Week 52: Self-portrait #5


I had an idea for a shot this week, the clothes, the background, the pose. I got setup and took some shots but wasn’t convinced. I changed some settings, changed my jacket, took some more shots but still couldn’t get it right. This is nothing like the shot I had in mind but I like it regardless. It’s probably a fitting end to the last 52 weeks of photos really. I’m sure there’s a lesson about life and expectations in there somewhere.


For my final self portrait I was determined to attempt to use the remote function on my camera. We were on the train from Essen (Germany) to Zurich for over 7 hours so I had some time to experiment. This was the best of a bad lot but I kind of like the wistful look on my face as I’m taking in the scenery. I played around some more and decided to go with the black and white image. It’s not my usual Debbie Smile photo – I’m happy with the growth I’ve experienced during this 52 week photo project.


Camera experimentation on the train near Baden Baden.


I hadn’t expected to submit this shot. I was hoping to do one representing football in honour of England getting through to the WC semi finals (it’s coming home!). I hadn’t also planned to send a selfie, and most definitely NEVER take a selfie looking up. The sky was the most brilliant blue and my whispy hair glistened gold against the sun so of course I then put it in black and white. Although there is so many things I didn’t expect when I took this shot it’s my favourite one for this week and it’s a good reminder that everything doesn’t have to be as you expect it to be, for it to be right.


This image came about through two divergent trains of thought: It references other self-portraits I’ve done for this 52 week project and the previous one and so acts as, if not a full stop, at least a semicolon in my self-portrait work. On the other hand, my hair is much longer than it’s been for many years and I wake up being wrapped in it. It also partly obscures me. The idea of making my shoulders visible – at an age when that’s not seemly – but my face partly obscured is an interesting dichotomy that appealed to my sense of contrariness.


To finish off this project, and the series of self-portraits associated with it, I decided to return to the same location I used in my very first one (which is really not hard, since it’s just outside our house!). The white wall behind always provides a large, soft light source, just right for moody self-portraits in black and white. Less technical than many of my previous self-portraits, this is natural light, single shot, nothing fancy. Back to basics…



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