24 May 2009
In January I began the daily diary self portrait series. The camera I mostly use is my Nikon 40 DX with the 18-55 lens.
The lions share of my self portraits have been featuring myself with God's good earth. I feel very close to nature and its changes throughout the four seasons. My favorite season is spring. It is thrilling to see the trees blossoming after a cold long winter. I find it very important to use a sturdy tripod to get a sharp focus...and to keep it on level ground as much as possible. I have experienced my tripod tipping over on one of my self portraits that was on a hillside. Thankfully my camera survived the fall..but I have been extra cautious since then to have the tripod setting level..One of my self portraits once caught me falling, jumping across our spring and luckily I did not injure myself but I think I would feel worse if my camera were to break, oddly as it sounds. I learned just recently I could have been using the 20 sec. delay on the self- timer instead of just the 10 seconds I allowed myself. However, when I decided to try the longer delay I found it took away from the natural expression in just waiting for the timer to go off. I am back to using 10 seconds again to compose myself and it works best for me. I think it is important to capture the fleeting expression before it is lost and I hope I have achieved that in my own self portraits. There is still lots to learn in mastering good lighting which I am trying to improve on and finding the right backgrounds to go with each self portrait. A footnote to this story is that I also need to watch where I walk...A few hours after I posted this page I tripped over a tree root after doing a self portrait when carrying my tripod to another spot...The good news is that when the tripod with the camera on it flew out of my hands it landed on its legs and the camera stayed intact. I bruised and scraped myself when falling on my knees and elbow and am sore. Again the camera and I survived the fall! ( A few weeks after I wrote this essay, my Nikon camera stopped working while doing a self portrait and was in repair at a Nikon Service in New York. I used my old trusty Kodak Easyshare DX7590 until I got my main camera back.) The self portraits will continue rain, shine or snow and by now I feel very seasoned in spite of the setbacks.