Last week I walked down the street. In front of me were two tourists making pictures with their mobile phones. While the man was facing the canal pointing his camera on the water and the houses at the background, the woman was turning her back on the picturesque side and was facing the not so significant wall of a tourist gift shop. She held her camera in a high angle and smiled.
First I wondered why she was taking a picture of a kitschy shop but a split second later I realized she was taking a picture of herself. The only thing that puzzled me was why she was holding the camera so high, making it impossible to capture the photogenic backdrop. Now the only thing surrounding her on her self-portrait would be the street stones…
Going through my archives I realised I had three kind of ‘self-portraits’. The first kind consists out of photo’s in which I artificially tried to capture myself and a friend in front of something interesting. In most of them you can see my arm bended in a weird angle, enabling me to take the picture. But I do not want to bother you with these narcissistic pictures so let’s forget about this category and go on with the next… The second kinds of portrait are those photos on which I had accidentally captured myself in a reflection of a window or as an elongated shadow in the corner of the frame. The third kind of self-portraits were those photos I had taken of my feet standing on some kind of memorable place like the concrete floor of the Eiffel Tower or the dusty ground of some festival that has a close to holy value to me.
So this challenge left me with either an accidental picture or with a picture of my feet accompanied by some street stones that have a meaning to me but to you would say nothing more than the street stones will on the self-portrait of the woman I encountered on the street. Fortunately I have one exception to the three kinds of self-portraits. It’s a picture that was taken intentionally but without an egocentric feeling to it (I guess). I was captured by the textures of the trees I saw gliding away underneath me. Quickly I pointed my camera and was able to capture myself as a part of these textures before the scenery had changed to never to return again.