Taking Selfies by Reading Lamp
Recently, I’ve been run off my feet. Why? Reorganising my marketing, my point of view about how I make a living…you know, 20 percent photography, 80 percent business.
I took time out, late at night. I wanted to take a damned photo, anything. I tried taking a shot of my cat, Stubbs. She is beautiful, always wants to hang around with me, sometimes she won’t leave me alone. But when I want something, she refuses to play the game.
She’s persistent with want, if she wants my lap, then she gets it. If I want her to help me out, she doesn’t want to. Cats.
So, I set up the reading lamp, and decided to at least take a shot of myself. I like things Noir, dark, and mysterious. It creates not only moody feelings, it creates room for thought in the viewer.
I often have an idea for a photo in mind. Something I’ve seen, or a fragment of a conversation, might prompt an idea for a scene. These things tend to be film-like moments that pop into my head. So, I try them out, make sketches, set up a basic composition — rearrange the room to fit the scene.
I like to think of these types of shots as sketches. That’s exactly what they are; the lighting should give me thoughts and ideas about where the shadow should fall, where I want light. I don’t care, at this time, whether the light is “quality” or whether its source is a 1000 bucks worth of speed-light with a big label on the side of it. I do care about composition, basic colour grades, what works, and most of all, I love the mistakes that tell me how to develop my ideas.
Mistakes, are little helpers that show you the way. Don’t criticize them, read them for what they tell you. That’s how I do it.
I like the mood in the shot. And even though I like the person in the shot, me, I do have a problem with the vain act of taking self portraits. I know It helps me get better at photography, and portraits, but it also means that I’m going to have to pull a happy face, without looking like a poser. LOl.