A self portrait

My avatar needed updating so yesterday evening I decided to shoot a self portrait. Most artists produce self portraits, we remain an animal with a lot of curiosity for ourselves. Interestingly, on a self portrait you see yourself as others might see you, not with the left and right side swapped as in the mirror. This can be rather significant since our faces are seldom perfectly symmetrical.

A self portrait can also be confrontational, which this one is for me. Because I wanted it to be true, I had to be honest with myself. Underneath this thick layer of obligingness and modesty built during my upbringing I feel that I know perfectly well what it is all about and how to do things properly. I want to lose the fake layer of civilization without damaging its fundation (morals). The photograph is taken (with self-timer) just when I look up to start talking to my imaginary audience, as I feel there is still a lot to say, with photography as well as with words. This gives the self portrait a more active look as well without me being forced to laugh out loud which I seldom do.

A studio flashlight with beauty dish is used to light my self portrait, very close to my head. The camera was on a tripod with the 100 mm macro mounted. The shadow on the left is not a shadow but the light stand, initially I wanted to include some of the wires as well but that became too busy when displayed small (as an avatar often is).

Self portrait
Self portrait – photo by Joeri van Veen

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