What I Meant By

11:28 PM

After feeling like I had reached a plateau in the series, I pulled together these last five images to round it off. Finally having natural light, I decided to mix light sources to see the effect it would have on the work. With the exception of the last image (which I think would fit in nicely with the second week of work), these images have a softer, more sensual tone to them, mostly attributed to the variation in light sources, warmer editing and 8x10 cropping. I liked the idea of peeking hands that gave an indication of aggravation but do not dominate the composition.

What I found most intriguing about the project weren't the images themselves, nor the process, but the perspective. The first round of feedback I received from the course instructor was simply a concern for my own well-being rather than a criticism of the work. On numerous occasions, I had to defend myself with a disclaimer that these images which could be loosely interpreted as "self-mutilation" (it's a valid point) are in no way autobiographical. I plainly missed this as saw the all from the whole series from the other side as a photographer. Despite the technicality of being "self-portraits," I took a completely objective standpoint when composing these photographs. I was the model but the subjects were the elements I mentioned in previous explanations: color and discoloration, light and shadow, texture and line. Subjectivity vs. objectivity. I shoot best when I'm alone and like I mentioned in the final critique of the class, I would have felt uncomfortable with a model performing these actions simply because the boundaries between model and photographer would have made the series less compelling. Model vs. mind. I birthed the idea so I thought it best to carry it out despite the implications of self-harm in self-portraiture. Stigma vs. bravery.

(As disappointing and disillusioning as it may be, nothing in these photographs actually hurt anyway.)

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