Experiments in Self Portraiture: Filter
I spend the majority of my time on Pinterest pinning portraits I find inspiring. Through doing this, I have come across a range of images that feature the use of prisms and filters; which fracture light and cause interesting visual effects. Instantly drawn to their magical quality, like a magpie to something shiny, I quickly purchased a set of my own.
Since studying A Level Photography, I have done bits of experimentation here or there, but this felt like the first time since then that I was working on a set of images where the subject wasn’t the experimental part of them. Instead of concentrating on my poses and expressions, I focused on the way the filter was positioned in relation to the camera and light, as well as my position to them. Making sure the filter was illuminated and I was too.
Unlike my other experimental portrait sets, this one required me to think a bit more technically. In addition to the aforementioned, I needed to consider how the filters were held. In order to create the desired fractured effects, the filter needed to be tilted, but lined up relatively close to the lens, for the duration of the shoot. So, whilst I placed the camera on the ground, pointed upwards towards me, and utilised the self-timer as I have done with self portraits previously, using the filters meant the distance I could be from the camera was limited.
Taking the time to get this right has left me with a set of images that I am proud of though. They’re all so majestic! I thoroughly enjoyed playing around, and getting to know how the filters work. It also led me to consider their suitability for specific shoots. One filter is a Pacman shape (used for the below, left image) that I think would be great for portrait shoots, and the other is a circular filter (used for the below, right image) which I think that would be perfect for shooting live shows. Can you imagine all of the show lights dancing around a guitarist, as their hair flies around? RAD.
On initial review of these images, I favoured the images I took using the Pacman shaped filter. I think this may have been due to them feeling more familiar and simplistic, as the fractured part of the image is somewhat subtle - especially at a distance. Whereas, the more I look at them, the more I am drawn to the images taken using the circular filter. There is so much to explore visually that I am continuously finding something else I like about them.