Friday, July 29, 2011

Self Portrait

When I was a student at BGSU (many years ago!) I had to take an Art class.  It was designed for "non-majors" but still involved creating "fine" artwork... which was a challenge for me.  I consider myself a creative person, but if you ask me to draw a person, I'm pretty much limited to the stick figure!  There are 2 assignments I remember very clearly.  The first was to create a pinch pot from clay.  This involved rolling out the clay into a long "snake" and then coiling it into the shape of a pot.  Finally, you pinched the clay together to smooth the sides and bottom.  Mine looked ridiculous and I don't remember what grade I received, but I did give it to my Mom for Christmas that year as a joke (all moms have tons of "original" artwork created by their children that they love... and I thought it was funny to give my pathetic pinch pot to my mom!  Original artwork from her 20 year old daughter!  She thought it was funny but proudly displayed it in our bookcase - eek!).  The other assignment I remember was to do a self portrait! I can still remember the horrible feeling in my stomach when this was announced.  I didn't think the instructor would like my stick person drawing and I was terrified of failing the assignment.  I did try to draw my face by looking in the mirror, but with no instruction, I didn't have the skills to create anything that looked remotely like me.  I am amazed when I see the the self portraits that my first graders produce.  Our elementary art teacher is AMAZING and if she had been my college instructor, I would have had the tools to complete this project successfully!  Needless to say, I created a horrific self portrait (and I'm ashamed to admit I had a friend do my nose so it was not entirely my own work).  So, how is this all related to photography?  Well, there are times when I need a picture of myself and finding something "acceptable" is always painful.  We are all so critical of ourselves, but now I'm critical of the photo as well as how I look in it!  Hence, the self portrait project.  I used my laptop's camera and the photo booth application that came with my Mac to take the photo (so the quality is low and the resolution is not great).  I experimented with angles and poses and finally found 2 photos that I thought "looked" like me.   Then, I went to work in Photoshop trying out all kinds of actions of the photos.  It's a little freaky looking at yourself magnified to individual pixels!  I found it interesting that various effects and filters changed how I looked in the photo.  Am I happy with the photos?  Of course not... but I do have a few photos that I can use if needed. :-)  I wonder if the photos above or below would have been acceptable for my self portrait assignment in college?  Wish I could have been bold and brave enough to submit them for my assignment... photography is a media that I love and feel I can use to express myself!  If I have to use a pencil, I will just embrace the stick person!!

No comments:

Post a Comment