“My Path, a Self Portrait” is not typical of my portrait work, either for self or others. It started as a selfie on a cell phone and ended as a heavily edited portrait. It came into being as I was learning just what technologies for photo editing I had on my phone and how to use them. As it emerged I did not like it. I had planned to delete it when I was through playing with it. Fortunately, I got tired and went to bed that night.
Some of you are familiar with the Persephone Series a few years ago. A few of you may be familiar with the series, Pain Management 2020. When I create images like that from photographs I cannot always explain why I used a particular element and so forth. It “just seemed right” at the time I was doing it. I have come to believe that is the subconscious speaking, which may be why creating things is so therapeutic. Over time I often come to understand why I did something. I usually learn something about myself.
All of us share to some degree a universal trauma from the Covid-19 pandemic, even though our experiences have been different and unique. For each of us there are subplots to that story. For me, lockdown in 2020 made my life so much easier than it had been in 2019. All of 2019 was difficult, but especially from July through the remainder of the year. 2020 brought an improvement to my life, and a much needed rest. Both years had experiences that I consider transformative.
Now, in the summer of 2021, we continue to face unknowns about Covid and its variants. In spite of that, there are pressures to get back “to normal,” defined by some as what things were like in 2019. Although that is not want I want for my life, at times I still feel pressure.
I was feeling a lot of push and pull when I began playing with a selfie to learn some editing techniques available on my cell phone. I wasn’t creating an image to solve a problem; at least I did not think I was.
When I got up the next morning, the image didn’t seem quite as ugly as it had the night before. That is when I began to see the path, my path.
I created this image on July 3, 2021. It will be shown in Pennsylvania Center for Photography’s Transformations show in New Hope, PA August 13 – September 6, 2021.