With COVID19 F’ing everything up yet again and putting us back into yet another full lockdown (the third one now), I’m starting to think that it might not be possible for me to create some of the images I intended to for my project portfolio. The portfolio was going to make up a portion of my final project submission along with my finished and fully operational website, blog, social media accounts and evidence of actual sales and usage of my images.

The portfolio was going to consist of in-game action images, examples of airsoft stock imagery I’d create, as well as some environmental and studio portrait images of people in their airsoft gear. Perhaps the idea of the portraits isn’t a complete loss as I may, at some stage after lockdown 3.0, be able to squeeze in an outdoor environmental shoot or two before the assignment deadline. This, obviously, depends on a number of factors. Things like, how long the full lockdown lasts and what the rules of social distancing will be when we do finally come out of it. At this time, I’m concerned about what the situation will be with the studio considering most of us that use it, and the college in general, won’t have had one of the vaccines by the time my course is finished.

I guess it’s not a complete loss, though. I’ve managed to get myself along to 3 game days at Skirmish Lutterworth to capture some in-game airsoft action shots for use in my final portfolio. So, if airsoft isn’t allowed to be played again before the end of my course, I at least have images I can choose from. Choosing which images to put into the portfolio is something I’d much rather do in person with Dave in a room where I can lay out A4 or A3 prints for us to discuss. I’m also hoping that I can get back there for a few more game day shoots once lockdown is lifted as I’m not 100% comfortable with the images I’m creating just yet. Even though they get some love from the airsoft community on Instagram and from the people on the game days, I feel I still need to train my eye to capture more interesting images as well as finally finding ‘my style’. I’m getting close with the latter as I’m leaning towards the more gritty, photojournalistic look rather than the pin-sharp, bright and colourful look. I feel it suits the subject matter better and gives it more of a look of realism and harshness. Perhaps this comes from me allowing myself to be influenced by real-life war photography (something I’d love to do). One thing I have learnt about myself and ‘my style’ from these influences and experience photographing airsoft is that I no longer mind having noise in my images. Previously, I was doing everything I could to reduce this often frowned upon side effect of having to use a high ISO but now, I couldn’t really care less so long as I get the image. Responses to my ‘clean’ images and my ‘noisy’ images on Instagram has shown me that other too like this gritty look. My next test is to get some of these printed to A3 size and see how they look then. Maybe the noise will ruin them?

Ok, went a bit off-topic there but, basically, I’ve got some in-game images in the bag and will now try to concentrate on airsoft stock/product images instead of waiting for the lockdown to lift and then rushing to get some studio airsoft portraits done.