Saturday, November 28, 2015

Photo finish

I played around with my camera last week. I tried some video techniques, and I shot some photo self-portraits (a bit more than just selfies). When I looked at them later, however, what I saw isn’t what I expected. That wasn’t all bad, but one part gave me pause.

I shot the self-portraits because I’d watched a YouTube video on some particular studio lighting, and I noticed how the same model, in basically the same position, could create totally different looks and moods simply by adjusting how they held their heads, and the direction they were looking. I decided to be the model so I could see what happened when I tilted my head just so, or changed the point I was gazing at, that sort of thing. While I was doing it, I decided to take one for a new Facebook profile photo (above), and when I looked at on the computer, I was surprised.

I hadn’t realised how tired I looked until I saw the photo on a larger screen. Although the photo above is lightened, as I’d do for any other photo, the bags under my eyes are still very evident. The fact my whiskers need a trim and the dye needs a touch up all made me look surprisingly tired and worn out. All of which may have been much better if I was smiling, which I didn’t do on purpose.

Yesterday, I had a photo taken of me and our niece at her graduation as a fully registered teacher. I thought I looked older, greyer, and fatter than I think I look in real life. I shared it on Facebook, anyway, though, because it was about our niece, not me, so my discomfort with my look was irrelevant (mind you, she looked fabulous, so even if I’d been in a designer suit I’d still come off second best, so that helped me be a bit more circumspect).

The point is, on two different days this week, photos showed me looking quite different from the way I thought I looked, and that surprised me. In real life, I don’t feel as old, tired, worn, or the rest, as I think the photos make me look. I also know that I’m slowly losing weight (emphasis on slowly…), and this week I just didn’t have time to do the whisker maintenance I usually do. So, the photos probably weren’t really a dramatically more accurate portrayal of my typical look than my mental picture was.

Part of the video I shot was of a tree that’s flowering at the moment (which I still may make into a full video). When I looked at the video on my computer, I noticed bees were buzzing around the flowers, something I hadn’t noticed at the time I was shooting the video. So, even that was different from what I thought it was.

In the case of the photos, the difference was surprising, and pointed out areas where I can make improvement. The video showed nature to be far more interesting and active than I’d realised. So, both were actually quite useful.

Still, I think the next time I decide to shoot some photo self-portraits, I’ll make sure I’m well-rested. Don’t want a photo finishing my delusions again.


rogerogreen said...

I'm told I ALWAYS look tired, even I don't feel tired, which is why I don't take pics of myself or even get the daughter to take some. My gray beard, and my lighter skin from the vitiligo doesn't help...

Arthur Schenck (AmeriNZ) said...

That's quite interesting, because the (few) photos of you that I've seen didn't make me think you looked tired. But, then, I haven't met you in real life, so my perspective is a little different.