Nawfal, SELF-PORTRAIT, 2012-02-02, Edit G, Head Shot, NJN665


At least ONCE a year, I design a new self-portrait; not for any amount or reason for ego’s sake, or for self-absorption.  The fact that I usually only do this once a year, should explain away any need to use myself as “subject”. 

Self-portraits, for me, are more a learning process.  I ask myself:  “OK, what strange thing can I do to produce an interesting self-portrait…this year.”  I like paint, painting and art, so I thought I would just use myself as the canvas and make an “Abstract Me” for my 2012 Self-Portrait.


The worst thing about paint on skin is when it starts to dry – feels strange, uncomfortable, and of course, it is a mess.  Once I was painted up, I needed the help of an assistant, but there are a few things I did prior to the painting.

The camera and lighting need to be set up and exposures tested ahead of the self-painting.  Once painted, I had to work fast, and get the assistance of an assistant to press the shutter button. 

The shutter speed was 1/50 sec, and the aperture was f/11.  I used the internal flash set at –3.0, of course, aimed directly.  On camera-right, I used a 600-Watt studio light without any light modification – it was set at 1/2 power.


I am so glad that I re-discovered my NIKKOR 35-70, f/3.3 lens:  It is the lens I used for this self-portrait.  It is an EXTREMELY thought-provoking lens.  By “thought-provoking” I mean that it is an auto-focus lens, but using it with my newer NIKON camera body, it is TOTALLY manual. 

There is a story that goes along with this lens: long-ago, when I got this lens, it developed fungus on one of the inner most lens elements.  Therefore, I totally dismantled the lens, element by element, and hand cleaned each piece of glass, and then reassembled the lens.  Unfortunately, I damaged the auto-focus electronics at some point in my lens home surgery. 

Therefore, when using this lens with my new NIKON camera body, there is NO auto focus – NO auto exposure – and NO auto TTL Flash:  It is FULLY MANUAL.  I think it is so awesome that I have a lens that makes me think like a photographer again.  There is NO Auto anything, so I have to calculate everything, pre-focus, and guesstamate my exposure settings, making test shots to pre-focus, tweak exposure settings, and plan my flash set-ups.


So there it is, my 2012 Self-Portrait. 

ARTHRiTiS SUCKS! A.S. HLA-B27 Since 1988- Edit B

ARTHRiTiS SUCKS! A.S. HLA-B27 Since 1988- Edit B, originally uploaded by fine-grain.

ARTHRiTiS SUCKS! A.S. HLA-B27 Since 1988- Edit B

Genre: Social Awareness Photography – Fine Art.
Series: “ARTHRiTiS SUCKS!”
Self Portrait.

Tattoos on my hand giving details: The first one is obvious, “Arthritis SUCKS!” Especially when you started getting it when you are in your early 20’s. A.S. (Ankylosing Spondylitis) usually hits young men in their late teens or early 20’s.

I was diagnosed with A.S. when I was 23 years old (in 1988), but I knew there was something wrong with my joints before that. “HLA-B27” is the genetic marker that makes someone more prone to AS and other autoimmune diseases referred to as the “seronegative spondyloarthropathies”.

That’s my Fina Acoustic Electric Guitar, and anyone who has Arthritis and plays guitar will know how painful maintaining fine finger dexterity can be at times. Any activity where flexibility and dexterity are important is a major issue for the “Arthritic.”

So, this image, and my FUSION photo, are my contributions to the Public Service of sharing some “knowledge” and “experiences” with Arthritis and A.S.

One common misconception that many people have is that Arthritis is a disease of the really, really, incredibly aged….Ah, well, that just isn’t the case with some types of Arthritis.

Maybe I’ll continue this “ARTHRITIS SUCKS!” Series as ideas click in my mind.