Self-Portrait: A Study of Focus

The Legion Of Honor, one of the local museums here in San Francisco, has an exhibit on the surrealist photographers and artists Man Ray and Lee Miller.  I’ve been to the exhibit several times now, and while I don’t usually love Surrealism, I found their photographs intriguing.  The basis of their work is often an attempt to see the world in new and surprising ways, to take a known image and change it to create something new.  I’m no surrealist, but visiting the exhibit and studying Man Ray’s and Lee Miller’s work inspired me to try to view my world, myself, and my photography in a different way.

With this in mind, I noticed one morning that the early light coming into my apartment created interesting reflections on the guitar I have hanging on the wall.  As I began to photograph my image in the guitar, I saw how it would change when I adjusted the focal depth of the photo.  It wasn’t exactly that when the guitar was out of focus, my reflection came into focus (or vice versa) because, as you can see, my image in the unfocused guitar is still blurred and imprecise; it is more that the shift in focus gives each photo its own unique texture.

The Self-Portrait is a common subject for many photographers and artists.  Lee Miller and Man Ray were especially fond of photographing themselves, as well as each other.  I’m not quite as bold as they were.  When it comes to myself as the subject, I prefer to remain a blurred silhouette in the face of a guitar.

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One Response to Self-Portrait: A Study of Focus

  1. Susan says:

    And so my question, if I’m seeing what I think I see, where’s your hat?

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