Thursday, December 31, 2009

Self Portrait

Craig Self Portrait
Recently I have been asked on several occasions to submit a bio and self portrait for several photography related events, galleries, and online exhibits.  Bio…no problem.  Self-portrait??? More difficult - I am always on the wrong side of the lens.
As a holding place in the realm of self portraiture, I created this photograph.  I am not happy with it.  But first, let’s talk about how I produced it.  I have not yet invested in strobes or any other types of lighting systems for photography.  I do not have a studio, soft boxes, radio controlled strobes, light stands, and so on.  So for this photograph I went to my garage, took two nightstand lights, placed one below and in front of me, and the second above and to my right.
I used my 70-200 f/2.8L at 200mm and a wide open 2.8 aperture (1/4 second)  after setting the focus on a cabinet to the right of where I was standing, I used the shutter delay to start the process as I jogged across the garage to get in position.
So what is it that I do not like about the photo?  Technically, I am not unhappy given that I was working with a pair of $10 nightstand lights.  It is the subject.  Aside from the posed, thoughtful and troubled artist look, I must have self-image problems.  As I look out into the world, I feel like the 22 year old rugby player I am convinced I have always been.  When I look back I see the crowding 50, international environmental and maritime security consultant that I am today.  I have several years between the two to reconcile. 
The next portrait is of my son Ryan.  This is what I expect to see when I look in the mirror or make a self portrait.  Oddly, the guy in the first photograph keeps appearing whenever I do so.
I am thankful I am the crowding 50 consultant – that means this evening as we celebrate the conclusion of 2009 and the anticipation of great things to come in 2010, I will be able to afford a nice cigar and a fine, aged, single malt scotch to help contemplate what happened in those lost years.
Have fun, and go make a self portrait.


  1. Craig, if it is any consolation, I believe many men see themselves when they look at their sons...I know I did yesterday as I was playing golf with my two sons. Pushing up or crowding into the 50s is a treat that is envied by many and as you state enjoyed by only those who take the time to embrace a fine cigar and well aged scotch. I want you to know that your photography has inspired me throughout 2009. And, now that I was recently surprised with a new camera, I will look to you to help it to become an extension of my imagination in 2010. Take care my friend and all the best in the new year. Keep making great photography!