Wow, it’s Friday already?! Weeks always feel extra short whenever my husband has a long weekend, like he did for the MLK Day holiday. However short the past week felt, it is Friday again, which means time for a photo! Today I’m sharing a behind the scenes look at the self portrait I’m calling “Constrained.”
At first glance it might look a little weird and creepy! I’m going to explain in a moment, but first let me drop off a video link. I created a really quick behind the scenes video for you – it’s about half as long as last week’s – and at the end I show the various shots that went into the final image.
Before I start explaining things, can you take a moment to think about the image and what it means to you? I’m always interested to hear what folks say before they hear my explanation.
Like many of my self portraits, the image is composited. It’s tricky to get everything exactly right all at once when you don’t even know precisely what the camera is seeing! I liked the face and expression in one shot, but noticed the rope ends looked limp and awkward. The ropes were just hanging down, and I realized part way through shooting that needed to change. I stood on the ends of the rope to add tension and believability. When you’re compositing, paying attention to the little details is key to creating a believable final image.
Okay, so what on Earth does this sort of weird-looking photo mean?!
As regular readers know, one of my major themes is that we are, metaphorically speaking, constrained by bonds of our own making. I’ve depicted this in a variety of ways using keys and chains before, so this week I decided to explore the same theme with rope and a pair of scissors. I’m (metaphorically, not actually – no Natashas were harmed in the making of this photo!) choking myself with a rope that is in my own hands. Not only could I simply drop the rope, but I am also in possession of a pair of scissors. The image may seem creepy or dark, but the ultimate message, to me, is one of hope. Everything you need is already within you – become aware of this fact and you become free.
Alright, so what’s up with the moons?
As you probably already know, the moon is frequently associated with the feminine; i
t can also signify inner knowledge. In the image, the moon goes from crescent to full, symbolizing, to me, the light of inner awareness as it grows and develops. So, ultimately, we’re all hoping to reach a more full state of awareness, drop those ropes, and then head purposefully out of the frame to go help others on their journey.
That’s a bit more detail than I typically like to give with images, but I thought it deserved some explanation!
Now, did you take a moment to think about the image before reading my interpretation? If you did, I’d love to know how you interpreted the image! Or if there’s anything else interesting you see in it. 😉