Selfie Respect

The “selfie” generation is well and truly in control of popular culture… But so many of my fave photographers have also explored self portraiture as part of their creative development. I would have to say that Vivian Maier would be my absolute #1 draft pick on this topic. I have purposefully not watched any of the docos on her life and art, preferring to take my own thoughts from her images…

A few months ago, I was laid up with shingles, so I decided to try my hand at some “selfies”. The featured image for the blog post was something I was pretty pleased with – I had been unable to sleep very well due to the pain of the shingles, and ended up in the CBD with a camera at 5am one Saturday morning.

Centre Place was deserted, so setting up a tripod and timer was a cinch. Just a simple shot of me walking towards the camera, with a slow shutter speed to de-emphasize my specific features and shape…

At home, I set up in the hallway with a 50mm MF lens and some slowish Acros iso 100 and popped away. It was interesting to see how others see me.

What did I learn?

By having to “pose” for the camera, I learnt a little more about how to direct subjects when the opportunity arises. I also got to feel more of how intimidating the lens glass can be – particularly as it was very, very close to my face for the images below… There was a little bit of the distortion you would expect with a 50mm MF lens in the second image.

Might be worth some further exploration down the track. Will probably focus more on “selfie street photography” rather than straight portraiture.

11 Responses to “Selfie Respect”

  1. Never been into selfies myself but appreciate photographers like Lee Friedlander who have done this in an interesting way. Perhaps a future challenge to undertake.

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  2. adam_marlow@hotmail.com Reply January 31, 2015 at 8:06 am

    I learnt so much from doing self portraits. Ever since people could draw and paint,self portraits hbeen a part art. An excellent read thanks.

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  3. Not much into doing selfies, but enjoy taking pics of people taking selfies when street I’m shooting.

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    • Hadn’t thought of that! I have stopped taking shots of people looking at their phones unless it is a super interesting situation – but that sounds cool.

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    • There are always plenty of opportunities! Even I have a selfie stick these days… you might end up shooting me!

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  4. Self portraiture has always provided a basis for creativity. One of my particular favs is the Instagram work of accomplished photographer Frank Ockenfels (@fwo3). Very inspiring.

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  1. Working on Selfie Respect… Street Photography Self Portraiture Thoughts | Inconspicuosity - February 1, 2015

    […] photography self portraits… I had an interesting morning a few months back at 5am in Centre Place. This unexpected expedition, along with my admiration for Vivian Maier’s self portraits, has […]

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