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Game futile
Game futile

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Self-Portrait III (Advanced Editing IV)
Camera: Canon EOS-20D
Lens: Sigma 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro
Location: Home
Date: Feb 10, 2005
Aperture: 6.3
ISO: 400
Shutter: 10s
Date Uploaded: Feb 13, 2005


Place: 127 out of 247
Avg (all users): 5.4554
Avg (commenters): 7.6250
Avg (participants): 5.2078
Avg (non-participants): 5.6784
Views since voting: 1030
Views during voting: 490
Votes: 325
Comments: 12
Favorites: 1 (view)

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02/21/2005 01:54:54 AM
Also I have to add that I was inspired by Bergman when doing this.. (The 7th seal movie). The idea and symbolism is not exactly the same, but thats what inspired me :)
02/21/2005 01:46:12 AM
Ok.. Explanation time :)

Yes, this is my left and right side, both me :)

I took it with my new flash which can do the strobe technique, pretty cool.

I set the strobe to fire once every second, and the camera to 10 s exposure (I got these values by trial and error, plus I wanted a decent f-stop in this setup)

Then I hung a black sheet on a wall and set up the chess table.

I put on this red sweater which I can unzip in a second and had the blue tanktop under.

Now you need an assistant that can count to 10 and move a lenscap fast over the lens. Push the trigger, while the assistant holds the cap over the lens.

Jump into position, (the camera was about 3ft away from the chessboard), have your assistant remove lenscap for one flash and recover, throw off sweater, slide the chess table out of the frame and jump to opposite side, have your assistant remove cap for last flash.

It might sound hard, but it was not that hard, try to do this in 10sec, there is plenty of time, but it is also easy to miss... not much time left to mess up either :)

Ok.. so what is the meaning of this you might ask yourself...

I have not put this much thought behind a shot before.. And I don't think that many people got it, that is not your fault as a viewer.. It just proves that I have alot to learn I think :)

First of all.. What did I think here?

I see myself, me as I am now on the right side playing the futile game of life against death. The image is indicating that the game is futile because the chess table is turned the wrong way.

Being now in my mid life I think (32), the pieces that once used to be all white and shiny are turning black.. not there yet :) but black will not just win, but fade the entire table into black.

So the reason why I made myself so white on the left side (ie death) is because I think that the image of death is quite featureless and pale, hermaphrodite sort of, and still I think that the image of death each one of us have is quite personal, which means that it differs alot from culture to culture. Being a personal view, filtered by my mind and eyes then what I see will be colored by me.. so the symbolism here is that Death is a part of me, but still not me.

My left pinky in my left eye is My being left eyed and left handed, which eye I sight with is important when I take photos.. The symbolism with being left handed is the left side- showing my artistic side etc.. And taking this my self portrait I thought that was appropriate :)

Post processing.. nothing unusual.. sharpen-neatimage, levels.. But I dodged "death" to make myself more featureless.

Glad some of you liked :) Thank you

Message edited by author 2005-02-21 02:48:02.
02/21/2005 12:52:52 AM
A very good study and very highly under rated.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/21/2005 12:13:04 AM
This score is low considering the execution of this photo. Nice job Sonda. Keep up the good work.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
02/20/2005 10:31:35 PM
i think this is an interesting image. though i'm a little lost in the idea of it. first time i looked at it i noticed first off that the skin and shodow of you is very well taken, very pretty skin in photos, (edited or not) is always nice to see. i also see this could be a contrast between an evil self and a good self, which is an awsome idea and is portrayed well except for the chess board. at first glance i didn't know what it was, but not that i've looked at it again i get it. theme of your photo is very bold and thats always good to see, just keep experimenting with technical ways to make your photos extraordinary. if you check out my portfolio, you can see i have the same problem
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/16/2005 07:46:10 PM
Sonda, this is a thoughtful beautiful portrait. You have a gift at creating an image that feels timeless like an old masterpiece. Another WOW from me.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/16/2005 06:30:18 PM
How - please tell us..
The left hand could have been better positioned - 7
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/16/2005 05:31:12 PM
Gorgeous! I really wish you good luck.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/15/2005 06:54:38 PM
interesting take on the challenge ... wish the hand was down on left models eye
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/15/2005 01:02:29 PM
Wow. Lotsa work. The pinky over the eye is a huge distraction for me. I know this was a tough shot. 7
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/15/2005 09:48:20 AM
Returning for comment:
A very interesting image with two different values of lighting as evidenced. While not fitting the self portraiture on the money, it does present a highly mysterious and emotive image with great impact. Bumping up.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/14/2005 02:14:10 PM
are these both you? If so, I'm very impressed. It's amazing how lighting and makeup can really change a person's look. The figure on the left reminds me of sinead oconnor. Anyway, very cool photo. I don't really understand the concept,as far as the title and the objects in the back (wine bottles?) but I like it anyway. I'm sure there's some deep meaning to it that would blow me away if I knew what it was. :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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