What’s the UK lockdown?

In response to the coronavirus crisis, the British government announced on 23rd March that a lockdown would take effect from the following day, Tuesday 24th March 2020. This means only leaving home for one of four reasons: work which cannot be done from home; shopping for essentials; medical or emergency needs; and daily exercise – with walking, running and cycling given as examples.

How were these photos taken?

I split my daily exercise between walking and cycling. Each Sunday morning, I get up at 6.45am to cycle. London is usually quiet at this time, but during the lockdown I see only a handful of people.

Are they genuine?

Yes. There is no editing to remove people. I do sometimes briefly wait for a pedestrian, jogger or cyclist to move out of shot.

Is photography allowed during the lockdown?

Yes. You are allowed to stop during exercise, provided that you are moving most of the time. To respect the spirit as well as the letter of the law, I do not carry a full-size camera, but instead just use my iPhone. Each photo typically involves pausing for around 30 seconds.

What’s your setup for the photos?

I use an iPhone 11 Pro, and mostly shoot using the ultra-wide-angle lens. This is the equivalent of a 13mm lens on a full-frame SLR. For speed, I use the standard camera app and the only configuration I do while shooting is basic exposure adjustment. In editing, I generally enhance the shadows, bring back the highlights, boost the saturation where needed, and crop. Editing is done in Lightroom Classic.

Who are you anyway?

I’m Ben Lovejoy, writer and sometime photographer.