Photography Challenge: Self Portrait with a Twist
If you want to skip my blah blah and go straight to the challenge, just scroll to the bottom of the post to the words – CHALLENGE BELOW!
The other day I came across this – Would You Recognise Yourself with a Completely Symmetrical Face? – I thought the idea was absolutely brilliant and decided to try it out on myself.
I chickened out once faced (haha!) with the results and ended up with the image above. I was too freaked out by my two symmetrical faces – one made up of two left sides and one of two right sides to progress any further or post the results… for now anyway.
Originally I thought it would be a good way to help me with a photography project which I am doing based on capturing my astrological chart in images. What I have done so far can be found here – MoonVooDoo deviantart gallery / astrology. I thought this technique would work well with my Pluto and Uranus conjunct in my 1st house. I still think it is the best idea so far for this astrological aspect in my chart, but… perhaps it is too good, and I am not good enough to do it, or, more to the point, I am not ready to see such a view of myself.
I have only been doing self portraits for a couple of years. Before that I was aggressively camera shy. In fact there is one incident of which I am still ashamed where I threatened someone who tried to take my pic at a party.
It was very out of character for me to openly threaten someone, usually I just use my rather intense eyes to glare at people. It works rather well and not much in the way of ego denting occurs. People just assume I’m to be avoided, which is exactly what I want them to do.
In my defense, and really I shouldn’t defend my behaviour, but I am human so I will, this man shoved his camera in my face very suddenly… and I was in a bad mood because I had been forced to go to a party which I did not feel like going to, and the forcing was done using massive amounts of emotional blackmail by a person who did such things with everything. I still could have refused, but refusing meant putting up with more emotional blackmail and tantrums, and being lectured interminably on the awful truth about myself… blah blah blah.
But still… I will always remember this incident because, I don’t like to behave like a complete asshole… even though I am a partial asshole. I never apologised to the man, but I’m sure he recovered from the unpleasantness as there were loads of people at the party who were very happy and willing to have their photo taken.
Anyway… I haven’t lost the plot or point of this post yet.
I have discovered many things about myself by doing self portraits. It can be very daunting at first, especially when vanity and ego kick in, but once over that hump… the human face is fascinating, as is capturing a concept using the face and the whole body. The more I do it, the less I think of myself as me, and the more I immerse myself in the joy of capturing an idea or an inspiration.
So. The challenge is this… and you can do it with a just a photo, or a photo and writing, or if you prefer just to write, then write… express an idea about yourself and create a self portrait which encapsulates that idea.
My image above expresses the fact that I am made up of contradictions, and both sides of the contraction are valid. I call it – Janus. I happen to be born in January, the month named after the two-faced god. I am two-faced, but not in a negative way, most of the time. I can swing between opposing sides and see the value in both views… and all the shades in between the two.
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Extreme swinging is my thing and sometimes… even monkeys fall from trees! (Japanese proverb)