Monday, April 26, 2010

About Portraits

Another one of my strange self-portraits. I took this one with the phone camera. I almost deleted it because it was so dark but then I saw my expression and thought it would have some potential. You would never think my hair would turn out looking like I'm standing in saturated bright sunlight.

Here's the original picture. I'll bet you can't even see me, eh?

People tell me I take decent pictures. Some of them turn out well and I'm glad people like them. I do well with landscape shots and I like messing around with laying on the ground or looking up and trying to shoot from a different perspective. And people love the pink church picture in the blog header.

As you all know I enjoy taking self-portraits. The activity in itself is a lot of fun for me but the real reason I like self-portraits is because I love taking pictures of people. You wouldn't know this from looking at my photos, however. I almost never shoot interesting pictures of people other than myself. I don't like the usual stand-there-and-smile people pictures though I love taking pictures of small groups of people. I like pictures that show people's relationships with each other. I also like pictures showing people moving around together.

I would love to learn to take wonderful portraits of people. Black and white. Color. Everything.

When I was married I spent quite a lot of time photographing my ex and his kids. So far the best portrait I've ever taken is of him. He's standing on some train tracks. It's very green and wet, like there was a cold rain, and there are wisps of fog in the air. I took the center photo and then spontaneously shot photos on either side of him. I taped the three pictures together and it forms a panorama picture. People used to look at that picture and ask if it was taken in Scotland or Ireland. I still have it somewhere. I took it when we were moving out so the house could be sold as part of the divorce. I almost didn't grab it but I'm glad I did. It's a wonderful picture.

Of course, I took many photos of the kids and him. Some of the best pictures I took were of him and the kids playing together. The images captured show their exuberance and movement. It's ironic that he shot many more photos than I did, thousands in fact, but they didn't come out as well. He used to tell me how unfair it was that I only had to take a couple of pictures to get something wonderful.

I don't have any of those pictures anymore. He took them all with him.

Maybe this is why I don't take pictures of people now. Like Christmas, photographing people other than myself reminds me of what I don't have anymore.

Hmm. I think I might need to change that thinking. So much time has passed. Something to think about.

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