Room 806

14 days in Hotel Quarantine

I returned to my home state of Western Australia during Covid times and had to serve the mandatory requirement for 14 days in quarantine in a hotel room. Having the freedom we are accustomed to removed for any period of time involuntarily is a daunting prospect to say the least. However, how we handle it is an individual thing.

This is my story about that time.

At first, contemplating the prospect of being locked in a room for 14 days, and it was absolute, no fresh air breaks, opening windows or balconies, I was more than a bit apprehensive about how I might cope and my anxiety levels were getting fairly high at the thought. However, as the time came closer to coming home I consciously decided I needed to ‘suck it up’ and switched my mindset into positive mode and started to think about how to make it the best I could under the circumstances. You know the old adage, ‘focus on what you can change, not what you can’t’. Once I flicked the mental switch, I made a plan to maximise the special ‘me’ time. In addition to staying on top of my work, exercise to keep the quarantine lardiness and laziness at bay, catching up on photo cataloging, photo editing, and perhaps a photobook or two were on the list to make this time productive and full.

But… then this happened…. it was not part of that plan, but it was far better. When I looked out my window for the first time on the morning of day 1, concidentally being July 1, making it super easy to count, seeing that big red graphical design on the side of a building changed it up. It was a bit ‘WoW!’ I can do something with this. The more I looked the more I saw over that first breakfast coffee, brewed with my hand carried mini coffee machine I may add (best decision ever). It didn’t take long for me to make a personal commitment to myself to take an image a day from only what I saw through my window. My only rule was that every element of each photo had to be taken on the day. Game on…

Some days I got something early, some days I was able to put a preconceived idea together, other days I did not get anything until late in the day. There were some days, I got more than I could have wished for, other days I struggled for anything, but it kept me engaged and stimulated either way and it was totally liberating.

Liberating? Yes, even though I was locked in a hotel room with no opening windows, no access to fresh air or any physical human contact (except for the staff administering nose swabs) for 14 days, I found liberation. As a passionate amateur photographer, who aspires to be less amateur, I am often looking to comply with general public expectations, or play by the rules, or meet a certain criteria with my images, all of which is focused on what someone else will think of my photos. This project was so different, this was for me. I did whatever I wanted, no opinions, no expectations, just me and my vision and imaginings on the day. No rules but my own. That… is liberating. I think this experience will change how I approach my photography from this point forward.

In the end, it was not so bad, it is done and I am home. I did not waste my 14 days in room 806 at all, in fact I ran out of time to do a lot of stuff I planned to. Between my photo project , work, which didn’t go away, and exercising (I ran more than a marathon during my room time too), it flew by, but I’m so glad its over and I’m home safe and sound and I found a new freedom in enjoying my favourite past-time.

You can see the images from room 806 in my Featured album in Gallery.

These are the images resulting from my ‘stay-cation’.

Room 806 – 14 Days in Quarantine

Day 1
The one that kicked it off. That big red graphic design on the side of the building could not be ignored.
Day 2
Similar to day 1 I found a very graphic image from a building a bit closer to my hotel. I like this style of urban photography where a single element is isolated and distracting surrounds are removed.
Day 3
I struggled on day 3 and this is my least favourite of all the images, so much so that I cheated on my FB posts and later replaced it with a different picture that I liked much more but, keeping true to my own personal challenge here, I stick with the original day 3 image. This is the rooftop of Huxtaburger.
It really is orange and the light was harsh making it even more orange.
Day 4
I had been eyeing off this crane for a couple of days thinking about how I could use it. There are a few cranes about at the moment, constantly changing the skyline which I knew would be somewhat different to the one I saw when I was last home at Xmas. I managed to capture it at the right angle eventually and with a bit of creative license, removed distractions of surrounding buildings replacing them with the colours of the sunset that evening.
Day 5
Looking the opposite direction today. Attracted again by graphic shapes and colours the white rectangles on the black background stood out to me here although the apartment block (I think) was quite distant, it gave me a chance to use my longer lens.
I was feeling I was running out of ideas by now but that night the skies turned electric, but too bad… I had posted my shot for the day but Wow, what a show! I got some great lightning shots.
Day 6
Even rainy days have silver linings. The window itself became the focus of my attention on day 6 with my view dominated by raindrops. The red background is from the building from day 1 and if you look closely, you can see it in the reflection within the primary rain drop. This one of my favourites.
Day 7
WA Museum building wrapped in clouds. Some creative work today. I call this ‘Imagineering’. I think it’s my new favourite word as it lets my imagination take over from reality. Keeping with my ground rules though, the clouds and the museum photos were taken on the same day, just blended together to make an image a little bit fantastical.
Day 8
Morning Moon Set. The earliest ‘done’ moment of my stay. This was all over and done before breakfast. On opening my blinds the moon jumped out at me. It was beautifully clear an in a perfect spot for a staged and stacked image to capture it’s path to setting. I set the camera to take a series of images 5 minutes apart so this is 30 minutes of moon set. It really does move this far in 30 minutes.
Day 9
Back to a building isolation feature today with awesome sunset colours to back it up. Looking forward to FriYay tomorrow.
Day 10
Its FriYay and the start of my last weekend in room 806. This one came late. The RAC rescue helicopter coming in to land at Royal Perth at sunset. Sad to think there is someone in need of emergency medical treatment in there. I hope they made it through OK. Hats off to our medical and emergency support workers. We are truly indebted to you all. A timely reconfirmation of why I am happy to stay in room 806 for another 4 days. I don’t want to contribute to anyone’s medical emergencies.
Day 11
I have watched and waited for my shadow shot since day 1. Today was my day. I could hear this little fella squealing with delight as he played footy with his Dad. I call this one Me and My Shadow. I just love it, it made me happy.
Day 12
Second swab day…. the real ticket home…
For today”s image I succumbed to the lure of Swedish flower boxes and shutters of Miss Maud’s. It’s as close to Sweden as I can get for quite some time I think. Thankful for the places I’ve been, but even more thankful to be back on home soil.
Day 13
Penultimate day. And it’s a other rainy hazy one so a rainy hazy photo fits. A long view to a distant steeple through the rain and mist fulfilled my creative cup today.
Day 14
Woo Hoo! I finally get to hug my family after 7 months apart later today. Today’s image is created from all the buildings that have been my muse for the past 14 days. Its not perfect in edit sense but I had a Perth Skyline imbedded in clouds ‘imagineered’ in mind for many days, today I decided to make it. Every building that has featured in earlier photos is in this image. I did have to wait most of the day for the right clouds to show up, but they eventually did.