self-portrait

ABSTRACT ME

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

ABSTRACT ME – 2012 SELF-PORTRAIT

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 PART

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.

REDISCOVERY OF FULLY MANUAL – THOUGHT-PROVOKING TECHNICALITIES

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…

So there it is, my 2012 Self-Portrait. 

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“RAGE – LIBERATE MY MADNESS!”

RAGE, img6260, Edit D, bw-btl4

PHOTOGRAPH DETAILS:

Title: “RAGE – LIBERATE MY MADNESS,” Edit D”
Photo Series: “F-DEPRESSION!”
Series Date(s): 2008 (Nov – Dec).
Creation Year: 2008

Equipment:

  • CANON POWERSHOT A620.
  • SYSTEMS IMAGING 600-WATT STUDIO FLASH.
  • BOWENS 2′ X 2′ SOFTBOX WITH METALLIC SILVER LINING.
  • 3′ X 3′ WHITE FOAM CORE.
  • SUPPORT – bogen 3001 Pro Tripod, bogen 3025 head & Manfrotto #352 Ball & Socket.
  • 3kg weight.

BEFORE GETTING INTO ANY SILLINESS THAT ENSUES BELOW HERE, I did write up a VERY SERIOUS Blog Entry using this Photograph, at one of my other Photography Journals, IF you are in the MOOD for a serious look at Depression and Anxiety, then this link may help:

“BEHIND THE LENS GALLERIES” BY:  NAWFAL NUR

http://behindthelensgalleries.wordpress.com/

PHOTOGRAPHY Crew DETAILS (kind’of kidding around):

  • Art Work – Nawfal N.
  • Lighting – Nawfal N.
  • Photography – Nawfal N.
  • Art Direction – Nawfal N.
  • Site Location Scout – Nawfal N.
  • “Best Boy” (WTF! is this Job?  I see that job in the movies all the time….anyway…) – I’ll take credit for it I guess – Nawfal N.
  • Ka’BOOM Expert! – Nawfal N.
  • Post Production, PhotoImpact X3 Work – Nawfal N.
  • Model – Nawfal N.

Additional Credits:

  • Clean-up Crew – Nawfal N.
  • General Flunky Extraordinaire! – Nawfal N.
  • Assistant to Nawfal N. – ah, Nawfal N.
  • Personal Driver, Body Guard, and Weapons Expert – Nawfal N.

AND…

  • Making da’ Movie,
  • Working Concessions,
  • Selling da’ Tickets,
  • Running the Projector,
  • and’a…Making da’ Popcorn! – Nawfal N.

LMAOBT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

** This is what you call, “One-Man-Show-Productions, Incorporated!” **

Enjoy the Theme Music, by one of my favorite bands, the best band to EVER come out of IOWA!!! SLIPKNOT – “LIBERATE (MY MADNESS)”

This song seemed unquestionably appropriate for this “dark, dark, dark, photograph!”

So, CRANK UP THE STEREO! Drive your family, friends, co-workers insane, go crazy, get nude, (well, maybe not nude), AND go do some HEAD BANGING!!!!

** Form the BIGGEST MOSH-PIT OF ALL TIMES AT WORK!!!!!!! LMAOBT!!!!!!!!! **

** For the first time, you can TOTALLY SLAM YOUR BOSS!!!!!!!!!! **

Bwuah’hahahahahahahaha!

Evil laughter ensues!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


BLADE BLUE HAND-667, No.1, Edit F

Blade Blue Hand, 667, No.1, Edit F, by Nawfal Nur

Blade Blue Hand, 667, No.1, Edit F, by Nawfal Nur

Title: “BLADE BLUE HAND, 667, No.1, Edit F”
Series: “BLUE HAND”
Number in Series: No. 1.
Genre: Abstract-Geometric-Expressionism
Mediums: Painting & Photography

Painter: Nawfal Nur
Photographer: Nawfal Nur
Art Direction: Nawfal Nur
Model: Nawfal Nur

Investment in Time:
* Prep Time for Equipment Set up: 1/2 Hour.
** Painting: 5 1/2 Hours.
*** Photography: 1/2 Hour.
**** Clean-up: 1 Hour.

Paint Supplies Used:
-1- Schmincke PRIMAcryl (Feinste Künstler-Acrylfarben).
-2- ZIG – KURECOLOR Permanent Alcohol based Ink.
-3- BUNCHO Water Colors.
-4- ALBRECHT DÜRER, Watercolour Pencils by FABER-CASTELL (8200 Series).
-5- Crayola “Brush Tips” Markers.
-6- Artline 70 High Performance Markers.
-7- MonAmi ACCU Liner Permanent Markers (Metallic Series).
-8- Pentel Permanent Markers (N850 Series).
-9- ESTĒE LAUDER Artist’s Eye Pencil – (01 SOFTSMUDGE BLACK).
-10- ESTĒE LAUDER Artist’s Lip Pencil-Crayon – (08 SPICE WRITER).

Camera:
CANON Powershot A620 with Modified Internal Flash Bounce Attachment. Aperture @ f/8.0 and Shutter Speed @ 1/80 sec. (I think…) ;^)

Lighting:
One 600-WATT SYSTEMS IMAGING Studio Flash with 2′ x 2′ BOWENS Softbox. MIRA Hydraulic Light Stands. Modeling on Cont., Power @ 1/16th Output. Distance to Subject, approx., 3-feet.

Additional Lighting or Lighting Aid Gear:
One 3′ x 3′ White Foam core bounce.

Support:
* bogen 3001 Professional Tripod.
** bogen 3025 head.
*** Manfrotto #352 Ball & Socket.
**** 3kg weight.

Computer Software:
* PhotoImpact X3.
————————-
As I mentioned in the text of the photo above, this will be my last photo addition to my Photostream at Flickr.

I have made a promise (to myself) to keep the “F-DEPRESSION” Series Images as close to the TOP of my Photostream as possible. Because with each new image addition, the older images get pushed deeper and deeper into the photostream. And that means, that these “F-DEPRESSION” photographs would eventually get lost in the masses of photos.

The ONLY way these images may help someone who is suffering from Depression, Anxiety or Chronic Pain is to see them, feel the shock value, read the text and GET HELP!!! And, that was the main reason I ventured into this very negative and self-expressing Photo & Text Series.

One of the key components of this type of work (body art), and one that I experienced firsthand, is that IT (the artwork) IS NOT LASTING!

Paint – Photograph – Wash – Rinse – Repeat the Wash & Rinse. Then, the painting is gone for ever! The final product, the actual artpiece is the Body Painted Photograph Portrait: The photograph – that is the lasting art work. The Painting is just part of the preparation! Get it!

This is NOT Airbrush, so the artwork is NOT smooth or finely detailed. I used Acrylic and Watercolours, along with Art Markers and applied them normally, and also with brush and artist’s knife. Some parts of the artwork are smooth and other textured. As the paints dry, the work cracks, so speed is important.

It was extremely painful for me to stand for that length of time – the arthritic A.S. types like myself usually can’t sit-stand-walk-or lie down for very long periods. However, I had to see if I could do it. After the completion of this work, it felt like someone had tortured me (kind of), like someone had been hitting the bottom of my feet with a metal ruler. If you have A.S., you may know that feeling: It’s No fun!!!

5 and 1/2 hours for one Right Arm! It’s the first work like this I’ve done. And, I can say that it was a really good experience and quite interesting to attempt painting oneself and working the camera. Strange feeling!

FROM NOW ON, PLEASE VISIT ME AT:

“BEHIND THE LENS!” (My Photography Journal where I’ve been writing, and where I’ve been exhibiting my Photography, since 2005).

smokephotographist.wordpress.com/

Nawfal Nur
“Behind the Lens!”
smokephotographist.wordpress.com/
27 Nov 2008

PS: “667” refers to what I ‘have seen’ termed as, “Neighbor of the Beast!” HOWEVER, my interpretation is different than probably the person who thought up this novel saying. Here’s how I see it:

“This world is Where the Wicked NEVER Rest, and the Righteous Struggle to just Stand their Ground!” Therefore, I am a ‘neighbor of the beast’ – evil that surrounds us all, daily – it is there, you don’t have to go far to find it.

Of course, perhaps it is much better to pretend that the world is a perfect place, so that you can sleep well at night, but this is just what people who don’t do anything to change it, want you to believe! Or, perhaps, it is what people who have it “made” want others to believe because they have all the resources available to them to ‘escape’ most of the evil that perpetuates itself daily, and around the world.

All you have to do is pick up a newspaper: There must be a lot of “evil” out there, or, the newspapers would NOT be so thick! News of Disasters, Crimes, Chaos, wars, famine, cruelty, and Injustice…this shit sells the News! I STOPPED reading the news a couple of years ago because it just perpetuates in a bad way, whatever stuff you got going on, that isn’t so good.

It is time to go…

Good night Moon!

Good night People!

pss: BTW: The “667” tattoo, I designed by computer software, but I may just have to ink myself with it one of these days!

In Front of the Lens…

Well, I guess it was time again to put the “Maniac” in front of the lens…

The last time I did self-portraits was in 2003; considering that, I believed it was high-time to do it again. I’m not the type who enjoys being the target of a photo-session. Nevertheless, when I have a choice, I prefer to be the one taking portraits of myself. I think I capture who I am better than anyone, at least, thus far. That is probably because I know myself better than anyone else…right!

I went into this photo session with the following goal: To capture my expressionistic qualities. And what do I mean by that? I didn’t want to end up with a snapshot: I wanted to capture a glimpse of who I am, at least, who I am, part of the time.

I guess what I don’t like about a lot of the ‘corporate‘ portrait studios is that they are quite impersonal; they don’t even get to know who you are before taking your photograph. Has anyone else had that experience?

In my opinion, and coming from the perspective of a photographer, you should get to know your subject, at least a little. You need to know a little about your subject’s likes, dislikes, mannerisms, attitudes, etc. All of this knowledge helps (the photographer) communicate to the subject what sort of poses, settings and props will be best for the shoot.

I mean, you don’t have to spend all day on this, but for God’s sake, take some time to figure out what makes your subject ‘special‘ or unique and target those qualities when taking portrait/character shots.

With any luck, if there is a strong sense of trust between photographer and subject, the shoot should work fairly smoothly and automatic within a suitable environment, and with props targeted for each particular subject.

Alright, so ‘corporate‘ studios don’t have that sort of time to figure out the Psyche of their clients and what makes them tick, their likes and dislikes, and that is why people have a choice to go for the ‘quickie‘ or to go to a ‘shop’ that will spend more personal time finding out who they are as a person and what they really want out of a portrait photograph.

In my opinion, I want it to be personal…and I want the results to express who I am.

Taking a self-portrait is not an easy task, especially if you want to take a photo of yourself doing more than just sitting there. I want expression and animation in my photographs and that is a difficult task. I used a single, 600-Watt studio light with soft box. I set the white balance on the camera to make the images warm-toned. I chose my Canon G2 specifically because of its good remote control system…forget that it is a bit of an older camera, the remote works very nicely in this circumstance. The camera was set on Aperture Priority at f/5.0 and the shutter speed was roughly.6 of a second, meaning that if I moved, the image would be blurred. Sometimes I wanted to show motion, other times, I kept positively still.

Good luck and Happy Shooting!