A Portrait of Myself
New Zealand 2003
When people ask me, “what do you do?” or “what is your profession?”, I always answer “I’m a professional photographer”. The next question, which immediately follows is, “how long have you been a photographer?” or “did you always want to be a photographer?”. “Well, about 8 years and No”, I reply. I wish I could say I came into this world with nothing but my birthday suit and a camera but that wouldn’t be true. In fact, not at all. What I did know was that I always had a passion for the arts and I was constantly pursuing creative outlets. It wasn’t until college that I discovered the camera. It was like finding a way to communicate and connect with the world. For the first time I had found a tool to soothe this obnoxious tick to express myself. Photography has opened many, many doors for me and I’d like to share my first Self Portrait.
So, I’m thorwin back to 2003, my junior year in college. I was fortunate enough to travel to New Zealand for a mini-mester, study abroad. The class: Location Photography. Rock on, right?! Anyway, I had learned on a film camera. Yep! That’s right, film! I’ve had to scan all of my photos and negatives into digital files so that may reflect the quality of my images. Excuse me for that.
Here I am. Our first assignment was to hike to the top of this mountain, find a quiet area and take a self portrait. I set my camera on my trusty tripod and set the exposure and then the timer. 1, 2, 3, 4….Click.
I’ve selected a few more pictures to talk about.
While scanning through my photographs I tried to select some that showed a strong connection between us and our environment. “Us” meaning 20 camera happy art students roaming around the country side of New Zealand. For 5 weeks we were herded up and down mountains and if you know anything about New Zealand then you would know that it wouldn’t be long until you came across a happy congregation of sheep. We would stop and stare, take a picture and they would stare right back. Exciting! Well, it was at the time.
Not only were there sheep watching your every move but if you would come down from the hills and walk about a forest or everyday foliage you would soon come across the plant Koru. Koru is a budding silver fern symbolizing new life, growth, strength and peace. A very prominent symbol of New Zealand.
Southward we went! More hiking. More shooting.
We’re now amongst the many glaciers of NZ. I’ve often been asked if these bodies of water were really this color and yes, they were and are. I did use a polarizing filter on my lens to cut the glare (a piece of photography equipment that attaches to your lens and acts like sunglasses).
One more of my favorites.
For those Lord of the Rings Buffs I’ve included a few for you as well. Towards the end of our trip we courageously attempted a 12 hour hike through Middle Earth. We hiked past and through a few locations where the movies were filmed.
We did not hike up that particular mountain but we did trek up a comparable one. Once at the top we were presented with a huge clearing that stretched completely across to the other side which could temporarily be seen between passing clouds. If you look closely you can see a few classmates.
While crossing I snapped a shot of two of my friends. Don’t worry, there were markers along that way that we followed and we eventually made it across.
Before I end this post I wanted to add one more of my favorite landscapes.
I started with a self portrait so I wanted to end with one.
Thanks for viewing!