Thursday, November 23, 2017


I think this is the first picture I ever made of myself.  It took me a long time to get around to doing a self-portrait.  Still, the shot was made quite a while ago, as you can tell by the fact that there is a watch on my left wrist.  I'm activating the shutter of my pinhole camera with a cable release in the atrium of our house in the desert south of Hatch, New Mexico.

I got a little more creative soon afterward in taking advantage of the pinhole camera's capacities.  I entitled this one "Self Disclosure".

Time goes by.  We moved to Albuquerque.  I acquired more cameras, including the Argus A2F which I used to snap this shot at arm's length.  It is kind of brutal self-imagery, but I liked it because it shows the surprising quality which the old Argus can deliver.

The last shot I made of myself was about four years ago while attending a Caffenol workshop in Taos conducted by Becky Ramotowski.  Since the negatives would be hung up to dry with those of all the other participants it was suggested that one of the frames on the roll should be a self-portrait to help identify the photographer.  I set my Argoflex on a newspaper vending box and tripped the shutter with a cable release which got me far enough from the camera to be in focus.

I have never been inspired to make a mirror image of myself.  Partly, that is because what I see looking back at me does not correspond to my internalized self-image.  That impression is most acute when I catch a glimpse of myself in my peripheral vision in a shop window; it always comes as a shock.

My thanks to JR Smith for the idea to revisit this subject.


Jim Grey said...

I've always really enjoyed Self Disclosure and have thought that someday I should experiment with multiple exposures of myself to see if I can come up with something so interesting.

I took a more lighthearted look at self-portraiture a few years ago on my blog. I have a few selfies from the 1980s when I was young.

JR Smith said...

As always, you've handled this subject matter with class and dignity, while my effort was just plain goofy.

That being said, I am honored to have inspired you to revisit self-portraiture.