibrant color. I also experimented with the different ways I can photograph plants (my mom has a lot). I was able to be creative in different ways and play with colors, light, shadows, and reflections. Being able to make photographs during this time has been a helpful distraction from the stress of this experience. 

My dad on our balcony holding a cigar.

Underexposed photos that show quieter moments during quarantine.

The lamp inside of my room.

My brother and I in the reflection of a mirror while he was getting ready to go to bed for the night.

My space has changed because my family is home more and it has been a new experience for us all. After being stuck inside and not being able to be productive, taking photos gave me a sense of accomplishment. Photography has made a new space in my own home and created something that contrasts with the world right now. My perspective represents more quiet subtle moments that may be overlooked. Having softer photos is a way to separate my own space from the fear of COVID-19 and the struggles that come with it. Even though living life normally will change, hopefully it will not end up like the fantasy I’ve been scared to see. 

The moon at around 5 AM above my apartment complex backyard.

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