self portrait


Mark Kreider said...

First of all, thank you for putting a face to the disembodied Ken Bryant photos. I will put my face on record too though it will not be art! I so admire your photography and feel I've learned from each photo. I have felt inadequate to comment on them because I'm a tyro, nothing more. I can see, however, and will add my contributions to the dialogue now. I hope to benefit from your expertise in the future. It means more than you can know.

J. Evan Kreider said...

I had often wondered who was Michelangelo's model for Moses, but now I know. Pity the horns were cropped.

I like that touch of light on the dark-side cheek. Is that the triangle (eye-nose-point of light) that you spoke of?

How did you set this up for yourself? I'm guessing a mirror almost at the camera's lens, or somewhere so you could get the highlight and shadows right.

Do you try to think of a scenario for yourself, as you do for your models, in order to evoke your expression? Or did you just learn that your teaching assignments for this week were all changed and that your next class is in three minutes?

Ken Bryant said...

No mirror. I set the camera on the tripod, put a cushion where my head was going to be and focussed, used a string to keep the distance constant, and triggered it with a cable release. I just made a lot of different faces, so the main trick (as always) is in selecting the one I thought had some drama/humor/something other than "cheese" in it. As you know, for me, the only bad photo is a sweet, pretty, or boring photo: edge is all. :-)

The light in this case is just a window.

The soft window lighting was the last kind thing I did for myself. Otherwise, the post-processing here consisted of what I call "anti-retouching". Instead of trying to remove skin blemishes, I exaggerated them. If I have, for example, some young model with patches/pimples of red skin, then in doing a b&w conversion i increase luminance on the red channel until the red blotches look the same luminance as the skin around them, thus making them invisible. So on this photo I did the opposite: I decreased luminance on the red channel, thus darkening and emphasizing every blemish; and conversely increasing luminance on the blue channel, thus giving a bit of a fey glow to the blue of the eyes.

Ken Bryant said...

And I don't imagine this a professor who suddenly has to give a lecture. I picture it as Faust, on the day he realizes that he's had his run, and now it's time to pay up. Or Don Giovanni, maybe, when he realizes this is one dinner engagement he isn't going to be able to talk his way out of. (Don Giovanni! A cenar con teco m'invitasti...")

J. Evan Kreider said...

Or an Homeric helmsman catching first glimpse of the edge of the world.