I would be happy to share this with anyone, anywhere! I am channelling Avedon’s picture of Alfred Krupp, German industrialist but in my case there is a notable lack of industry.
I took thirty-seven pictures to arrive at this choice, it was number eleven in the series. As time went on they became slightly more menacing (relatively speaking, I’m no Ronnie Kray) as I experimented with alterations in expression. I gave myself more time than I would have comfortably asked of a volunteer subject but I’m not sure whether this is visible in the results, except there are more of them.
It looks like me for sure, it is accurate. It’s more or less how I see myself in the mirror. It is distorted due to the proximity of the lens but this does give it a ‘selfie’ look, smartphones focussing down to about an inch, as they do. I wear a hat. For me, that’s like saying ‘he has ears’ because I am a noted hat wearer. I go through about half a dozen of these a year, always the same style and colour. I think I got into the habit on the boat, where a great deal of time is spent under the relentless sun.
The vignetting is a lens artifact, I haven’t added it later.
I have also cropped it as portrait which I suppose is more selfie style:
There was a force at work during the making of these pictures, which influenced the number I ended up with. Partly it was the instantaneous result and the camera arrangements (tethered, to Capture One) which allowed instant viewing, full size, without leaving my seat. I was intrigued by the effect of subtle changes of expression and gesture. I was aware of my reluctance to indulge in any expansive theatricals; I am by nature somewhat reserved, mostly. But getting used to your own face as a photograph is a bit like the first swim of the year – it takes a little while to become adjusted. Once I had seen the first few, it got easier.
I didn’t use any filters but I did desaturate it a touch, as is my practice. It’s not that I want to adopt a style, rather the JPG files from my camera are slightly too dramatic for my taste. I had accidentally put myself against a wall feature with a curved white border. When I realised, I quite liked the way it looked like an extension of my head. I like some oddity in a photograph, some intrigue. I am aware that the deadpan presentation is a la mode but I like some visual seasoning.