My Self-Portrait

Alison Robinson Self Portrait

For my self-portrait assignment, once I had stopped sulking about having to take photographs of myself, I took inspiration from David Hockney’s, cubist inspired, photograph of his mother.

I think I need more practice in the studio so that is where I wanted to take the self-portrait. I set four lights up, two to light up a white background and another two to light my face and shoulders. I didn’t want the photos to be restricted by a tripod so I left that behind and asked a friend to hand hold my camera that had my 18-200mm lens attached. I had already set it to 100ISO, F8 and 125sec.

I sat in position and directed my friend to take photographs of my whole head and shoulders and then individual features. She was kind enough to oblige and only take photos as I directed.

When we had finished I downloaded the photos into Lightroom, resisted the urge to edit out all of the features I don’t like and used the ‘Open as layers in Photoshop’ function. Then I turned off all of the layers in order to turn them back on again in turn, resizing, repositioning and re-ordering the layers as I wanted. This is my final image.

Alison Robinson Self Portrait
Self-Portrait Cubist Style


I also took inspiration from Indris Kahn and the typology work we have been doing and edited my self-portrait together in that style too.

Again I used the ‘Open as layers in Photoshop’ function but this time chose one image as my background and turned all the other layers off. I then turned on one layer, resized and lined it up before turning it off and turning on the next layer. I did this for all layers, doing my best to line each one up with the background image, particularly around one of the eyes.

When I was satisfied that all the layers were lined up as I wanted, I adjusted the opacity of each layer so that layers at the top of the pile were more opaque than those at the bottom.

This is my final image and my preferred self-portrait.

Alison Robinson Self Portrait
Self Portrait Layered Style


I have to say that I don’t think either of the images are particularly flattering but they do emphasise the idea that I am a complicated human being with many many sides to me. I think the second version suits me better as it is a lot softer and I am an old softy really.

As far as exploring my character, I think these illustrate how serious I am a lot of the time and how seriously I take photography. Although maybe I also struggle to smile and think about taking photos at the same time!

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