well, its that time of the semester when art teachers start asking for self portraits…. i’m not a huge fan of self portraits because i can never figure out a way to portray a specific quality of my character. nonetheless, you don’t get a good grade unless you complete the assignment. as usual, i asked for my brothers opinion of my work and as usual he was not terribly impressed. i respect his opinion and critical eye, and since i don’t have time to shoot more film, i think i may have figured out a way to attach some sort of reasoning to the work that i am pretty happy with, in a technical sense. (it is not just that i am trying to connect a series of unrelated dots, i think this has something to do with the reason that so many people, including myself, get a kick out of making any presence on the internet.)
every nobody is (or can be) a somebody on the internet.
there is clearly a heirarchy of nobodies on the internet, some people can amass thousands of myspace friends or get thousands of hits on their flickr site or blog or youtube channel and this recognition fuels them to create more self-serving narcissistic content. its not like they have 10,000 friends in real life. i don’t deny that i enjoy the backwash of this phenomenom. because of myspace, anyone who can record anything can potentially reach an audience of infinite proportion, and the same goes for flickr in the photo community. no one has to decide that your content is “good enough” for it to be thrown into the pool. at the same time, there is plenty of user-generated content on the net that is crap, myself included, although i hope i fall somewhere closer to the mean. but i derive some sort of empowerment from these sites because i feel that no one would have let me expose such a huge potential audience to anything i make 10 or 20 years ago.
because i don’t know how to properly quantify what ever it is that i am supposed to express about myself, i took these portraits and like my brother noted, they all look like myspace photos and they all seem too calculated. i think the thing that makes me enjoy the photos is that they bear some semblence of technical proficiency (and i can portray myself as being “cool” without the noteriety it would normally take to have neat looking portraits). my experience with my digital SLR is much different than with my 35mm. with the dSLR, you don’t have to calculate as much because you can adjust your approach after reviewing every shot. shooting film relies on technical know-how, and since i have very little, i had to think out every shot before i took it. i shot those silly sign pictures below with the dSLR and when i tried to recreate it with the 35mm i found that i ruined every frame on a roll because the tripod was too high. digital technology is empowering nobodies with a lack of technical knowledge and it doesn’t seem to me to be immediately backwards compatible. i enjoy shooting film alot, and i have definately improved over the last few months, but the learning process is much slower. with a little knowledge, anyone with a little bit of creativity can recreate what maybe would have seemed impossible or too expensive 20 years ago. i dont need to have accomplished something for a commercial photographer to come take my photo for a magazine when i can create a simulacrum of the experience and put it on the internet and reach the same amount of people. i am a nobody, but i am creating the impression that i am somebody because i have access to the internet and a little bit of technical knowledge.
bottom line: i enjoy pictures of me that i feel portray me as being cooler than i actually am, but not in a way that hurts anyone or is too far out of the range of my actual minimal “coolness”… and the internet is a great forum for this kinda crap.
ps: i know i’m not that cool, but i can pretend i am on the internet.
i dont know if i exactly took photos in the right conditions to warrant push processing, but i had to for school and this is what i got
catch ya later alligators