Finding Focus

By: Gustav Hoiland

Feb 06 2013

Category: self portrait

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Focal Length:100mm
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:Canon EOS 5D Mark III
One at a Time

More experimentation in the studio studio. This look is brought to you by the delicate act of remotely focusing a camera while trying to center one’s head in the unseen frame. Basically you’re looking through some clear into some black, stooping slightly (low ceilings being unbudging to an umbrella’s will), and listening for the soft travel of lens mechanisms.

Here’s the sequence: read some DFW after work about David Lynch in which the grotesque look of one’s eyes looking different directions was mentioned, remembered how I’m somehow hyper aware of this phenomenon in photos (and how others I’ve mentioned it to don’t seem to get it, or get weirded out by it), remembering an acquaintance’s photo (click here) that deftly shows it, then deciding to see if I could do it myself.

Which I did. Pretty well at least. Not in the above photo of course. I think it has something to do with looking straight forward not into the camera but instead beyond it. Of literally looking past the apparatus and its operator at some faraway infinity. Also experimented with looking ever so slightly to one side of the lens, such that from a distance it would look straight on, but upon closer inspection would be a bit discomfitting. More tests needed.

Jeez, ramblefest today eh?

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