Self Portrait Rejects


The theme for this past week in the 52 Week Photo Project was self portraits. Most photographers have a tendency to want to remain behind the camera, so I was somewhat interested what others would come up with. It would be easy enough for me to set up the new Apollo Orb or my ring flash and shoot myself against the wall, but the idea of a standard portrait didn’t appeal to me (even though I haven’t had my portrait taken since high school). So my first thought was levitation. Sounds obvious, right? I levitate all the time.

In the Waumbec Mill of Manchester, NH, I set up on the 3rd floor and waited to see how many people were still in the building. With the exception of two people leaving their office and asking if I was hunting ghosts, the hallway was quiet, so I framed up the long hallway in the viewfinder, plugged in the wireless trigger, and took a walk. Every so often I would stop and snap a frame to figure out where best to stand or sit. After reviewing the results, I walked back to a prime location, sat down and summoned all my energy to float off of the floor. In reality, I am sitting in that exact spot, so it’s not a case of cut and paste. I just removed what I was sitting on in Photoshop using some layer masks and compositing with a photo without me in it. The shadow beneath me was added by selectively using the burn tool on a duplicate layer.

Unsure of the results, I next shot a quick bracket of seven photos to later merge into an HDR image. In processing, I layered it with the base exposure and brought back natural skin tones as well as removing any motion artifacts. Turns out I couldn’t stand still for that long. The solarized version appealed to me more than the processed HDR, but in the end, I didn’t choose any of them. I composited together a few of the shots from when I first walked the hallway and found a nice balance that I was happy with.

Click here to view the 52 Week Photo Project Gallery on Flickr

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