Week 1: Self-Portrait
Apr 27, 2020

The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. Boy oh boy, this is going to feel more like a thousand mile sprint, than a marathon.

But that’s ok for me, let it be a testament that good things follow those who are patient. To the turtle winning over the rabbit. Even if I’m the rabbit in this case. Makes no sense, but let’s go with it.

I’m going to do 52 weeks in 36 because I’m starting late and I want to finish at the same time the “normal” challenge will. This one first week might be the hardest yet, not because it’s the only one, not because it’s the first one, but because it’s a self portrait.

There were several points in my life so far where I’ve been more in front of the camera, than behind. And most of those moments are when I get a new camera. I took probably several thousand selfies before the word was invented, and I didn’t get excited when the name finally appeared.

Experimenting with cameras was always a fascination to me. Initially I explore it trough myself and then I measure it up to the world. That’s usually how it goes. Sometimes it lives to see the daylight.

So my selfie fascination started in the 2000’s at a time when mobile phones had potato cameras. Back in the 90’s I was so much more into movies and videos than still photography. MTV, skate, snowboard videos and music videos were my faves! Damn, what simpler times…

Notice the lack of images in this post? I know it’s sad… blame hard disks, devices and me for not saving the early days and the work from my potato cameras. I would love to have shared some of those older ones.

But there’s something else to this lack of images, it’s lack of memory, see this is something I’m exploring with photography. Creating visual memories, beacause my brain seems to have a hard time doing that. It’s got a name and everything, but that’s not important now.

What’s important is the 52-week photography challenge that I saw on TikTok. I saw this guy called Jose, he’s from Hawaii. No Way Jose Photography, go check out his work and get inspired to go and do a challenge also, or just get inspired by aesthetically pleasing photography.

It was at a pretty bad time that I discovered that trough photography I can go further in my self-expression than I thought possible. Take Instagram for example, the game of Instagram pretty much narrowed my self-expressions. The changes in algorithms punished and rewarded something I didn’t connect with photography.

But then in chaos I found order and in confining my creative ability, it expanded.

Then going trough the entiremotion of the ocean on the platform.

So as a end result my feed started to look like this:

Instagram Feed full of sunsets, bright red colors - Ivan Boban @eevan.b

And I like it, don’t get me wrong, I put effort in it, but when I try to project it forward to the future I just don’t want to keep seeing it like that. I’ve got an abundance of red photos from the grid scheme I went with, the RGB part fell apart because I stopped shooting new photos. Go figure.

Instagram Feed full of photos in a Red Green Blue scheme - seascapes, sunsets, landscapes. Bright colorful photos - Ivan Boban @eevan.b

So all of this makes it that much more difficult to post a self-portrait. But then again, that makes it worthwile. It’s something new again to feel challenged.

I have 2 ideas that I want to go with, the first one is putting up a collage of already existing portraits, but that isn’t in tune with the challenge. It needs to be a new image. The other one is a double exposure photo. A fresh portrait taken at home, or hey even outside now that the situation with the virus is better. And to expose against the portrait I thought of a landscape and I have the perfect image in mind. I hope I can pull it off.

And hope is what will define what I’ll do. The process of finding in within ourselves. My inspiration comes from the elements. From the duality of fire and water.

So I took some portraits at home which I haven’t done in quite a while. It was a fun process. Interesting. Playing with a new light.

The element of the image is fire, a burning spirit, a phoenix. Since always I was fascinated by mythological creatures, and the phoenix was one in particular. Living and dying at the same time.

The element of the image is water, a calm spirit, an octopus. Since I was a child catching octopus scared me. Facing my fears gave me a water-like presence of feeling more connected to the world around me.

Find each of these elements within you and see what they represent. It’s a challenge to balance these elements of duality in ourselves, . And since I felt challenged by all of those trough photography, they give me hope in this new world in 2020. That the challenges we face are the ultimate test of faith and humanity. And that we will prevail. Living and staying connected.

Welcome to a new world of hope and fear.

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