Johnny Wilson
  • Johnny Wilson

Staying active in 2020

You probably don't need me to tell you that 2020 has been weird / horrible / depressing (delete as necessary...) as I'm sure you are probably reading it everywhere else, but yes... 2020 has been an unusual year if nothing else! And I don't generally tend to do end of year review posts or anything like that, but in a year where 9 months of the year were spent in the midst of a global pandemic I still managed to get out and get some photography done, even if it wasn't what I had planned. I went through my archive this morning and I've picked a handful of my favourite shots that either defined what was going on at the time or are shots that I just like. Starting with January last year, and the interesting beers that Chloe got me for Christmas...

... which introduced me to Camden Town Brewery who's beers I now really like! In the first couple of months of 2020 I also shot and finished my first roll of Lomography's new type of film; Lomochrome Metropolis which was a bit of a mixed bag... mostly because all my photos had some kind of damage on them from the film being loaded into the cartridge wrong... but I still got a handful of good shots and this one of my brother in his Brockhampton hoody was my favourite:

I blogged all the photos I kept and talked about the film in this blog post if you want to check it out some more. In March the pandemic really hit the UK and we were put into lockdown. I took my camera out and snapped a handful of shots of the effect it had on the shops;

And despite not being able to travel, or even commute to work after being told to work from home, I kept myself busy by taking my Instax camera out with me on walks for exercise and used up the Instax film that had sat on my shelf for ages!

I said at the time I didn't use my Instax camera enough, and hopefully when we're all allowed out to play again I'm looking forward to getting to use it more! I blogged the whole project and posted all the photos, you can check it out by clicking this underlined bit of text. I also finally sent off my first submission to Indisposable Concept after holding onto it for a little while to finish off the tail end of the roll with something interesting but then I gave up and just sent it off anyway!

Even if it wasn't a full roll of photos, I was still happy with the shots that I got and you can check out my blog post on it. And also check out my gallery on the Indisposable Concept website. April was also my birthday month and despite not being able to see each other, Chloe still got me a present of some more interesting beers!

In May I put together a mini Instagram project of indoors lockdown photography. Having been stuck indoors for the most part and working from home for the last 3 months, I wanted to shoot a project appreciating all the little ornaments and things dotted around my parents house:

I didn't blog the photos here but if you want to check out all the pics, they're on my Photo Instagram Highlights. I also started carrying around my new old Olympus mju-II and shot some photos using crossed processed Lomography Slide film whilst I was out on walks of what was going on in the streets around me:

By July we finally got to go outside again and I immediately went to spend some time with Chloe. We went to Mersea Island and Colchester Zoo and I vlogged the whole trip using an 11 year old iPod nano! Which was one of my favourite projects this year. I snapped a handful of pictures but this profile shot of a vulture was one of my favourites:

What a funky looking dude! I also managed to get some travelling done in August, including a trip to Bletchley Park with the parents which was a really cool trip; learning about ciphers and codebreaking. The mansion there has been extended and repaired over time so it's a really distinct looking building:

It was raining really heavily all day we were there, with only a little break in the weather which gave me chance to quickly grab this shot! I managed to fit in a mini trip to Brighton with Chloe in October which gave me opportunity to test the newly released Dubblefilm SHOW; a reloadable 35mm camera:

And it was a learning experience as the photos were a little underexposed but representative of how delicate and lethargic both me and Chloe felt. I blogged all the photos I took and I'm looking forward to using it more in the summer with nicer weather... if we're allowed outside again by next Summer! Despite all my photography plans being scrapped at around March I still put together a handful of posts I'm really happy with. In May I played around with a really old digital pen camera called the Quickpix Qp3, In June I chronicled the path to P30 covering FILM Ferrania's journey to producing it's first 35mm film, played around with an almost 20 year old digital camera and shot with a 20 year old roll of film which I used to snap this pic of Chloe in her office:

The oldest roll of film I've shot with yet! So despite 2020 being the year of the pandemic, I still managed to get some photography done and still got some shots I'm really happy with, but I'm hoping were allowed to travel more again in 2021 as there's only so many photos within a 1 hour block radius from your house you can get before you've photographed everything! And I'd really like to be able to see my girlfriend more. I have a handful of things planned that I'd hoped to do this year; I want to shoot with the Japan Camera Hunter Kassha, the Lomography Single Use Metropolis, and the Harman Reloadable. I've never shot slide film (I know right?) so I should really get round to shooting that new Kodak Alaris slide film... I have a post semi planned on the mju family of cameras and I have a counterfeit Canon camera that has sat on my shelf for a year just waiting to be covered on a blog post! Hopefully 2021 gives the opportunity to tick these off my list.