Reflecting on the summer of 2020, a summer in lockdown, a summer of unprecedented global turmoil, my memories play back like cinematic film scenes.
I’m grateful to have had my camera, and the mindset it affords me, to have been able to see that all was not lost when it felt like maybe it was. It certainly didn’t hurt that I was “stuck” in the great natural beauty of the Gower peninsula in south Wales.
This series of photographs, which I have cropped using the cinematic 2.35:1 aspect ratio in an attempt to make them feel more like the miniature films I see in my mind, is my attempt to salvage something from what most would agree has been nothing if not catastrophic.
Tip: Scroll to the bottom of this post for tips on how to crop your photographs using the 2.35:1 cinematic aspect ratio, and make your images/memories look like film scenes.
When you’re deeply present in the moment, in that place we’re all encouraged to try and be, it can be all too easy to focus on the negatives.
Life in lockdown makes this even easier to do – to neglect the positive in the world. As someone who depends largely on the health of the travel and tourism industry to make a living, it’s been easy to descend into bouts of anxiety and listlessness.
I thought my work life would be put on hold for a couple of months… six months maybe. It’s only now, some eight months after the initial outbreak, that I seem to have accepted that there’s likely more to come. Perhaps another year, perhaps longer.
It’s hard to keep reminding yourself that you’re not alone, that you should be happy you aren’t ill or suffering to the extent so many others are.
But it’s funny, you know… Reflecting on things, looking back over these images from the summer, it doesn’t seem so bad.
It was a beautiful summer here on the Gower peninsula in south Wales and I count my blessings that I was fortunate enough to spend it in such a beautiful place.
Therapy for All: Photography the Great Saviour
I appreciate it might sound a little over the top, but it’s also made me realise how important photography is to me (and could be for others).
Going out into the world with a camera around your neck is like having a superpower. It gives you a different perspective, a different drive and intent.
It forces you… no, enables you to appreciate the world in a heightened state. Or, if not appreciate, at least acknowledge it.
You’re out there, facing reality head on, searching for the beautiful and/or interesting. Whether or not you find it is irrelevant, the point is that you are actively looking.
Sometimes that’s all it takes to realise that things aren’t quite as bad as you feared.
I’ve said it many times, but photography really is, for me at least, the ultimate meditation.
How to Crop Your Photographs Using the Cinematic 2.35:1 Aspect Ratio – and Make Your Photos Look Like Stills from a Movie
- Open Lightroom
- Select a photo and go to Developer mode
- Select the Crop tool
- Click where it say ‘Original’ to open the dropdown
- Select Enter Custom
- In the box on the left write the number 2.35, and in the box on the left write 1
- The crop will now be set as a 2.35:1 aspect ratio
Tips on Cropping Your Photographs with the Cinematic 2.35:1 Aspect Ratio
- Not all photos work with this ratio, as you can sometimes end up cropping out important subjects/elements from your image.
- Some “average” photos actually look really great in this aspect ratio. I started this project off by trying to up-cycle some of my least favourite images, many of which have become some of my favourites. Play around and you’ll be surprised how you can breathe new life into your work.
- Remember that, like films, these sorts of images look best alongside other images. It’s about putting series of images together to tell one complete story.