A Sorta Selfie
The Hard Way


A Selfie!

A selfie…I usually don’t like ’em.  I kind of can’t wait for this fad to fade away into cultural obscurity.  But…I needed a photo of myself to help publicize an upcoming event at Spertus.Of all the thousands of photos I have, there are virtually none of me.  No kidding!  I guess that’s because I’m usually behind the camera.

Anyways, Carol Neiger is one of the very talented artists I have met through my participation in the Midwest Jewish Artists Lab at Spertus and our continuing exhibit there, “Voices of Wisdom.”  (Be sure to click on the highlighted links in this blog for more information!!)   Carol asked for a photo of me to help make a flyer for an upcoming special event at Spertus on 12/18/16 (see below).

So, I started rolling some ideas around in my head.  I knew it had to be of me (duh!) and I thought it would be nice to include a camera.  But, I thought it would be more interesting if it wasn’t just a static image of me holding a camera.  So, I decided to use a multiple flash technique…something I had never tried before.  Turns out I got a “choice” of duration of the flash, number of flashes, and power or intensity.  I learned that one needs longer than normal shutter speeds to accommodate the firing of the flashes, too.  So, I fiddled around and determined I wanted 5 flash bursts and that meant I should probably use a one second exposure.  However, a one second exposure meant that the scene would be very overexposed, even with the flash’s power turned down.  So, I had to put a neutral density filter on the lens to cut down on the light.  I put on a medium toned sweater so it wouldn’t blend in or stand out of the background.  I closed all the blinds in the room, positioned the camera 5 feet away, put a diffuser on the flash to spread and soften the light, and had a wall (in shadow) about 8-10 feet behind me.  Then came the difficult parts!  I had to practice how fast and quickly to move the camera to get the desired effect and I had to stand as still as possible (because, remember, it was a one second exposure!).  And the most time consuming part was focusing the 85mm lens which has a narrow depth of field.  I marked where to stand and turned on the self timer and kept running around from the camera to the spot,  re-shooting and refocusing.

Not quite a regular selfie!  The good news is that I had very little editing to do to the photo.  Virtually none!  No trickery or manipulation.


Flyer for Event at Spertus on 12/18

And, voilà!  Here (above) is one of the two final flyers that’s being used to publicize my participation with the rest of the group in the Open Studio event.  It includes a photo from the Holocaust Museum.  Nice Job, Carol!  Thanks.

By the way, please come on 12/18 if you can.  Or just drop in some other day to see the exhibit before the end of March.  Thanks much to those who have already attended!

Here’s the info on the 12/18 special event featuring many of the outstanding artists in the exhibit:

Come join me on December 18!  Advance tickets highly recommended.
$10 | $8 for Spertus members | $5 for students and alumni
Get tickets: http://www.spertus.edu/programs-events/open-studio
or call 312.322.1773

Thanks for stopping by!
Stephen M. Levin

Facebook – @stephenmlevinphotography

Twitter – @stephen_levin
Instagram – sml_photo 


SML Photography