Saturday, September 28, 2013

Blurry Self Portrait

I recently saw a post over on FilmWasters.com where the author/artist posted a whole roll of photos where he admittedly
... made quite a few mistakes with focusing and exposure.
I thought this was quite bold to post publicly some shots that are not one's very best. It makes you artistically vulnerable. Now, granted the FilmWasters community is warm and welcoming and humble; very unlikely to tear apart a fellow 'filmy'. But even at that, I thought it was a really good post. They were putting themselves out there in hopes that they could educate or inform someone. Now here is the 'weird' thing. I actually liked the photos! They were blurry, but still picturesque. They were taken on expired color film, so the color and contrast were shifted slightly which lent more to the painterly qualities.

So I am taking heart from this person and have decided to post a photo of mine that did not turn out the way I expected (or wanted). I was going to just bin it, but after thinking about it for a few days, I am posting it here.

Not Looking

I took this self portrait with my Speed Graphic. Of course there is no 'auto focus' so I had the task of figuring out how to focus on myself. The short answer is that without some elaborate setup with mirrors and magnifiers and perhaps some technology on load from the NSA, I can't. The best I could do was to focus on the back of the chair I was going to sit in and then turn the focus knob back just a bit. Then I stopped the lens down to f/8. This gave me a 1/5 sec exposure which is about as long as I thought I could reliably hold still. Then I loaded the film, attached a long cable release, sat down and tried to visualize where the plane of focus was. "CLICK" Now to the darkroom to see my masterpiece! WHAT!!?? Out of focus!! Well, I'll toss it and try again later. But not this time. I am going out on an artistic branch and posting this photo on Flickr and here. Let's see what the fates bring to this mistake.