Through a Glass Darkly
I've decided that I like to take photographs. We have two excellent digital cameras in our house. I don't know much about using either of them, but I do know that I like taking pictures. I want to learn what terms like f-stop and aperture and shutter speed and pixels mean. I am going to go to the Nikon website sometime soon because, as fluent as I am in Spanish, flipping through a camera guide that is written in "the language of the angels" isn't helpful to me; I am NOT an angel. At least, not yet.
I've decided that I want to learn how to take good self-portraits. Because I have a lot to learn about how to handle the cameras, it follows that I have a lot to learn about composing photographs, especially those that I take of myself. I've taken a lot of really bad self-portraits, and I've taken a few good ones. I'm learning - slowly, but surely. Someday, I will take one that I love. Until then, I will take a lot of duds.
In any case, in the meantime, I keep trying. Here are three recent attempts at self-portraits.
I wonder: Which image is the most accurate depiction of the woman that I am?
The smiling one in the distorted, screened mirror?
The fuzzy, shaky one in the Sunset Beach hotel room?
Or the long-distance, barely visible one at Gibbs' house by the lake?
The one whose smile is perhaps a little too ready and eager?
The one trying to look like she knows what she's doing with the big fancy piece of machinery?
Or the one whose desire is to hide as far away from being known and seen as she can?
The one who pretends to be happy all the time?
The one who pretends to be in control?
Or the one who pretends that she doesn't matter to anyone?
Perhaps I am all of those women, at one moment or another.
Perhaps I truly am every woman...
This much I know for sure: right now, I see through a glass darkly.
Through a distorted mirror, a lens that bends the truth
in my favor, I hope.
I've decided that I want to capture my life, as it is,
with all of its distortions, twists, turns,
shadows, shakiness, and distant viewpoints.
I want to learn to take better photographs.
I want to learn to write better stories.
I want to learn to live better.