Wulf's Webden

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Wine is a Mocker

Self-portrait as a drunkard

Having had to rescue a drunk who was stumbling about in the middle of the road on Tuesday, I determined that the weekly intercessions slot my church has during its Sunday morning service will be on the subject of Alcoholism in the UK I like to use a striking background image that resonates with the subject and decided to use that as an idea for my weekly fiftytwo self-portrait project (with the caveat that I am not trying to depict what I am really like in this one).

The bottles were awaiting recycling so I pressed them into service as props and set myself up at the end of the dining room table. My camera was set up across the room on a tripod, fitted with my Vivitar 90mm lens and I made use of my wireless remote control (ML-L3) to take a number of shots:

  • Exposure: 0.333 sec (1/3)
  • Aperture: f/4
  • Focal Length: 90 mm
  • ISO Speed: 400

I deliberately chose a dark corner, hence the slow shutter speed even with a fairly wide aperture and bumped up ISO. This was to catch a bit of motion blur, emphasising the drunken character of the shot. I also chose to focus more on the hands and bottles than the face to further enhance this feeling.

One thing I had to do was crop the picture to a 4:3 aspect ratio to suit the church projector. I decided that further tweaks were also needed to make the most of the shot (the other two linked above are unedited, for contrast). I played with levels and curves to bump the contrast and also to push the colours in a rather sickly, greenish direction.

As a finishing touch, I overlaid a texture based on a shot I took in Barcelona several years ago (the wall of Casa Mila). The whole effect is quite subtle and, to further tone it down, I applied a partial mask over my face, reducing the effect even more in that area.

I think it captures what I was after; my only concern now is that people who see the shot on Sunday morning might not appreciate that it was posed and leave thinking that one of their leaders is a serious winebibber. Mind you, that’s been said before about others far greater than me….

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