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Another day, another passing year, another self-portrait

Time for a bit of self-indulgence. Last January I posted a 2009 self portrait, my first and at the time I thought probably my last. Things change, including my mind and opinions, so with the passing year I though perhaps doing a self portrait a year might be interesting.

There’s nothing as entertaining as watching yourself grow older. ;-)

One thing which hasn’t changed, I seldom like any photo of myself. Making a self portrait I’m willing to post is a trying experience — I’m a lousy model.

I have made some progress doing this years portrait. I’m not hiding behind a hat and camera as I did last year.


Earl Moore - Meandering Passage

Earl Moore - 2010


Comparing the two photos, I can definitely tell there’s a little less color and more grey in my beard and hair this year — that vertical “worry line” on my forehead looks a little deeper also. I’d always thought my hair would be completely white by this age as my grandfather, who also had red hair, was snowy white before the age of 50.

As long as I can see there’s still a little “flash” behind the eyes, I’m okay with it.

26 Comments on Another day, another passing year, another self-portrait

  1. I can see that sparkle in the eyes, that’s a good thing. I also notice the worry line but only after you mentioned it. It’s a good self-portrait as many struggle with them. And, practice does help us improve.

    • Monte, practice or not I’m still not comfortable doing self-potraits, but that alone may be a good enough reason for doing them. :-)

  2. Most of us hate to attempt self portraits. So I admire you for having what it takes to graphically document yourself from year to year. Now, as a picture I think it’s a fine portrait. I like that you didn’t smooth out those
    worry lines or otherwise “enhance” the shot. Aging is quite an adventure and, for me, best seen as something to study with interest…and a camera helps do that very well. Most of my self-portraits are with Photo Booth…and boy howdy I’m looking very old! :-)

    • Don, I tried to leave the portrait as “natural” as possible but I did do a little softening so you couldn’t see every skin pore and spot. After all, I didn’t want to scare away my readers — there’s at least a little vanity in each of us. ;-)

  3. Good job Earl, I will on occasion shoot a self when trying out a new lighting idea or concept. Some how I don’t view the resulting images as me. From this side my hair and beard is all still black and the lines and aches don’t fit with a 20 something that sees out of my eyes. Probably one reason I have had a beard since my 20’s as it cuts down on the time spent watching the march of time in the morning.
    ‘Dorian Gray’ is a state of mind and I hate to put it onto film :)

    (forgot to mention I the only black hair in a family of redheads)

    • Ray, I know what you mean. This face looks different and much younger from the “inside” and it’s hard to reconcile the two sometimes. Glancing in the mirror seems so temporary it’s easily ignored or forgotten, but when you record a photo you have to confront the truth. :-(

      Interesting about your family having red hair and yours being black. It was somewhat the reverse in my family. My grandfather on my fathers side had red hair but Dad and his 11 siblings all had black or brown hair. I was the 16th grandchild and the first with red hair.

  4. hi, nice to meet you!
    cool self portrait
    i like the expression and the bookshelf as a background

    • yz, hello, yes this is me. :-)
      Thanks, it took making many photos before I found one I liked enough to post. That expression may be one of resolve in trying to do a self-portrait.

  5. Very beautiful photograph, cheer!

  6. Hello! It great to meet you… i love the flash in your eyes and very impressed you have done something I don’t think i could do…take a self photo and post it….I do love the idea of photos of oneself…I realize a few years back that i hundreds of pictures of the nieces and nephews and none of me..and started to makes sure i use the timer to jump into the photos a bit more now….nice work…can’t wait to see next years…

    • Yvonne, while it’s not an easy thing for me to do a self-potrait I do believe it’s a positive experience to push beyond my comfort zone. Hopefully, there will be many more years of self-portraits posted here. ;-)

  7. Good portrait, Earl! Definitely better than last year’s. I like the composition and the way that you toned the photograph. Also, the background has good bokeh. Really well done.

  8. Earl,

    I think that’s a great portrait, thank you for sharing it with us.


  9. Like Eric, I prefer this year’s portrait by far. And I guess it was not too easy with that shallow DoF to get that wonderful blurry background. Re. that sorrow line: It could be pretty much an effect of the side light, and – it’s an effect of real life, consisting of plaisir and chagrin. No way to avoid this…

    • Markus, thanks, I to prefer this years. The sorrow/worry line — it’s an effect of real life but the side lighting did make it more apparent. I’ve have that line for many years but it’s gotten deeper over time. Perhaps I should just think of it as a “character line.” :-)

  10. Two fine self-portraits !
    If it is for the purpose of seeing yourself groing old then you should take similar pictures every year. (same crop, same light, same place…).
    I admire your courage… I must have the same age as you… but I don’t want to see myself growing old… it is quite depressing… :-( It is like watching a fruit starting to rot :-o I definitely don’t have the guts for this…

    Anyway… I wish you a happy birthday …and many many many more self-portraits ! :)

    • Sidney, thank-you! There’s only one alternative to growing old and I’d just as soon not take that way yet. So seeing myself age is not so bad, certainly not like watching fruit rot! ;-)

      One reason I did these portraits is because self-portraits make me uncomfortable. I believe it’s good sometimes to explore those areas that make us uncomfortable — it is there we often find personal growth. :-)

  11. I like both the portrait and the lighting. How did you do the setup?

  12. Looks like a photo taken from a book jacket – are you sure that’s you?

  13. I like the humour in you’re last comment, probably the way I would reference to myself if hanged out on the wall. :)

    I think it’s a good idea to make an annual self portrait. In one year you decided to leave the hat and camera outside the frame. You will narrowing down your portraits to the true Earl, faster than you grow older. A good thing, not pretending, nor hiding.

    I like this image, it looks very honest. You brought in very fine light, too, not making any other reflections than the sparkles in your eyes.

    • Ove, thank you for the kind words. I believe you’re correct about narrowing down to the true me. Last year I was hiding behind that hat and camera, this year, not so much but perhaps still hiding in some ways. It will be interesting to see what I capture in my self-portrait next year.

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