Special Report

Shutdown: The Coronavirus

In an Airbnb Room During Lockdown in Jamaica, Queens

With more free time due to self-isolation, there is the unexpected of reading simply for pleasure as opposed to studying or research. April 19th 2020 Photo by Dayo Paul

Though I read a little bit more often, I sluggishly use the kitchen, but while I was without a tripod and access to more equipment, it was a delight sharing quality time with my camera during the covid19 lockdown. Here are some of the self portraits while experimenting with a self-timer.

At a point into the work I was close to giving-up, not because I wasn’t enjoying the shots but getting it focused wasn’t easy to set, especially when you are not at liberty to move things around in your apartment for the camera to sit on.

For a clearer picture of my methodology in this limited space I stay in an Airbnb shared apartment with just a bed space for myself. I converted the dimensional bed to a seat in the day and then stretch-it-out at night. I rested my camera at the edge of the window close to the bed which made it impossible to go behind the camera for focus setting before the shot.

I climb out the window into the small backyard to view the monitor on the camera in order to focus. This is very risky because I have the camera  on the window frame and fear it will fall on the ground.

To steady the camera, I’ve moved out books and put the camera on the shelf, turned the bucket up-down, braced up the camera lens with a crate and tried numerous types of crazy things to improvise a tripod.

All those formed the fun part of this project work, with class critiques and feedback I’m encouraged to keep on  experimenting with self-portraiture.

These photographs and captions are akin to a daily diary.

Not used to cutting my nails by myself they are growing too long but the salons are closed and since I was a child, I’ve been afraid to cut them myself. April 11th, 2020. Photo by Dayo Paul

I have added weight, I need not feel it, but can see it on my leg. April, 18th, 2020. Photo by Dayo Paul

I watch online to know how to cook in New York. April, 14th 2020. Photo by Dayo Paul

I barely had a sound sleep lately. Maybe it’s because of my study assignments, but I realise the frequent blaring of sirens in the neighbourhood is enough to scare away a sound sleep even if you use a sleeping tablet. April, 18th 2020. Photo by Dayo Paul

I stretch my back more these days. Sitting for three/five hours for online classes every day is telling on my waistline. Also, on my eyes. April, 18th 2020. Photo by Dayo Paul

Combing and self-crushing love. April, 18th 2020. Photo by Dayo Paul

Green is a common colour around me, but it is not my best colour. April, 18th 2020. Photo by Dayo Paul

Maybe sometimes it’s okay to just take pictures and see more of you. April, 18th 2020. Photo by Dayo Paul

Peace out till Covid-19 is over. April, 10th 2020. Photo by Dayo Paul

This is a project of Lori Grinker’s NYU graduate photojournalism class.


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