Not Seeing the Forest for the Trees

Around the Learning Curve and Down the Rabbit Hole

Self portrati 2d

Self Portraiture as Medicine: Day 2

Yesterday, Catherine Just asked us to think of a relationship we're currently in, whether it's with ourselves or someone else, and then to explore it using mind mapping and journaling. We dove into thesauruses and dictionaries, identifying some key emotions. The assignment? Create a self portrait that illustrates the relationship and emotions involved.

For the past few weeks, I've done a great deal of thinking and writing about family and self, the expectations involved, the roles played, and the falling apart of family. So, mind mapping? Check! Journaling? Check!

Create the self portrait? Not so easy to make that check mark, and here's where I began to navigate a series of learning curves that would defy an experienced race car driver, and with each learning curve, I tumbled down the rabbit hole with Alice, a  disorienting, chaotic, and confusing trip for sure, uttering words not fit for polite company, and experimenting with permutations and combinations of photos and apps.

There's a whole lot going on in this self portrait - tunnels, eggshells, and me. I bounced among 3, 4, or more apps, and today's assignment brings more to come, only this time involving the mysteries of self timers, release cables, and more on my Canon DSLR.

Navigating family relationships involves walking on eggshells, and I have a completely different thought about how to portray my feelings here. It's much simpler in appearance, but I would have needed actual eggshells and have had to clean up one hell of a mess. I also need to learn all that business mentioned above with the Canon. So, for now, I'll tuck that idea away, start saving egg shells, and learn what I need to learn.

Right now, for different reasons, I feel like I'm moving through a tunnel at full speed but with lights bouncing in my eyes. I'm trying to stay in my own lane, as directed, but obviously not completely successfully. Yet, I see the green light, and green means go, baby, go. The more this family situation hangs over me, and it's all hung over me for years now, a decade even, it's time to move on it. Past time.

So, again, am I completely happy with the portrait? No, but simply because I still have that other idea in mind, and it needs to be explored. But, you know what? I do like it. It's completely different than what's in my head, but I like it. It tells my story, so, yes, I can make that check mark. Again, I'm not there yet, but I'm farther along than yesterday.

Just for grins and giggles, here are the photos that came together:


Self portrait 2a

plus this:

Self portrait 2b

equaled this:

Self portrait 2c

This is where most of the swearing occurred, learning to do some masking and erasing so that I didn't have a face full of egg shells! You can still see some rough edges here; they got cleaned up later. I did all of this using my iphone; I took the photos using my phone, and worked with various apps, the one here being Image Blender.

I then added this shot, from a recent trip through the Chesapeake Tunnel portion of the Bay/Bridge Tunnel:

Self portrait 2e

As I went back and forth, I kept fine tuning with Snapseed, Phototoaster, and Mextures. I still have an incredible amount to learn; these apps are such powerful little tools.

And, ta da, as my grands would say, I had a finished project.

Now, it's on to today's assignment, where I need to create a "virtual" world; I get to play dress up!

Oh, yeah, got some reading, studying, etc. to do. Time to go down another rabbit hole...



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