Zenfolio | Dave Skinner Photography | September Challenge - Self-Portrait

September Challenge - Self-Portrait

October 01, 2012  •  1 Comment

The current challenge was met with an infectious fever of timidity by all but two brave souls who sacrificed their humility to keep this ball rolling. Granted, the ball is now rolling downhill for now, but next month it will be on a level playing field again and everyone will feel free to express him or herself without compunction, fear or feelings of inadequacy.

I've been shooting self-portraits for so long now, they seem second nature to me. And really, when you're about the only one taking pictures of people (family included), it's really rare that anyone gets to see the photographer in print, which is a not-too-often complaint of my dear wife and friend, who has put up with my shooting all of these years, having to trail behind the trailblazer while he's scouting the best views and angles and folks to capture for posterity. So, thanks, Barb, for never complaining about traipsing along hither, thither and yon.

These vintage S-P's have been added to fill up the space that would be there if more folks entered their work.


So, here we go with September's official entries, starting with Dave's mirror reflection at a sandwich shop in the Downtown Plaza in Sacramento. This was the best of three shots. When you're holding your camera at your waist to get a self-portrait, odds are it won't be what you want. You have to keep shooting until there's something you can work with. I cropped this photo to remove the extraneous stuff, then flipped it horizontally, so you could read the sign normally. Man, where has all that dark long hair gone!!!!??? Not too mention the bloom of youth. "To know how to grow old is the master-work of wisdom, and one of the most difficult chapters in the great art of living," --Henri Amiel



Dave's second attempt was taken just inside the big open doors that lead out of the side of the Railroad Museum in Old Sacramento. All of the trains inside the museum are on tracks so they can move them outside if they need to. The tracks connect to the turntable that lines up with other tracks outside. This was shot using my 18-70mm zoom lens that I'd just dropped on a track outside while changing it. The autofocus wasn't working and the aperture was stuck on the smallest opening, f22, so I had to shoot with a very slow shutter speed of 2.5 seconds. When life throws you oranges, make orangeade.



Don sent a couple of pictures, three actually. The first is this Olan Mills style headshot where you want to look your best because you're going to buy a $50 canvas print to send to your mother-in-law. Note that a tripod was used, along with a flash (check the catch lights). Great exposure and focal length. Thanks for your efforts here, Don.



Saving the best for last, Don's creative genius might land him a full-time job at the county. Always a quick wit with a flair for the funny, he employed his tripod again for this deer-in-the-headlights mugshot. Let you're imagination run wild as you wonder why he would be arrested. Of course, there's the deeply psychological reason, but he may not want to talk about that. Or maybe he would. Good job, Don!



Okay, October is here and it's time for the fall colors to begin (if it will just cool down a bit). So I'm going to give two choices for your challenge this month: either FALL COLOR or PETS. Your dog and cat will be around even if it stays hot. Rules are the same, except your fall color shots can't be in black and white! Ha!

Happy hunting.


oh, September, you gave me too much on my plate. In addition to not being brave enough to try the challenge. Fall color and pets make me sigh with relief. I do believe I will make my self do a self portrait anyway. ;)
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