The Not-Quite-Self Portrait

In today’s episode of The Bumbling Photographer, we find me making my experiment in self-portraiture extra challenging.  I totally understand why portrait photographers prefer very large, open spaces to shoot in.  By the time I figure out how to hang the background sheet, I’ve forced my lights into a bad position, bound my tripod to one corner of the room, and eliminated the possibility of shooting vertically.  I just don’t believe in making anything easy.

I decide if I’m going to play model, I should make an attempt at hair and make up.  It’s been so long, I’m not sure I remember how.  A lifetime of beauty tips start flashing before my eyes.  I dig up an old make up kit.  When I get to the mascara, it’s starting to dry up.  As I coat my lashes and pick out the clumps,  I wonder if I were a man, how would I prepare for a self portrait?  Would I look in the mirror, pluck any errant nose hairs and decide I’m good to go?  No wonder so many men like to dress up like women for halloween–no one should die without knowing what they look like in mascara.

Having done the best I can with my face, I move to my hair.  Normally, if I know I’m going to be photographed, I straighten my hair.  But today, I decide to amp up my curls as much as possible–I have this photo in my head with my curls going everywhere and I kind of like the idea.

After all the prep, when it’s finally time to sit, the real challenge begins.  The out-of-date live view software I’m running on my up-to-date OS on my elderly laptop is a bad combination.  As my laptop is in the middle of bringing up live view, the battery dies and my laptop goes into a state of confusion.  I cannot get it to recover.

Now I have no way to see myself.  Fortunately, Pat is home and willing to sit provided I promise not to post any of the test shots.  I get the exposure set, focus, and compose.  Then, I trade places with Pat.  Unfortunately, we are proportioned differently, which means Pat must focus and recompose.  We switch back and forth, but I find it so frustrating not to be able to compose my own photos, that I give up after a while.  Besides, the clouds are looking interesting and I feel the urge to go shoot in the park for a while.  So, I call it quits, hoping my laptop will recover for another attempt tomorrow.

In the end, this shot is the best of the batch.  Unfortunately, it has a couple of weird shadows.  Oh well.  Tomorrow is another day!

For Tisen’s contribution to today’s post, he decided to take his newest squeaky toy, ‘Possum, to the park.  ‘Possum is an “unstuffed” toy, so he looks like road kill hanging out of Tisen’s mouth.


6 responses to “The Not-Quite-Self Portrait

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