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A Photographer Who’s Stuck at Home Creates Amazing Photos Using Household Objects

©Instagram,erinoutdoors

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When you’re forced to be at home and you have a lot of time on your hands, you improvise.

And that’s exactly what a travel photographer named Erin Sullivan is doing during this worldwide health crisis. Sullivan is used to traveling all over the world and sharing her experiences with people, but, since she is home for the time being like the rest of us, she’s decided to use her time to create stunning “nature” photos only using household objects.

And her creations really are amazing!

Let’s take a look at some of her work. Be sure to flip through each Instagram post so you can see how Sullivan created these great images.

1. Sailing the seas of asparagus.

That is amazing!

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Gotta love an afternoon visit to Jello Lake 🌲 And before you guys ask, YES I WAS allowed to fly my drone here!! 🙄😉 ✧ Over the past few weeks I have been thinking a lot about the nature of creativity and how ideas come to us. These days it is easy to feel like you are in competition, but I have never once experienced this to be the posture that supports long-term success or a feeling of peace. We cannot hold onto our ideas so tightly that we suffocate them. I believe ideas are given to us from God (or whoever/whatever your higher power is) and we’re just the stewards. Like love, celebration, and laughter, creativity can really shine when it is shared. (@elizabeth_gilbert_writer has a wonderful book about this concept called Big Magic. It’s also a big topic in The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. I recommend both.) ✧ This set was made with jel dessert (vegan jello), asparagus, and train figures in a pie dish. So many of you have been curious to see behind-the-scenes footage or a hyperlapse of me creating one of these scenes… so if you are interested, check out @rei’s latest IGTV video! 🥳 ✧ #ErinsGreatIndoors #OurGreatIndoors

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2. Lovers in the great outdoors.

Great colors in this one.

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Something kinda simple and sappy today 💓 and maybe a little saucy if you look at the hand placement… 😂🍑 ✧ My partner and I have been dating for a year, and I wanted to create an image based on somewhere we have gone together. Here is a sunset inspired by Black Elk Peak in South Dakota, made from cut pieces of paper I glued together. A light behind it creates the illusion of mountain layers. 🤓 ✧ This one is for you @thejoehenderson. You are an absolute trip. Thank you for making me laugh. For listening so well, even when it doesn’t make sense to you. For being a kickass Robin sometimes. For hiking with me at night and for stopping to listen to frogs. For helping me learn how to slow down. For trying to build fires even when they don’t work out for you. For listening to me practice my TED Talk 28912 times. For making me breakfast while I write. For asking good questions. Thank you so much for proving every love story I have ever heard wrong and creating this one with me. ✧ Lots of folks have found my work lately because of this #OurGreatIndoors series. If you are new here, welcome 👋 You might guess that you are in for images and stories from around the world, once travel can happen again. But you should know that I also share thoughts & rambles that are sometimes challenging, sometimes complicated, and often vulnerable. The invitation here is always rather simple; it is for you to create and experience your life, and your part in this world, with more intention. ✧ #ErinsGreatIndoors #OurGreatIndoors

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3. Exploring some caves.

Truly magnificent work!

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The beauty of the ✨Glowing Gore-Tex Cave✨ ✧ Yesterday this idea was nagging at me all afternoon. I believe that ideas come from somewhere beyond us. When they ask you to pay attention to them, I’ve found that it is best to listen! I heard “create a glow worm cave tonight”… and so… here we are. Is it creativity or just quarantine? Gotta say I believe it’s the creativity. ✧ The set-up for this is tin-foil on a cutting board, 2 books with rain jackets draped over them, paper with holes poked in it, a smart lightbulb set to teal behind that, train figures, and the rock they are standing on is a hunk of rose quartz. Inspired by how it feels to be in a glow worm cave in New Zealand. ✧ Got an idea relentlessly poking at you? That idea wants to be out in the world. Put it into action 🐛 #ErinsGreatIndoors #OurGreatIndoors

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4. Some relaxing time for fishing.

Always a great getaway.

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A peaceful morning fishing together on Tinfoil Lake 🌅😉 ✧ The images in this series might be fun and whimsical (I hope they appear that way to you!), but I create them from my memories or from feelings of places I have been, which feel rooted and meaningful to me. ✧ I grew up next to the Long Island Sound, and my grandpa used to take us out on his little boat when I was a kid. My cousin and I would be stuffed into orange lifejackets, two messy blonde heads on the front of the boat feeling like we were flying. On summer days we’d go stand on the pier and try to catch something. And though I never really had the patience for fishing growing up, it was always about the time spent together anyway. ✧ This image was created with tin foil, a toothbrush, a lamp under a sheet, and tiny people from a train set. Lots of questions on where to get them–– simply search for model train figures online and you’ll find lots of options. 😊 More BTS in my stories and highlight on my page. ✧ #ErinsGreatIndoors #OurGreatIndoors

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5. Enjoying some stargazing.

Jut look up into the night sky.

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Nightstand Astrophotography 🌌 A bit of stargazing from the comfort of my bed. My friend here still won’t stop pointing at stuff… ✧ This one is inspired by a photo I took of my friend @rachelroams last year in New Zealand. Created with a couple of model train figures, paper with holes poked in it, and a smart lightbulb (I changed the color to blue, but you could also do this in post). ✧ I’m so happy to hear these photos are bringing you joy and sparking creativity. It’s been so fun to see what you’ve created so far in the #OurGreatIndoors hashtag! Hope everyone is taking care and being super kind to yourselves right now whatever the season looks like for you. ♥️ ✧ #ErinsGreatIndoors • #OurGreatIndoors

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6. Trudging through the canyons.

All that from some paper.

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Today I went on my first EVER trip to Paper Bag Canyon. 😉 I wasn’t really sure what we were going to find here, but I am learning that imagination is an adventure in and of itself. 💭 ✧ The response from this series has been great so far! Thank you to everyone who has sent me images of the adventures you are creating while inside. ✧ I HEREBY CHALLENGE YOU to create your own indoor adventure, and to share it so we can all come along! Whether it’s a tiny one like this series here, or setting up your tent in your living room, post and tag #OurGreatIndoors and let’s create some inspiration for us all as a community. And if you can’t participate at this time, I invite you to follow along. I’ll share your work on my stories as the hashtag fills up. ✧ This canyon was made from paper bags taped to a cutting board, and the little hiker dude is a figure from a model train set. Lighting is just the natural light coming from my window. If you feel disqualified because you don’t have a big fancy camera, try using your phone! As always, use what you’ve got. Creativity can thrive even (especially?) within a set of restrictions. 🧑‍🎨 ✧ #ErinsGreatIndoors • #OurGreatIndoors

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7. I love this one.

And, yes, I wish broccoli forests really existed.

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Welcome to Broccoli Forest. 🥦 A whoooole forest in my own apartment, who knew?! Apparently there’s great birdwatching here (as you can see, my friend brought binoculars). 😂 ✧ Originally my idea for this series was solely to do landscapes made from objects in my home. I’ve always loved using abstraction in my art, and thought this would be an interesting challenge given the context. I then thought it would be good to add tiny figures to give a sense of some scale. From there I found a ton of incredible creators out there making amazing miniature worlds. @tanaka_tatsuya is a favorite of mine. ✧ These images were created with broccoli, a bamboo plate, a sweatshirt, a pillowcase & a little train model figure. If you are making/photographing something inside that is outdoors-inspired, share using the hashtag #OurGreatIndoors so we can see how far and wide our community’s creativity stretches. 🌿 ✧ #ErinsGreatIndoors • #OurGreatIndoors

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8. Paddling out of an ice cave.

Just makes me say BRRRRRRRR.

9. Makes me want to hike…

And eat pancakes…

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For the perfect weekend adventure, may I recommend a trip to the Great Pancake Canyon? This weekend, Syrup River was flowing. Maybe it’s due to the rain we’ve had?? Not sure…. any of you specialize in pancake science and can speak to this? Anyway, this was a truly unique experience with fantastic views from both below and above. Also great breakfast available. 🥞 ✧ Camera info: Sony a7Riii & 90mm f2.8 Macro lens. Materials: Literally just pancakes, syrup, and model train figures. ✧ Want to create your own outdoor-inspired adventure while staying home? Post & tag #OurGreatIndoors or follow along with the hashtag to see what this community is creating. Or if you’ve got another project you’re working on, I would love to hear about it! Or if you are doing nothing, that’s OK too! Take care of yourself! ✧ Thanks to my pancake expert @thejoehenderson for helping with this adventure. Who knows where we will go next… 😂 #ErinsGreatIndoors • #OurGreatIndoors

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10. The Great Chocolate Hills.

Pretty amazing how she can make these photos look so great.

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Ahhh, a stroll through the @gomacro mountains, where we found some quite chocolatey features. Normally I would tell my friends to avoid licking the scenery, but in this case it all appeared to be edible and you don’t even need a permit. 😂 Flavors included banana + almond butter, double chocolate + peanut butter chips, oatmeal chocolate chip, and maple sea salt to name a few. 😛 ✧ Under different circumstances, I’d be snacking on these while outdoors on a hike or shoot. But staying home has introduced a whole new style of adventure–– involving less movement and more imagination. 💭 ✧ Thank you to @gomacro for loving the #OurGreatIndoors series and wanting to explore with me! If you are interested in experiencing some of the plant-based bars pictured here, you can use code “NEWFLAVOR30” for 30% off your order from gomacro.com. ✧ See if you can find the tiny bars in the 2nd & 3rd images. Also – all these bars were saved and snacked on 😊♥️ #gomacro #biggerthanabar #sponsored

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11. An oasis of parsley.

I can’t wait to get back to some REAL nature very soon.

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Lately I could really use a float in the clear waters of the 🌿Parsley Oasis🌿. It’s a bit of a hike to get to, but such a treat to take a refreshing dip in the glass-like pools 💧🤓 ✧ As countries begin conversations about opening up again, many have asked me if I’ll continue this series after quarantine. The answer is yes. These tiny adventures have helped me tremendously during this time, and have made a home for themselves in my body of work. This series has been a lesson in infinite possibility. A reminder that there are creative solutions to be found. ✧ Materials: glass bowl on a scarf, parsley, model train figure. ✧ PRINTS ARE AVAILABLE & will be updated today with images from my last few posts. Head to prints.erinoutdoors.com to browse, and use code “GREATINDOORS20” for 20% off from this series. ♥️ ✧ #OurGreatIndoors #ErinsGreatIndoors

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Those are great, but I’m sure Sullivan is ready to get back her regular globe of traveling around the world.

Do you know of any other really impressive Instagram accounts we should follow?

If so, please share them with us in the comments!