152 Task 3: Portraiture Continued

So in my last post I had mentioned what my plan was for this task, with it being a self-portrait of myself, with the objects being defined by me and a few of my best friends if the same objects were mentioned.

So I started things off my going off on the self-portrait, as this would be the hardest to do out of the lot. Before I took any pictures, I sat down and thought to myself “how do I describe myself?” It’s hard to think about when you put your mind to it! But essentially I narrowed it down to the face that I was a happy-go-lucky person; someone who always had a smile on their face and would try to help others no matter what.
So this meant that the lighting had to be somewhat important in this shot as well; a moody, cold, dim room doesn’t do well when it comes to showing a happy person. Rather, you want a bright, warm light that can radiate off the person and show their warmness.

But like I said in the last post, I didn’t want any of this to be staged at all. So I wanted to use as much natural light as possible give it that authenticity. So placing my camera on a self-timer, I headed outside where it was pleasantly sunny thankfully! To take this self-portrait, I placed my camera on the self timer mode so that it would give time to get into place.
I had decided that I wanted to just get my top-half in the picture, as that was the money shot really…well where the most important parts where. This meant taking a few tester shots just to get everything in place, and then it was taking the real shots.
And it was hard at first, trying to just be me. I tried smiling, my natural face…but it just wasn’t working. For me, it really didn’t show the ‘real’ me at all. And I realized that I hadn’t done the single thing which opens up a person…laughing.

Image 1

And boom, there I had it. This was the shot I was looking for that said “Hi, I’m Alex. I’m the person that you’ll get along fine with, who’ll try to make you laugh and whatnot, and most importantly be there to help you when you need it most.” So how did I get this shot then? Well, quite simply I just thought about all the good times I’ve had with all my friends and the laughs we’ve shared and boom, there you go.

So with that out of the way, it was onto the objects. And the first one I wanted to deal with was football. I have been passionate about football since I was a lad. I remember going to my first ever Chelsea match with my dad, and loved it then and there. Heck, I remember one time Chelsea were playing Liverpool away and I had gotten all dressed up ready to go, before pestering my dad that “we had to go or else we would be late!”
But my love for watching football didn’t match the love I had for playing the sport. From primary school onwards, my lunch would be dominated by playing football with everyone until the bell would go. I would try to take up after school sessions as well, and as I progressed on I managed to get onto school teams and started playing well and competitively.
But as I got to my last school, I started to play rugby more as football wasn’t seen in high regard. I still played it as much as I could, making sure the boots I had would be suitable for both sports. But when I got to the end of sixth form, I hadn’t played football in over 3 years.
So when it came to doing sport at uni, I decided that I was going to take up the sport that I have loved all the time ago and go for it. The boots I had were ok, and it was only until when my mum came down for a night to say hello that for the first time, I got my first pair of proper football boots, Nike Hypervenoms. My mum knew I loved playing rugby, and these boots signified that she would trust and help me with my choice no matter what.So for this image, I decided to show my boots just on their own, but with all the dirt and mud surrounding them. Why show them to be clean, as if they haven’t been used? I have used these boots, and they have done me well, so I wanted to show the battles they had gone through.

Image 2

So for my second object that defines ‘me’: the game Slender. Two summers ago, one of my best friends told me there was this new, supposedly top horror game to exist. So I decided to try it out on a whim to see what it was like. So me and two others in a skype call, I started off my journey that would lead into an addiction of a sort. On that first attempt, I was jumping and screaming, in which at one point I was on my carpet in the fetal position, mumbling to myself after being ‘caught.’ But I just laughed it off… and carried on playing. And my friends thought I was mad with this. But I wanted to beat the game, I wasn’t going to let it just shrug me off like that. And closer and closer I got, but never quite ‘there.’
After playing this for a couple of months, I was then introduced to the online series called Marble Hornets; a live action show based on the Slenderman mythology. And I think it was this was what set the traps. I was hooked on the show, watching every episode I could before I had caught up to the latest one (the videos would come out when really) so what did I do after that? Go searching online about Slenderman.
And I searched high and low for any piece of detail about this myth. At this point I was actually believing that he was real, and my sleeping pattern was a bit screwed after staring at my door and windows, waiting for the white face to appear. Thankfully, I realized that it wasn’t real and was made up, but I was hooked. In such a little time, so much had been released. I looked it up and watched,read, listened to it…you name it, I did it. I wanted all the details.
At the same time, my passion for playing the game had increased; new variations of the original had come out, and the skype calls continued whilst I played them to my heart’s content when all my work was finished. I was itching to beat the game. And then the best news ever came out: there was going to be a full Slender game.
Slender the Arrival came out Spring last year, and it was the game for me. MY friends at that point knew I was the one to go to when it came to Slender, whether it be info or playing the game, and this one was no different. MY best memory is sitting in my sixth form center with everyone around me, on a new level we had just gotten onto, where a monster (not seen before) jumped right at me. Bearing in mind I had good, over the ear headphones on with full volume, close to the screen, it was a shock. And apparently I swore so loudly that everyone sitting in the center looked over in my direction. Not one care was given at all as I continued on playing.
So I decided to have a picture of the screen for the game, as every time I would load it up, that familiar tingle would run down the back of my neck; the pleasure of being able to play this game once again.

Image 3

So, the last object that shows me. And this last one does actually say who I am: photography. Originally, I went about choosing photography by force really. It was the last choice for choosing for GCSE’s, and I had french down for my last choice (heck I was good at it at the time.) Yet after the last parents evening of the year, and speaking to various teachers and parents, I was told that I should take up something creative so that I could give myself a different type of work, one that could let me relax. And initially I said no and resisted, but gave in eventually. And it was one of the best choice I have ever made.
At first, it was hard going, getting used to the structure and everything, but as time quickly went on by, I found myself enjoying going out and taking pictures and the fun of thinking what to shoot. And this carried on throughout the two years where I finished my GCSE’s. And at that point, I had my Canon 450D, to which I still have as my only camera today and shoot with.
I decided to take the plunge and carry it on at A level’s, as by that time I knew that this was the career that I wanted to go into at one point (the career choice I now want to go into is forensics, which I will try my hardest to get into.) And it was only then that I started my second obsession of collecting and buying photographic equipment. It was my second year in that I acquired my first two lens with my money, and I wanted more. Yet I had to limit myself to what I could get at paces. So I saved up what I could, and waited for the right moment in which I would buy yet another piece that would go into my collection that I could use. Even though it has cost me a fair bit of money, I have no qualms about it at all. In fact, I’m happy about it because I’m pursuing something that I love. And by getting these bits I am able to expand my abilities and to delve into newer things that remind my why I love this subject so much.
So my picture is just a very simple one: just a picture showing all of my photographic possessions that I have and mean the world to me. I wouldn’t know what to do if they were all to leave. Devastated would not be a strong enough word at all for me one bit.

photo 2

SO when it comes to presenting these images, all I would simply want is to have the self-portrait on one side as the biggest picture, with the other 3 down one side in a line. And with the pictures I would like to have a booklet that next to each image there would be an piece of text that would explain what the significant of these objects were. What I could actually use is the text used in this post as it was words that poured out of me that expressed how I truly felt with everything.


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