What do you do when you’re stuck in lockdown, but you also have insatiably itchy feet and the essence of travel running through your veins? You improvise, of course!
This came especially easy to travel photographer and writer Erin Sullivan, a.k.a. Erin Outdoors, who decided to stay creative indoors. Since she couldn’t travel, she instead started recreating stunning natural scenery using the things she found around the house.
Food was one of the most common things she used for the compositions (so grab a snack if you think you’re gonna be hungry after checking out the pictures). However, that wasn’t all as these also included pillows and other bedding, paper and paper bags, model cars, cutting boards, and, most importantly, miniature human figures for scale.
Bored Panda got in touch with Erin for an interview, which you can find below along with the result of her creative genius. The pictures are provided in the format of “the result”, and “behind the scenes”, so that you can see what was used and how the scenic pictures were taken, as well as an actual picture as a point of reference.
Picture Format: Top Left: Result. Top Right: Process. Bottom: The Real Thing For Comparison
“As a travel photographer, I spend a lot of my time outdoors and photographing interesting places around the world. When our stay at home order went into effect last month, I wanted to challenge myself to stay creative in my craft without leaving my house,” Erin explained the inspiration behind the idea.
“I had the idea to create outdoor adventure scenes out of objects in my house. I shot a few scenes as experiments before I ever shared the project publicly and found that creating this series of images helped me keep my imagination active and my creative practice alive.”
We asked Erin to elaborate on the process of preparing the scene and setting up the shot. She had this to say:
“For me, the brainstorming is always the longest part of the process in creating anything. I first think about what kind of scene I would like to create and what I could use as materials to accomplish that. I then do a rough sketch of each scene.”
She continued: “Once I know what I want to create, it can take me anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour to set things up. I try to pursue my most concrete ideas, because I find that the shoot goes more smoothly when I have a goal. Of course, things change during the shoot and I am always learning, so I can't be too attached to the result.”
The best part? Erin made it into a community challenge: “Besides just the practice of creating it, the best part of this series has been sharing it with others. I created a hashtag, #OurGreatIndoors, and invited my community to try this out as a photography challenge. It has been really amazing to see what folks have created inside their homes.”
As it is with any project, challenges are bound to arise, and, for Erin, it was making the household items believable parts of nature. But it was part of the fun and didn’t really impede the process:
“One challenge I have enjoyed is figuring out how to get my materials to actually look like the landscape I'm trying to portray. This has forced me to experiment with light and shadow, color, depth of field, and composition, maybe more than I would when shooting outdoors.”
For now, this is only the start of a truly unique photo project, but Erin has plans to continue doing it even past quarantine when the great outdoors will be accessible again. So don’t forget to stay tuned for more mini natural goodness (as well as every other kind of natural goodness) by following Erin’s Instagram page. While you’re at it, why not visit her website as well?