A quarantine diary by Photographer Letso Leipego

Letz Photography is giving a glimpse of photographic creativity under lockdown where tricks of light are bringing out details that would otherwise have gone unnoticed


Landscape, street, nature and event photography are very limited, and often near impossible under COVID-19 conditions. But the lockdown has not disrupted local photographer Letso Leipego of Letz Photography’s creativity in confinement. On the contrary, the situation has pushed the photographer to learn and find great images in otherwise ordinary subjects.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted economies and changed daily existence as we know it,” Leipego said in an interview. “It has also shown us how strong we can be and how creative we are even in isolation. As creatives, times like these require us to document the situation and have pictures taken or videos made for future use because there will be a time when we will reflect on this period with today’s younger generation and others that will follow. So I am polishing my eye for composition, thinking outside the box and taking great photos from home.”

The pandemic has had an impact on Leipego’s photography, especially on the business part. But he is convinced that constant evolution and improvement is part of the nature of a photographer. With so much downtime, he needed to work on learning more as he embarked on a photography challenge of indoor photo-shoots with limited resources around the house. “This was meant to keep my mind off too much worry and fear of what is currently happening around us and keeping my mind active,” he said.

He built a good product photography portfolio shooting random objects such as watches, food, and bottles of wine and perfume. Leipego’s captivating images emphasize contrast and the stylized manipulation of shadows that focus on details that would otherwise pass unnoticed. The result was a remarkable work of art that attracted rave reviews from his followers online. Sharing his work online was different this time because of the lockdown as it triggered a lot of questions and dialogue about photography. He was particularly impressed by the numerous phone calls that promised more commissioned work for him after the lockdown.

“What amazed me the most is the ability to plan from pencil and sketchbook until it reaches the final stage, which is the camera and light setup,” he explained. “This taught me that if you are passionate about something, go ahead and do it and embrace all the mistakes that come with it because we learn through mistakes.”

Over the years, Leipego has photographed all his subjects in their environments, usually rural settings both at home and at work. The images, however, like the characters they introduce, are layered with hidden qualities and references. It is this notion of revelation that is so central to his work. Through tricks of light and innovative composition strategies, he brings out a revelatory tone to a style of ethnographic photography that has often been marred by a shadowy legacy.