July Challenge… A Portrait of You: Entry #2 Robin

So this entry is from “the other” Robin…

“I quickly conjured a vision of what I wanted to do with this image. I wanted to represent the highest highlights, and the most important people, contributing to me being me. I started with a list of items, struck some, added some, gathered items and arranged them, again struck and added. I wanted to arrange my items to suggest the human form.

I went to Competitive and got a roll of photo background paper, and I was set. Well, not really… I set this shoot up twice and got nothing I would show anyone. I was shooting indoors, which seemed the only choice, but I had problems. First, I wanted to shoot the 50mm prime lens, but on my small format sensor, that’s about a 72mm equivalent telephoto, and I couldn’t get far enough away from the subject. I resolved that by using a zoom which goes down to 18mm. So it won’t be as sharp but it should still be okay.

The larger problem was lighting. I learned I haven’t illumination sufficient for this shot, no umbrellas, soft boxes, diffusers, or even a reflector. I had terrible harsh shadows where I wanted soft hints of shadow. All the while I was using an ISO higher than I prefer. So, I decided on an outdoors shoot, on the patio away from direct sunshine, nice diffused natural light.

Next morning was last Sunday, you know, rainy Sunday. It looks like it’s going to rain until deadline, so I set up a third shoot, arranged my lighting in a fashion to best minimize shadows, and by ‘minimize’, I mean the least harsh I could do with my minimal equipment and skill. I used my built-in flash for the first time. It works! It actually helped diffuse the harshness of shadows. So, I submit, for your critique, a study in how not to shoot this challenge.”

Portrait of Robin (Photo by Robin)

Portrait of Robin
(Photo by Robin)

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10 thoughts on “July Challenge… A Portrait of You: Entry #2 Robin

  1. LOL! Beware of a CrAzY woman wearing a motorcycle helmet, kooky glasses and wielding a girlie hammer! This is fun! But now you have left me wondering about the significance of some of the other items! And good idea with the background paper!

  2. Thank you for explaining the technical thought that went into your picture. I, like Fay, want to hear more of the significance of some of the items….please share!!

  3. Robin,
    A very nice self portrait! It matches your bio on the CWPC blog very well! Thanks for sharing all the details on how you went about getting this shot! I really like the arrangement of your items as well! Well done!

  4. This is beautiful Robin. Love the flight computer, whatever it’s purpose is but it looks old and antique. Where did you get your hammer? It’s beautiful and base on the color of your hammer and the mouse, I think “Purple Marrie” has a competition. LOL.
    Love your arrangement. Great job Robin as always.

  5. Yes more information!!! I love how the items are laid out! I also like the white background! Nice job!
    Food I can’t believe I forgot food!!

  6. Thank you, everyone, for your comments. Here goes with a very wordy explanation:

    I’ve explained that I wanted to sort of suggest a human form, so the helmet face is the head, brushes and hammer are shoulders, the flight computer, book, flash, and ring are the right arm and hand, the mouse the left hand.

    Objects: Fay guessed the helmet represents my penchant to defy death on two wheels. The paisley hammer I found at a hardware store, but it means that I’m sort of the tool-chic on the block, even have a table saw. Candle snuffer, I enjoy incense but the snuffer is more identifiable for aroma. Brushes and pencil are my time as a visual artist. Flight computer represents the joy of my first flight in 1981, to the joy of selling my plane in 2001. And, that device was how we calculated flight information then. I doubt a new pilot would know what to do with it any more than a new engineer would understand a slide rule.

    The little car is the sports car habit I had in my 20’s. The skateboard and boy I traded for while geocaching. Hair clip, well, I needed a little more color, and frankly a little more feminine representation. Mouse represents my profession as a software developer – I didn’t think a punch card would quite be so identifiable any longer. Oh, and Tess, you guessed it, my taste runs toward the reds, pinks, and purples – unfortunate for a redhead. The cat – I lost Ailinna a month or so ago, it hurt so bad, it always does, I don’t think I’ll have another, this toy will suffice.

    Cheese and wine are the simple foods I live on, I’m on the other end of the foodie continuum from Fay. The bottle caps are because I enjoy brewing beer. The flash is obvious. The ring represents my jewelry making days, I had everything necessary to carve and cast jewelry and small sculptures. Actually I made that ring for my sister, she picked up a little leaf from the ground and handed it to me, saying it would make a nice ring, which it did. I sort of wish I’d cast it in gold now, but she preferred sterling.

    The script for ‘Do Not Go Gentle’ is my acting period, and that particular script is special because I snagged the lead role, as an 80+ year old woman who was dead. It was the the best role I’ll ever have. I won an award for that performance. I felt I deserved an award for makeup, too!

    And the most precious items. Seagull pins were my mother’s, and the carousel horse is my sister, both gone, but never forgotten.

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