Wednesday, January 10, 2007

You Oughta Be in Pictures

Camera Self-Portrait
My camera gets impatient and starts without me.

Why I need professional help....

The good news is, Mary's finally found a dentist she likes. Loves, mayhap. Good guy.

The bad news (for us) is, he's preparing to retire in a few years.

The good news is, he's already setting up his post-retirement job as a studio portrait photographer, and his brochure looks great. I just happen to need a publicity photo.

The bad news (for us) is, he and his wife (whom I know through the art center) will move permanently out of state, where their new studio is.

The good news is, I don't need to get the photo to Koboca until July, and he might be able to bring back some equipment before then.

I've experimented with doing my own shots (taken initially in color and coverted to black & white), but I frankly don't have the equipment for it.

There's the Up Against The Wall shot:

Self-Portrait by Porch Wall

The Nature Gal Who Can't Look at the Sun shot:

Self-Portrait by Dwarf Elm

And the Mad Artist shot:

Self-Portrait, Bathroom Close-Up

I took the first one on our front porch, the second by our dwarf elm, and the third in the bathroom. For that last shot, I held my camera at arm's length and checked the reflection of my LED screen in the mirror. That was before I started monkeying around with the timed-release feature.

Nope, I think I'll leave this one up to the pros.

Speaking of photos, I got a real kick out of Oliver Hammond's (Olivander's) "Ode to Jack Kerouac," at

Speaking of shooting, I recently saw the film, They Shoot Horses, Don't They? on TCM, and not for the first time. First off, it is a masterpiece of a movie. It is also a downer par excellence. If you're looking for happy stuff, that picture is not the place to go.

It was released in December 1969 and rated M for Mature. I first saw it, in the theater, shortly after I'd turned 11. Either both my parents took me or my father did, I don't remember which. My mother might have still been too sick, since she'd suffered a major heart attack that had almost killed her in August of that year, when I was still 10.

I looked mature for my age as a kid. I literally had to carry ID with me so that I could see more age-appropriate films at the theater without being charged as an adult. For example, this is a shot of me when I was still in grade school:

8th Grade Portrait Shot

(That pendant around my neck is my Read Magazine Creative Writing Award medal. For years I never took it off.)

Now that I've seen the movie straight through as a 48-year-old, I'm still processing it. There was a lot that I "got" as a kid, but as an adult I am truly bowled over by so many of the nuances.

I'd always known that TSHDT had made a major impact on me, probably more than any other film I'd seen as a child, but I think I'm beginning to realize just how much. (There were films I'd loved as a child, but that was a different kind of impact.) I can point to fiction, read during that same time period, that had influenced my development as a writer; but I think this is the first time I've realized that a movie had also affected that early development.


Blogger Paul D. said...

I am partial to the mad artist shot...also if you have a lap top I wonder if you can feed your camera screen out put to the laptop so that you can see a bigger image.

might be fun to mess around with that if it works...even if you decide to use a professional.

I used to take self portraits with an old digital camera with the output fed into my television. Mercifully I do not have any of those shots around. Haven't tried that with my current camera.

3:22 PM  
Blogger Brenda Clews said...

These shots are striking, there is a clarity to each of them. It may just be me, but I think you resemble your father, from the photos of him that you posted that I recall. The 'right' portrait will emerge, from one camera or another - I'd play more with your own as well as have more official ones taken. I'm glad you've shared these with us.

9:58 AM  

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