On the fictional;
We change who we are for different people, and as the separative self emerges, the chasm between who we truly are and our societal self becomes a river. Every drop of water has the kinetic energy to change our lives. Or this is our desire to please everyone. It stretches the self thin and shallow, but wide enough to cover those who don't care whether they are warmed by our blankets or not. When will the edges begin to fray?
On the reality; #1
People hide emotions. You never know what demon is haunting a stranger you brush shoulders with. One escaped word is a drop of water to change a life, either to create a chasm or fill a hole.
On the reality; #2
Years pile upon one another in a disorganized mess, but it is in cleaning up that we see each little drop of water shaped us. What could have been different? How might have life been life if? No matter. We control the effects of the water. Baptize us and make us better people.
Today is my twentieth birthday. I have taken photos for my birthday for the past several years, and it's a simple way to see not just how much I've grown physically, but photographically, technically, and so on and so forth.
On turning seventeen, I was in the height of exploring myself. I cut all my hair off, listened to weird music, and took even weirder photos. I was struggling to know myself, experimenting with art, and learning about everything I could.
On turning eighteen, I didn't know what I was doing, didn't know the direction I was going to go, and was scared of the future. I was dreaming of new opportunities and new adventures.
On turning nineteen, I was on the verge of those dreams, excited and confident in who I was, feeling like I had finally found my place in the world. I was seeking and growing and stretching myself like I never had before.
And on turning twenty? I find myself in a place of contentment, but also a place at the base of a mountain, gearing up to trek to the top. Twenty is a strange concept to me. Now I am no longer a teenager, and when I was younger, this was the moment I was supposed to have my life together. But I am still just as fragmented as ever, only now I realize it's okay. I don't even have to spend my life trying to put those pieces together, because maybe instead I'm meant to give them away.
But now we are going to switch gears a little bit, because an unspoken resolution for this year was for me to show you guys more behind-the-scenes and tutorial type things for every one of my personal photos.
These two photos are straight out of the camera, aside from a little bit of RAW processing. Though it appears like I shot in a fancy studio with fancy lighting, I actually shot this simply in a dark room with my laptop as the only light source. My laptop is fairly lightweight, so it's easy to move around and hold up for a photo. Alternatively you could use a cell phone light. It's a simple solution to the never ending problem of adequate lighting.
Other than that, I blended together the faces in photoshop, added the drops using a combination of the smudge tool, the paintbrush, and lots of curve adjustments. Then it was just a matter of adding the perfect amount of contrast to make the message come through.
Mouseover to see the before and after: