Week 1 - Story Telling: Self-Portrait

This year I’ve decided I’m going to do the Dogwood Photography 52 Week Photography Challenge.

Last year I started a daily vlog. I made 50 of those. This year, it’s going to be photos.

Week 1: Take a picture that tells us who you are, without actually showing your face.

Seriously? They couldn’t start it off with something a little easier. I suppose I shouldn’t complain though, the whole point is to push your photography skills.

Who Are You?

Every time I hear that question I’m reminded of a scene from Anger Management.

Dave (Adam Sandler) is in group therapy and gets asked “Who are you?” to which he responds the way most of us do when asked that question. He tells them what his job is. The therapist (Jack Nicholson) asks him not to say what he does, but “who you are.” Dave starts listing his hobbies. The therapist stops him again. ‘Who are you?” Dave starts describing his personality. The therapist stops him again.

Seriously though, how do you answer this question?

It’s pretty impossible to say succinctly. How the heck are you supposed to convey it in a single photo?

So Who Am I?

It might just be easier to start listing who I am not;

  • I am not my job. (Podcast Editor, Photographer)

  • I am not my hobbies. (Painting, Music, Recording, D&D… the list goes on)

  • I am not my personality. (INTJ)

  • I am not my values. (Curiosity, Integrity, Excellence, Contentment, Love.)

Rather, I’m a unique combination of all of those things, along with all the experiences life has thrown at me to date, topped off with my own will to decide what I would like to be in future. Succinct enough?

About the Photo

I tried to capture a snapshot of what you might find me doing on a random day of the week. You’d probably find me in this office working on a podcast, a photo, a painting, a song, or planning my next project.

Setup

The photo was taken with my Fuji X70, as my X-T10 had to be in the shot. My tripod was just too big to get it in to the corner I needed to take the shot from.

  • 18mm (27mm FF equivalent)

  • 1/6th sec

  • f/16

  • ISO3200

  • natural light from the window behind

SOOC

00 DSCF6848.JPG

Editing

First into Lightroom for my usual run of crop, straighten, exposure, noise and grain adjustments. Then into Photoshop to clean it up the lines I just couldn’t quite get in real life. See if you can spot the tweaks.

BTS

I wanted the lines to be clean as possible, and so this single photo took me an hour to setup. The mess behind the photo was something else.