Photo Essay

Self Portraits

Day 125/365 SP Reading Neath the Flowering Crab Tree

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.


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19 responses


    JOE FAILK gave props (24 May 2009):

    Great story becareful with your tripod and don't get hurt catching it:) Yes it rocks

  • Donald Garrett

    Donald Garrett gave props (24 May 2009):

    This is one of the best (and most consistent) of the photo essays on this network! Well done, Andrea.

  • May Kintanar-Afenir

    May Kintanar-Afenir gave props (24 May 2009):

    You are so creative...being both the subject and the photographer. Great job!

  • Rob Roy

    Rob Roy (Deleted) gave props (25 May 2009):

    I must agree entirely with Don, Andrea... You have mastered this area AND bird shots so very well!! My vote for sure!!

  • Ann Reece

    Ann Reece gave props (25 May 2009):

    You have such a beautiful series of you in this photo essay! You have done excellent photography and have been very creative using the beauty of your property and your clothing to go with each photo. Absolutely excellent work : ) I voted for your essay!

  • Donna Whitecotton

    Donna Whitecotton gave props (25 May 2009):

    Your essay rocks....Yeah from me....Great work Andrea!

  • Bonnie Hoffman

    Bonnie Hoffman said (26 May 2009):

    Andrea, inspite of tripping, your photo here looks very peaceful and calm! I love the serenity of this picture. Blessings from Bonnie

  • Litz Go

    Litz Go gave props (26 May 2009):

    I'm glad you did this photo essay of your sps. You did great and still doing great. Be careful and not hurt yourself. Looking forward to the coming sps. Of course my vote!

  • Regenia Brabham

    Regenia Brabham (Deleted) gave props (26 May 2009):

    Your photos and essay are wonderful! I agree that it is much better to injure oneself instead of the camera!

  • Elise Ange

    Elise Ange gave props (27 May 2009):

    Great story to back up your wonder images.

  • Judy Wanamaker

    Judy Wanamaker (Deleted) gave props (27 May 2009):

    What a beautiful collection of SPs!! I have seen them before, but to see them all together is a different experience altogether. Your story of the trials you experienced setting them up is interesting and inspiring. Great work, Andrea. Voting yeah.

  • eithne mythen

    eithne mythen gave props (7 Jun 2009):

    Love your story and seeing all the sp's together like this is wonderful...

  • Michael Ball

    Michael Ball gave props (5 Jul 2009):

    Excellent essay and photos!! My vote for sure!

  • Maurie A

    Maurie A gave props (8 Jul 2009):

    Andrea, I love your SP's....... they are so creative. Love that you put your favorites all in one place. So glad you've shared your "adventures" on just how difficult it to keep this series going!!! MY VOTE FOR SURE!!

  • Lanis Rossi

    Lanis Rossi gave props (26 Jul 2009):

    Great photo essay! Voted!

  • Zerina Phillip

    Zerina Phillip gave props (2 Nov 2009):

    The many faces of Andrea. Astonishing.

  • Andrea Petersen

    Andrea Petersen said (8 Nov 2012):

    It has been fun reading over these comments and re-living my experiences with these older self portraits from three years ago..
    I was and still am far from perfect in my experimental self portraits, but the daily diary series got me to at least try my best, even if it took falling down a few times in the process of learning. Thank you very much Saroj Swain for nominating this photo essay.

  • Heather Mellon

    Heather Mellon   gave props (9 Nov 2012):

    I`ve enjoyed viewing this series of your sp`s so much, Andrea. I hadn`t seen these before and it makes me appreciate the challenges in self-portrait photography much more. A beautiful series done with real expertise!! Voted..

  • Zapata Juan P

    Zapata Juan P gave props (10 Nov 2012):

    Voted ... Great story and photos

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