Derek Medhurst's photos for the Club themes project in the 2020 coronavirus "lockdown"

I've been submitting photos for the themes project that Mike Robinson has kindly been managing for the Club in these weird times. I decided at the start that I would only use photos for the themes taken during lockdown. Pictures are taken either in the house/garden or during my permitted daily exercise walk.

The restrictions are having some positive effect on my photography ... in quantity even if not in quality. I have already amassed several hundred pictures taken under these conditions. Because one's exercise outside is not supposed to take too long, I find I am rattling off pics pretty fast as I walk, and I know there is rubbish and duplication - but with some luck and judgement I hope I can spot some small gems in the mass.

Because it would be expected of me by Club members, I try to add some humour to the theme photos I share, even if they lack great quality or do not meet with traditional subjects or styles of the photo club world. (I can't remember when I ever felt hidebound by photographihc convention.)

These six photos were taken in Millpond Woods, Sevenoaks, during one of my exercise walks. I used my Lomography Daguerrotype Achromat lens on my DSLR, producing the soft images and/or unusual background effects. It is enjoyable to work with, using Waterhouse aperture plates and manual focus. It made me slow down mentally to think more about each photo taken, even though I worked quite quickly in practice to get a fair number of pictures in the limited time for my walk.

For "In the garden" I found we were at the end of winter and my garden was in its tired state. So the photos selected were of some bags of weeds and other rubbish that I could not take to the municipal tip, and a dying camellia bloom. Just what the Club ordered!

My exercise walks often take place in the early morning and go through Millpond Woods. When the sun was out at that time that week it was low and casting interesting shadows. I decided Club members would appreciate a selfie or two from me so naturally I was compelled to oblige.

Cutlery and/or crockery in week 3 caused me a bit of thought. Still life photography is not one of my particular interests or strong points, so the thought of setting up something did not appeal at all. I realised I had found the answer when contemplating a bowl of washing up to be done. Ultimately I didn't just shoot what was there, I did set it up.

One Club member commented that she expects that each mug has specific memories, and she's absolutely right. One invaluable feature of photography is to support and prompt memories, and that was my aim here, although few members will know all the stories attached to each mug.

Maybe when they have exhausted every other activity under lockdown maybe they will try their own version? Although I'm sure they will choose something more salubrious as their prompts!

Our week 4 coincided with the lead up to World Pinhole Photography Day on Sunday 26 April. I take some occasionally and thought I would do so again this year.

That day was also the UK's "2.6 Challenge" day when people were invited to do something connected to the numbers 2.6 or 26, as the 26th was the day of the cancelled London Marathon which always sees a huge sum raised for charities. The challenge was an alternative fundraising idea. (I managed to make 26 pinhole photos and so made my donation to charity.)

My own favourite exhibit was the set up Scrabble board with the letters showing these three things on my photographic mind that week.

The bottle top was spotted during an exercise walk.

The hose was a last minute thought when I found it in the garden shed during a spot of clearing up that I had worked down to on my "lockdown to-do list"! And of course it would meet Club members' wish to see me maintaining some humour in my contributions.

With no pets in the household, this one had to the the "other animals". Looking around for inspiration I spotted a plush "Animal" of Muppets fame that had been given to me many years ago. He was the obvious and ideal candidate.

Luckily he was not in usual manic Animal mood so the photo session went better than expected.

A mix of pictures this week: two botanicals, one of which is in two stereo versions, and one washing line ... just to keep up with the non-serious side of life in these weird times.
The tree top was taken with a Lomography Daguerrotype Achromat lens.
The stereo photo was taken on my Fuji W3 stereo camera, and I used StereoPhoto Maker to produce the side-by-side and anaglyph versions. You may be able to 'freeview' (like the 'Magic Eye' technique of earlier years) the SBS version if you don't have the glasses , or if you have a pair of red and blue stereo viewing specs you should be able to use that to view the anaglyph.

Not really serious at all from me this week - what's new? The long grass idea just came into my head as I walked over the lawn. How do such odd linking of ideas come about? Luckily the shortages and empty shop shelves seem to have eased for now, so I hope I am unlikely to have to munch my grass!
I've baked sourdough for about three years, still inconsistenly as I'll often tweak what I do and sometimes get an odd-looking loaf (although they always seem to taste fine). The loaf in this group of photos came out of the proving basket so well that I decided to record the success for posterity ... and the Club's theme site!