the art of selfies & self-portraits: a how-to adventure in photography by rick doble

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The Art of Selfies & Self-Portraits: A How-To Adventure in Photography Not for the Timid or the Shy Copyright © Rick Doble 2014. All rights reserved. Cover photo: commons.wikimedia,org

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Selfies are popular today, yet they are part of a centuries-old tradition in art -- the self-portrait. Photographer Rick Doble was one of the first artists to explore the new possibility of selfies and self-portraiture with a digital camera, including GIF animations. In this eBook he shows how his work developed and offers tips for creating unusual selfies. This interactive PowerPoint presentation offers a wide range of selfie photographs to inspire artists who want to go further than the standard smiling selfie. Also included are galleries of contemporary selfies plus self-portraits in history by men and women along with self-portraits by famous artists such as Durer, Rembrandt and van Gogh.

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  • 1. The Art ofSelfies & Self-Portraits:A How-To Adventure in PhotographyNot for the Timid or the ShyCopyright Rick Doble 2014. All rights reserved.Cover photo: commons.wikimedia,org

2. How To Use This eBookIMPORTANT!You must download the ppt PowerPoint fileto see the moving animations.Their movement is not visiblein a PDF preview online.HOW TO USE THIS eBOOK/POWERPOINT PRESENTATIONThis is an interactive PowerPoint eBook.Please advance manually to the next screen with the [space bar] or left clickwith the mouse. You can go back with the [back space key] or by rightclicking.A right click will also allow you to navigate to any numbered screen.At the bottom of some screens you will see TOCClick on that to go to the Table of Contents,where you can click to go to another section. 3. Do You Have The Courage ToExperiment And Reveal Yourself?Selfies & self-portraiture can be an exciting art form,but only if you are willing to break away from thetraditional self-conscious smiling photograph.Are you willing to show yourself in different moods,different clothes, situations, positions and lighting?Are you willing to experiment and push thephotographic process to its limit, plus make welldesigned compositions? Are you willing to bare yoursoul? If so, then this eBook is for you.But don't say I didn't warn you! 4. TABLE OF CONTENTS (TOC) Selfies (Rick Doble) Self-Portraits (Rick Doble) Shadow Self-Portraits (Rick Doble) Xtreme Selfies & Self-Portraits (Rick Doble) Selfie Animations (Rick Doble) Processed Photographs (Rick Doble) Examples Of Selfies By Others Self-Portraits In History By Men And Women Famous Artists Who Painted Self-Portraits 5. JOKE: Remember every greatphotograph from the past was taken witha camera older than yours. In this eBook I will explain techniques but alsofollow a timeline of my own development so youcan see how my work evolved while using thelimited technology of the time. An effective picture should not be judged by thetechnology -- otherwise many photos taken inthe past would be excluded -- it should bejudged by its visual impact and its ability tomake the most of the technology that wasavailable. 6. After 30 years in film photography, I bought my first digital camera.Many of the examples here were taken with an early lo-res Casiocamera (1998). Although primitive by today's standards, it did havea rotating lens that let me see myself as I took a selfie & also a LCDmonitor that let me review my shot instantly -- as it was the firstcamera with this feature. In addition it had virtually unlimited focus(depth of field) at normal distances. 7. Most of the photos in this PowerPointshow were shot between 1998-2003.I believe I was one of the firstphotographers to take a wide range ofselfies with a digital camera. 8. What Is A Selfie? A selfie is loosely defined as a photographtaken by oneself at arm's-length or in a mirror. A self-portrait photograph is generallyconsidered to be with a camera that is not heldby the person -- such as on a tripod -- andusually triggered by the self-timer in thecamera. This definition will probably change in thefuture as the technology changes. For example,a photographer can now trigger an unheldcamera using a remote control.TOC 9. With film photography years before, I had alreadybegun a series of pictures in which my arms and legswere shown in the photograph. I wanted my photos tohave a different feel than the normal point of view(POV) in which the photographer stood objectivelyoutside, unseen and beyond the photograph. Below isone of my first digital selfies. 10. Something as simple as a street light comingthrough the window of my van created aninteresting design -- with the shadow of thegear shift knob and the bottom of the steeringwheel against my leg. 11. This selfie in a mirrorallowed me to include areflection of myself and myhand along with part of myactual hand.By positioning myselfagainst a bright lightedcurtain, I was able to putmyself in dark shadow,which created asilhouette. 12. While this photo may appear to be an almost normalselfie, you cannot see my eyes. And the top of my headdisappears into the darkness. Instead you can see thereflection of my face, on the LCD monitor, in the glasses. 13. Mirrors are so much fun. Ifound a bathroom cabinetmirror worked perfectly, as Icould adjust its angle for theright light and positioning. 14. I also wanted to includethe environment aroundme -- whether it was myhouse, my favoritehangout spot or thepeople I was with.So in this picture Idecided to cut my facealmost exactly in halfand fill the rest of thephoto with a view of theinterior of my home. 15. I was alsointrigued bydifferent lightsources such asneon. Whilewaiting to beseated at arestaurant, Iplayed with thelight from theneon sign outsidethe eatingestablishment sothat it reflected inmy glasses. 16. Then my wifecame over andspontaneouslywe took a seriesof photos untilthe restaurantbuzzed us thatour table wasready.The lessonhere is that youshould be opento spur of themoment,unplannedphotos whichoften will beyour best work. 17. I continued to play with neon light and the colors itcreated. Here I am next to a neon sign with a streetlight in the background after a rain. 18. One particular set of neon lights created bizarre colors. 19. I also learned to add movement. In this shot I held the cameravery steady as I turned rapidly, so that it blurred the trees andthe sky above me. 20. In this shot, I quickly moved the camera in the direction of the linesof brick behind me, while moving my head with the camera. 21. Here I combined some ideas. I included the television in myhome and also the light of the TV that illuminated my face. 22. Some years later, with a better camera, I took this and the nextphoto with an 8 second shutter speed. This long exposure blurredthe pictures on the TV while I kept my head as steady as possible. 23. Many years later, I took a series of selfies while going down theroad. This one was shot with a 26 second handheld shutter speed.The streaks behind me are houses and street lights around twilight.The white streaks on my face are light reflected in my glasses. 24. Experimental Self-PortraitsUsing Light Painting TechniquesTOC 25. While all selfies are self-portraits, not all self-portraitsare selfies. 'Self-portrait' is a moregeneral term that applies to painting,photography, drawing and even sculpture.In photography a self-portrait that is not aselfie is usually done with the camera at adistance from the person but with that personstill controlling the shot. In the past this hasbeen achieved with the self-timer but now canbe done with a remote control that triggers thecamera instantly and allows for morespontaneous self-portraits. 26. In these experimental self-timer shots, the camera was on a table,set to an 8 sec. shutter speed and prefocused. Then I 'drew' with aflashlight pointed toward the camera and toward my face. 27. I also experimented with moving my head during the long 8 sec.exposure while I lit my face and clothing with a flashlight. Thiscreated a multiple-exposure effect. 28. Shadow Self-PortraitsShadows are quite intriguing as a subject.Dual light sources, for example, will createoverlapping images which create a thirdfigure where the shadows overlap. Thecolor of the light source at night will tint ashadow photo.Shadows also allow a photographer towork with the basic shape of the humanbody -- so these photos can be consideredfigure studies. TOC 29. Xtreme Selfies &Self-PortraitsSome selfies go beyond the normalphoto.Often this comes about because ofexperimenting or even a glitch.TOC 30. Extreme underexposure but with the right overalllighting resulted in this photo which reminded me ofa German expressionist woodcut. 31. Glitch photograph: an extreme underexposureunder odd lighting created this shot. 32. Moving my head with a long exposure, caused parts ofmy face to be 'erased' by the moving and well lit FerrisWheel behind me. 33. Many people find this photo a bit scary -- which was myintention. Extreme camera movement along withunderexposure in odd lighting created this effect. 34. Selfie AnimationsAfter taking a number of selfie shots ina series, I realized I could 'sandwich'several photos together into a GIFanimation file that would loopendlessly. As I have writtenelsewhere, I believe I am thefirst person to make Cinemagraphswith these selfies -- as I started doingthis in 1999. TOC 35. These animations were made with single shots from my Casiocamera that I then sandwiched together. I did almost nothing toeach image, although I may have cropped some a bit so thatthey would sequence properly when animated. All of thesewere shot handheld. Yet since these images were shot thisway, the stationary parts of the image may move just a bitwhich was my intention.I wanted to create images that pulsed with life. All of myanimations looped endlessly -- because they were an attemptto depict life and living moments which are always in motion,but also often at rest at the same time.As I wrote in the headlineof my website at the time:These animations are not mini-movies but"States of Being"repeating animationsthat contain the stuff of life 36. More than 15 years ago these animations were on the Internetand featured and reviewed.Featured ArtistEnculturation Website, Fall 1998http://enculturation.net/2_1/toc.htmlReview of Doble's animations on the Enculturation site in 1998by the Film-Philosophy Journal of London, Englandhttp://www.film-philosophy.com/vol3-1999/n15martin-jonesSee a complete PowerPoint presentation about these animationsand the possibility that they were the first cinemagraphsThe First GIF Cinemagraphs?:Animations From 1998-2003With an Early Casio Camera 37. You will see the same themes andideas about selfies that you saw atthe beginning of this showcontinued and evolving in thisanimation series.I will show the next animationswithout comment.TOC 38. Processed PhotographsMost of my work is done withphotographic effects and notcomputer graphics -- but at times Ido like to play with my photographsto create unusual graphic selfies.TOC 39. Selfies ByOther PhotographersThe following contemporary selfies, made withcell phones and digital cameras, are fromcommons.wikimedia.org.They are by men and womenof all levels of experience andshow quite a range.TOC 40. This selfie was triggered by remote control. 41. Self-PortraitsFrom The Pastall images fromcommons.wikimedia.orgStarting around 1200 artists created self-portraitsright up until the present day. Thisis not a new art form, but one with a longand distinguished history.There is substantial work by both men andwomen and also quite famous artists.They are shown in chronological order.TOC 42. Self-PortraitsBy Famous Artistsall images fromcommons.wikimedia.orgThe next screens show self-portraits byDurerRembrandt andvan GoghThese artists painted a series ofself-portraits that show themas they grew older.TOC