‘There is beauty in everything’: How a Perth photographer turned quarantine boredom into a work of art

An amateur Perth photographer has used two weeks in mandatory quarantine to capture and create stunning images taken from inside her hotel room.

Liz Barker was forced to isolate after returning to Perth from a work assignment in the Netherlands.

At first, she was apprehensive about how she would pass the time, so she set herself a creative challenge in an attempt to give herself a sense of purpose, aiming to produce one image each day inspired by things she could see from her hotel window.

Liz Barker walking down a city street holding a digital camera.
Ms Barker decided to challenge herself during her mandatory quarantine period.(Supplied: Laney Ahmad)

“I saw so much opportunity to re-see, re-think, re-interpret and create something extraordinary from the ordinary,” she said.

Some of the photographs captured a moment in time, while others were “imagineered” images edited to depict a scene.

A composite image of an old heritage-looking building with clouds around it.
Day 7: Ms Barker said some of her images were ‘imagineered’.(Supplied: Liz Barker)

She said she became completely absorbed in the process and, despite being confined to her room, was never short on inspiration.

“Some days the image was not captured until sunset, others I knew early in the day that I had the image for the day, or it was a planned composite that I had imagined days before but I needed the right conditions to capture the images to make it,” Ms Barker said.

A brown brick building in the Perth CBD taken from side on with a subtle sunrise glow.
Ms Barker’s photograph on day nine of hotel quarantine. She says she was never lost for inspiration.(Supplied: Liz Barker)

“There was so much material, but if I wasn’t looking for it, I wouldn’t have seen it.

‘There is beauty in everything’

She said one of her favourite images, titled “My Shadow and Me”, was captured on day 11 of her isolation.

A bird's eye view of a Perth CBD street with two people visible with long shadows on the pavement.
On day 11, Ms Barker took a photograph of a young boy with his dad.(Supplied: Liz Barker)

“Although I was several floors up, I could hear the toddler squealing with delight as he played footy with his Dad — it made me happy,” she said.

“I wish I knew who they were, I would love to share a copy of the pic with them and let them know it lit up my day.”

Another photograph captured raindrops on her hotel window, shot using a macro lens.

A photo of raindrops on glass with very shallow focus, blurred background.
On day six, Ms Barker used a macro lens to capture raindrops.(Supplied: Liz Barker)

“I think it is pretty, there is beauty in everything,” she said.

Ms Barker said when she wasn’t taking photographs or working remotely, she was exercising.

A large construction crane at sunset.
Ms Barker captured city life outside her hotel window.(Supplied: Liz Barker)

She ran more than 15 kilometres within her single room.

But she said documenting her quarantine period had definitely helped to pass the time, a distraction she described as a “gift”.

“There is no doubt in my mind that ‘iso’ would have been a different experience had I not given myself this challenge,” she said.

The Perth CBD skyline covered by cloud, black and white.
Ms Barker’s final photograph taken in hotel quarantine.(Supplied: Liz Barker)

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