I wanted to experiment with shooting portraits with 1 light. It’s hard to find a willing guinea pig to sit and pose for me. So, another self portrait opportunity. I shot this with my camera tethered with Lightroom 4. I like being able to see the shot right away in a larger format than the lcd screen on the back of the camera. I especially like shooting tethered for self portraits so I am not running back and forth checking the lcd screen. I used a pair of Yongnuo receivers that I bought on Amazon. These are great for triggering your camera remotely and also for off camera flash. They are reasonably priced too. Here is a link to the Nikon version that I use, Yongnuo RF-603 N3 receiver. Make sure you choose the correct model for your camera. The link is from my Amazon Camera shop. If you do make a purchase, I will receive a small commission.
As I peer into the other end of the lens, I wonder if the focus will be correct. I wonder what the composition will be, how much of a zoom there is, will it be a close up of my nostril? The self portrait is a real challenge for me. Not only do I have to come to grips with the way I look; I’m taking the shot without seeing the scene. Well, I will continue to practice.
This is Day 71 of my 365 challenge. My goal at the outset has been to find photo opportunities that are around me everyday. I know there is one subject that is always close by that I haven’t really explored with the camera… me. Now, I am not one to take a lot of self portraits, this is only my third in 71 days after all; but I do think it helps to look at one’s self now and again, other than the self we see in the mirror each day. And as I mentioned earlier, self as a photo opportunity is always close by. I also wanted to work on HDR technique and chose this setting because of the varying density of available light. This is an activity I am engaged in frequently, night time computing. Once I processed the HDR photo, I wanted to de-emphasize the busy background. I added another layer and removed the color, I like this effect.
There is a strange phenomenon that occurs when I see myself in a photo; I look older than when I see myself in a mirror. I think my mind filters what I see when I look in the mirror. The filter for me, is set so that I appear to be in my mid to late twenties, so when I see myself in a photo I think, “wow, who is the old guy”. Maybe that is why I’m not fond of self portraits. I like being on the other side of the lens.
From Wikipedia, “Introspection is the self-observation and reporting of conscious inner thoughts, desires and sensations. It is a conscious and purposive process relying on thinking, reasoning, and examining one’s own thoughts, feelings, and, in more spiritual cases, one’s soul. It can also be called contemplation of one’s self, and is contrasted with extrospection, the observation of things external to one’s self. Introspection may be used synonymously with and in a similar way to human self-reflection.”
So are we to learn from the self portrait? It seems strange to me, how I can look in the mirror each day and the man looking back at me is much the same as the 21 year old me, a long time ago; but when I see a self portrait, I ask myself, “who is that”? Do we see ourselves as forever young when we look in the mirror? And why should we be so concerned with our selves and our appearance? In Philipians, Paul tells us, ” 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”
We do need to monitor our selves, to make sure that we are being less self centered, more in tune to others needs, and how we can help with the tools and gifts God has given us. I believe that is where the introspection comes into play, when we ask our selves, “who am I, and what are my strengths, how can I help”?
The self portrait may help us to see who we really are and how we appear to others. Our attitudes are reflected in our portraits and each picture is a captured moment in time.
Today was an official Holiday, the celebration of New Years Day. I like many others had the day off. How did I spend my day off? Remodeling one of the bathrooms in the rental house. It was a tough job and I was not really happy about spending my day off working on a house someone else lives in, but it needed to be done. I was not able to complete the remodel, but I’m about 85% complete. The major tasks are completed, the final touches will be completed this week.
You can see by my self portrait that it was a long day. I need to work on composing the self portrait better. It’s easier with a tripod, this one was handheld and tough to focus. Wow, I’m scary tonight. Looks like I better get some rest!