“Not to shabby,” he mused to himself

Odd.

No. Really.

I used to love to be in front of the camera. Never one to shy away I actually volunteered to be a model for photography classes at my local junior college when I was about 21 or 22 years old. I also volunteered to be a model for a local hair salon about the same time period.

Don’t get me wrong…I’m not claiming that I was a model or anything close to it, but I liked to be photographed and I was rather unusual looking in that Peter Murphy of the 1980’s manner. But today I have little to no desire to be in front of the camera, which is bit of a pisser considering the potential for self-portraiture. However, I had been tagged on Flickr for one of those “16-things about you” and the tag indicated that I needed to include a photo of myself.

Well shit.

No one around here actually takes photos of me, which is odd considering the number of cameras in this house is seven. If anyone ever pulled out a “family” photo album they would swear that I never existed at all. But this is beside the point……

So I needed a photo. To be frank I really didn’t feel like turning this into some sort of major project and I wanted to get this little project done ASAP. Sitting here at the kitchen table I pondered to myself “Now what?” And then it struck me: take a picture of yourself right here, at the table, in front of the laptop upon which you have been for the past hour or so. And so I did.

Moi 16-things

Having taken and processed the picture into a JPEG I was about to upload it to Flickr and complete my 16-things thing when I was struck by how much I liked it. Wait. That’s not completely accurate. I took a fistful of pictures, if you will, and settled upon this one as my fav. It was then that I processed and converted, etc. The more I looked at the image the more I liked it. However, the more I looked at and enjoyed it, the more I realized that I wanted to do something to it.

“Do something with it? Like with software? Me?” Perish the thought.

But I did. I didn’t feel compelled to fool around with Photoshop Elements, but instead turned to my fav shareware app, Paint.Net. I duplicated the background layer and started messing around with some of the settings until I settled upon the general look you see here. But there was one thing that I did not like about the image after I processed it with Paint.Net: my eyes.

In my original photo my eyes stood out; just a bit. I do have some nicely coloured eyes. Sort of an icy blue. But in my processed version the colour was washed out. To bring back that particular component of the picture I used the erasure tool and ‘erased’ the duplicate layer over my eyes and suddenly all was right with the world.

I don’t really know how important it was for me to jump on this 16-things about me challenge, but I’m so very glad I opted to reply (for more than this reason though). It forced me to do something I really didn’t want to do, but found that it can have results that are far better than I expected. I may have to try this sort of thing more often.

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12 thoughts on ““Not to shabby,” he mused to himself

  1. i really like the ripped sweatshirt. as well as the lighting on it and your face.
    the files in the reflection of your laptop are intriguing as well.
    the only thing i would change is the 2 inches of wall above the right part of your head.

    my favorite parts of this photo are your casual posture, the lighting on you and that “hey there. i’m forky. i’ve got a ripped shirt and i intend to be cool with this whole self portrait” thing goin on.

    i wish i had the way with light that you had….

  2. I love the photo. I think it’s perfect. The composition and what you did with the software is wonderful. I wouldn’t change this photo at all. And, I for one, am very glad you chose to reply. I am glad to see you stepping up and doing more self portraits. I am very proud of you. 🙂

  3. Oh, one more thing…. this self portrait is very professional looking. Not only is it totally frame worthy, Brad and I both agree, this would be something that would be perfect as a profile pic for your book…if you ever decided to write one.

  4. Ah shucks….(he says while circling his toe in the sand)

    You know, the strangest thing is that the lighting for this picture comes from the lamp hanging over the table and that’s it. And I just replaced our incandescent with 2500K florescent bulbs. Made getting the white balance real easy!

  5. I agree with Tam that this photo looks like an author’s portrait–artsy in the best sense of the word. And I agree with Goodbear that you have a way with light!

  6. Pingback: self portraits « with camera in hand

  7. Forkboy, man, you are such a rebel!

    I like the atmosphere and the subtle blur but I would have loved to see the the un-retouched photograph as well. And while you are at it, please post the hair model photos too. Oh come on!

  8. @ nathaliewithanh: I’ve thought about posting the unedited original, but I’m not certain how that will impact folks opinion of the edited version. If that makes any sense whatsoever.

    Sorry….I never managed to get copies of pics from the modeling gigs. Now that I think about it….that’s rather depressing.

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