Saturday, January 30, 2010

True Evil (self portrait)

true evil 2 (self portrait)
True Evil, "self portrait"

I have been working on some self portraits of late. It really came about one day as I was experimenting with lighting and stuff and had no immediate subject available and so decided to get in on the act. I liked the results especially when I loosen up a bit and got a little theatrical :P. So, it became a theme and I am slowly putting together and full series of self portraits. I guess it will only stop when i get too miserable to look at anymore. . .

This shot was actually a second attempt. the first attempt, a few weeks earlier did not have the right perspective I was going for and some of the background was not working.

This is on a location in that old warehouse that I previously posted about. Inside a small room with some industrial equipment behind me as well as a scary and ratty looking window. Nice ugly green walls too :)

For the strobists out there that might be interested, this was done using two 580EX2 speedlites. The main light was shooting into a bounce umbrella placed directly in front and above subject(me). The second speedlite was shooting through a Flashpoint snoot off to subject left and higher than head level. It was aimed toward the hair and side of head area. The hair was something I wanted to be highlighted and stand out. Its a natural prop :).

One very useful tool in doing these SP's is Canon's programmable remote release. I can set the delay time to the initial shot, the time interval between shots as well as how many shots overall and much more. It allows me time to set things up and reposition myself and change expression between takes.

Past readers of my blog might remember me entering a Self Portrait competition/exhibition that was being judged by some high profile people.
I entered this photo as well as another later on to the portfolio as I was able to edit it the entire time..
The voting has ended and I am pleased to announce that my portfolio made it to the top 15. You can see the top 15 portfolios here.
The judges will be choosing the grand prize winner, and so being in the top 15 i think gives me some attention. some very impressive portfolios there, and it was good fun. I'll surely let everyone know if I were to be chosen.

28 comments:

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Wow Gary! I like the muted tones looks and how everything blends together... You look like you are sitting in another time and place.

I especially enjoy the look of incomprehension, disbelief, incredulity (?) in your eyes and on your forehead - as if 'true evil' is not something familiar to you. I'm comforted by that. ;)

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

me again - just came back from looking at the other portfolios. Many very interesting, but most too busy or frenetic for my taste. For pure photography I truly liked yours and the young woman from Iceland who received one of the 2 people's choice awards.

Let us know what happens!

Sheila said...

LOL!!! I love folks who can laugh at themselves. Congrats on being a top contender for the grand prize!!! I'll be keeping my fingers crossed. I love the one with the binoculars AND goggles. [how "mad" is that?]

You have that classic look of the great photogs of 40's Movie Stars.

Gary Heller said...

Hey Bonnie. It does actually feel like another time and place in this warehouse. Its so isolated and filled with props ,some of which look like from another time.
I'm so happy you nailed the intent of my expression! Disbelief, disgusted yet intrigued, incredulity are all what was going on in my head as i was trying to come up with the expression for this.
Actually, I have had many interpretations, some of which I am hard pressed to understand why such as one comment once that I did not look like I was evil.
Well, my intention was not that "I" am to be evil. . .anyway, its all subjective to the views and interpretations of those viewing it and all is good in the end.
Yes, I like the portfolio of the woman from Iceland as well as some others.


Sheila, yes it is good to be able to laugh at ones self. I'm silly as all heck in the comfort of my own home. Perhaps too much so. . . .
Thanks, yeah the goggles steampunk one is a fav, but i have redid that one since. I will post a slightly newer version to the blog soon.

Hilary said...

Oh I love this photo. Everything comes together just perfectly. What an endeavor to get plan it all out like that. You're a true artist and you make a great model Gotta love that hair. ;)

Sharon McPherson: AUTHOR / ARTIST said...

I checked out those 15 portfolios - God, how humble I feel! Strong competition there Gary.

I can't help liking yours best because I have already fallen in love with your style.

Here's two others I like: Antasia Semashko - I like how she said she is inspired to create book characters.

And Katie Lee - I liked her illustrative approach.

I've bookmarked the 'Artists Wanted' website because real dynamicism doesn't come along that often.

Fingers crossed for you. :)

It might have been me who commented and didn't nail the intent of your expression. Sorry. I blog all the time and get comments completely off the radar of what I had intended - I am amused by these and love them. That's the beauty of blogging.

Dade F said...

This is a great shot and so removed from a formal posed portrait;)

Gary Heller said...

Thanks Hilary, yeah the hair just got a trim, but its still workable :)

Sharon, yes , plenty of good competition and work that i find inspiring.

No, you had never commented on this before because this is the first time I posted it to my blog. It was a comment received on a photography critique forum, but really, there is no right or wrong interpretation anyway.
Thanks for dropping by

slommler said...

I love the photo!! And that warehouse is amazing! Really gives a rich background for your portrait! Congrats on making it to the top 15...that is super. Good luck!
Hugs
SueAnn

DJ said...

Amazing Shot!
Congrats on making the Top 15...and I'm hoping you WIN...

Life with Kaishon said...

What a beautiful picture. I just love it. Wow.

kyungmee said...

how exciting and congrats! I love this image of self!! Great title and book;) Thanks for the heads up on how it was done..I will sure to look back at this when I hope the time comes;) I am excited to see more....

She Writes said...

Gary, I saw this on your website I believe. Cracked me up at the time and hearing your thoughts on it here made me laugh ("I guess I will only stop when I get too miserable to look at any more," "the hair was a natural prop" :))

The man in the photo doesn't appear sane enough to know when to say no!

Props to you on being in the top fifteen. On my way over.

willow said...

Okay, you lured me over here with the "(self portrait)" part of your post title, and ((wow)) I was certainly not disappointed! Very Burtonesque. Your hair is the greatest prop ever. Super photo, Gary!

She Writes said...

Very stiff competition. Looks as if the judges partiulcarly like the from of a woman's body from any angle. One thing you could not do in a self portrait :).

Inspiring work to see, though. Keep us posted.

Catherine said...

So amazing! I really like this new self portrait. Your expression makes me wonder what you are reading in that 'true evil' book. :)

You have certainly photographed some fantastic pictures in that warehouse.

Congratulations on being in the top 15 and the best of luck to you in being the winner!

Josephine Tale Peddler said...

Hello Gary, It really does look like a Tim Burton still! I love it. Fingers crossed for you. May the best man win (or the most evil man!) xx

Antonio Estevez said...

YES! You made top 15! That is awesome news, Gary. This self-portrait shows that you deserve it. They better pick you or Im going to have to give them a good talkin' too.

Eric Calabros said...

I love your dirty locations Gary :-)

Victoria Bennett Beyer said...

What? No diagram?
Just kidding...

LOVE love love this shot. These just keep getting more fun and more involved....all the portraits you've posted lately have been just astounding in detail and personality. You've got such great style, it's no surprise you're in the top of your competition.

Victoria Bennett Beyer said...

PS - I could see a companion portrait with the same hair and background, but with some test tubes for a crazy, mad professor sort of look...

Daryl said...

Love this .. everything about it .. everything ..

Julie Magers Soulen said...

Gary, I love this shot! You are getting more and more creative with your poses, and your technical skills are incredible. Keep them coming. I can see a book in the works.

Cheers!
Julie
Julie Magers Soulen Photography
Blog of Note

joanne May said...

Hi Gary,
Congratulations on having your portfolio excepted in the Self Portrait competition. I had a look at the top 15 and all of the entries are great!
I really like the images you have chosen of yourself. The settings are dramatic and this photo of you is especially fun. It made me smile... I love your sense of humor in your images.:)
I hope you win!
Thank you for leaving your lovely comment.
I encouraged Zigsa to wear his walking harness when he was a little kitten so he got used to it at a early age.
It might be a bit difficult now for Iki to except wearing one, if he is a mature cat.
I suppose you could try to gradually encourage him to wear the harness around the house first.
Good to catch up with you as always!
Jo.;)

Marius Morar said...

Congratulation, that`a a great performance! I`ll keep my finger crossed for the jury decision.

I guess you have found a perfect light position. Technically speaking it seems to be the perfect (auto)portrait, well and interesting lit and showing the ambient. Artistically is even better with the story it tells. Very good indeed.

Cindy said...

I've loved your portraits; especially this one "True Evil" and the one of Kyle.

Emilia said...

I only just realised that you had commented a post of mine! Sorry for the late appreciation for that.

Wonderful self-portriat. I love the tones and the drama!
The style is delightful!

I think I've taken a fair few too many pictures of myself, so am delighting in finally seeking out subjects to indulge me.

I love your blog, by the way...

TERI REES WANG said...

Any relation..?

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