Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Mirror, Mirror On The Wall...

For generations photographers have been starring through their viewfinders and trying to come-up with different subjects to capture. Photo images may come in many different sizes, shapes and colors. There are no limits or restrictions in the showcasing of an expression. The truth of the matter is, in photography itself, you can throw the rule book out the window and simply snap anything that catches the eye. Sometimes back, I became interested in photography and it's artistic possibilities. Shortly afterwards I began experimenting by taking a wide range of pictures while hoping to create something innovative. Then one day I took a photo in the mirror. That picture came out rather unusual while the circumstances surrounding the photo intrigued me. At first, the idea appeared to be an exercise in narcissism and looked kinda goofy. But believe it or not, taking a picture of yourself is a lot more common than one might think. As a matter of fact, many camera people take their own pictures and use them as their identification photos. Often you see these photos used as personal and professional profile pictures. Looking back in history, for centuries there have been famous artists who have painted their own self-portraits so why not apply this same practice to photographers. Granted it's not for everybody but the experience of taking your own picture is a rewarding expression while effortlessly taking a photo of it's originator at the same time. Heck, that's what they invented mirrors for in the first place, to reverse an image. So, before you draw conclusions, consider as you take a picture in the mirror that reflects your own image with a background, as now you have a supporting story to share with others. Of course let us make ourselves perfectly clear, we're not talking about those mirrored photos of the two Congressmen who recently posted their revealing photos on Facebook or Twitter. Nope. That's not what we're talking about.

With all things considered, my interest in this undefined self-captured art began at a early stage and sent me on a long journey of exploration. Nowadays, in the 21st Century, people do it all the time and think nothing unusual of taking photos of themselves with their cell phones and passing them around for viewing. As a matter of fact, it has become quite fashionable to communicate within a network of friends with self-captured photos. No doubt I'm not the first one to showcase this phenomenon, and I'm sure that I probably won't be the last. Yet, the uniqueness of this story addresses the fact that I've photographed this topic while taking the pictures over a 40 year time span. Certainly not an impulse decision in capturing an idea. So, in no particular order, here's my photo journal of reflections titled, "Mirror, Mirror On The Wall..."

Hollywood Harley. Across the street from The Chinese Theatre is an upscale shop that hosts a gallery of souvenirs and collectible relics. While walking through the isles I came across a poster of Clark Gable sitting on his Harley Davidson motorcycle with a mirror positioned beside the image. Picture taken in Hollywood in 2010.

Who wears short-shorts? In New Orleans in 1972 while visiting a pad in The French Quarter, I snapped this reflection of the trendy household fashions of the day. Notice the two melted candles in the forefront and mounted on chrome candlestick holders that were a wedding gift left-over from their second marriage. How about that cheap synthetic leather couch behind me, the type that sticks to your skin when you get up. Displayed on the wall is the quintessential abstract oil painting. In the upper left hand corner notice the stack of 8-track tapes which were discontinued back in the 1960's. While looking around the living room I was beginning to wonder, "What the heck am I doing here? Would somebody please call me a taxi."

Big Brother Is Watching. In Toronto in 1976 while attending a Billboard Convention, record rep Andy Philpot and myself stare into a mirrored globe that offers a reflection of the hotel room and high-rise office buildings.

Grandma's Curtains. In Jackson MS in 1980 I shot this photo of my brand new Summer hat purchased earlier in the day. The background is highlighted with Grandma's handmade curtains. One week prior, I broke my little finger playing softball while in this picture I'm wearing a splint on my pinkie.

Peace Sign. In Japan in 2007 I snapped this shot while displaying the peace sign in the reflection. Many of the streets in Japan offer tight spacing around street corners. Safety mirrors are conveniently placed to assist in a vehicle's maneuvering in these visually impaired situations.

Cruise Mirror. Photo taken on a cruise ship in 1974 en route to The Bahamas. The reflection in a glass door seemed like a good opportunity to snap a picture. Perhaps it's me but I just don't enjoy the idea of taking a cruise ship to anywhere. However, I do enjoy boating on smaller vessels but a ship this large and out to sea for several days just doesn't seem to excite me. Bah Humbug!

Coral Gables Mirror. Talk about a living room from the Love Generation, here's my pad from the 70's displaying (on the far left) a framed picture taken from The Rolling Stones album, "Exile On Main Street." In the center is a mirror reflection of a dolphin that was caught on Jerry Wexler's boat. On the far right is a framed emblem taken from a Woodstock movie poster. Of course the guy in the middle is yours truly who apparently was proud to display all this crap. Picture taken in Coral Gables, Florida in 1974.

VW Hubcap. Have you ever had a picture taken in the reflection of a Volkswagen Hubcap? Well, there's a first for everything. While sunbathing on the lawn, the results of this picture produced a surreal image. Photo taken at my residence on Raleigh-LaGrange Rd. Memphis, TN 1971.

Nesbitt Mirror. This is the photograph stated earlier that started this entire conquest. As you have it, located just inside the doorway at a weekend getaway called "Nesbitt" are the remains of a broken wall mirror sitting on the floor that greeted you upon entry. While standing there in my bathing suit I couldn't resist the opportunity to photograph this skinny 100 pound geek who was experimenting with his first camera. Photo taken in Nesbitt, MS in 1967.

s conclusion; In all of the individual photos, please note that it was never important for my face to be exposed in the picture. You see, the mission was not about me, but instead centered on the art of self-captured reflection. Consider this posting as a photo journal of sort while creating curiosity and lending interpretation. Staying true to my artistic objective for a 40 year time frame is certainly worthy of this showcasing. We hope you agree.

Copyrighted (c) story and photographs with exception to clip art and stock photo - Rauls Media LLC 2011 - All right reserved.