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365 Days of Self-Portraits
Posted By: K McCall, 06-30-2009, 07:27 AM

(I'm putting this in the "Everything Else" category because this seems to span a few categories)

Some background: I got my first DSLR, a K100D, in April 2007. With no kids and no pets and precious few opportunities to shoot other people during daylight hours (I had one of those jobs where I rarely saw the sun), I jumped at the chance to start a project where the subject would always be available: a self-portrait every day for a year. There's a group on Flickr where thousands of others have done the same thing. I finished the first year with mixed results. On July 1st, 2008, with lots of changes looming my life, I decided to do another year of self-portraits. I just finished the second year today.

During the course of the year, I wrecked my beloved 1985 Volvo, I had my first solo photo show, I moved to Germany from Florida to be with my boyfriend, and oh yeah, I turned 30!

I tried to use the project to improve my framing and composition and foresight to such an extent that I would never have to crop (unless that was the plan - sometimes I like the 16:9 or square look). I got much more comfortable with doing all my post-processing in Lightroom. I tried to learn how to best use my newest lenses, the FA 77/1.8 and the DA 35 Ltd. And I tried to figure out when a landscape was improved by the addition of a figure and when the figure detracted from the setting.

Some days the last thing I wanted to do was take a self-portrait. For instance, I had all my wisdom teeth removed during the year after four weeks of excruciating pain (my appointments kept getting postponed by tropical storms and hurricanes). For a week afterward, I had to come up with creative ways to not show my swollen face. Then there were all the days where I had colds and headaches and was in a bad mood...sometimes, ironically, those were the ones I liked the most in hindsight.

Here are a few shots that I'm really proud of from the project. Each one posted below was taken with a different Pentax lens. If you want to see the entire set, it's found here (the 365th will be posted tonight!): 365 More - a set on Flickr

"Our Self-Contained, Little Worlds"

K200D, DA* 50-135mm @ 75mm, f/8, taken in light rain

"Floor Exercise"

K200D, DA 21mm, f/3.2

"For All the World's Tomorrows"

K200D, DA* 16-50mm @ 16mm, f/2.8

"Treading Water, Out of Sight of All Land"

K200D, FA 43mm, f/4

"At the End of the World"

K200D, DA 10-17mm Fisheye @ 10mm, f/6.3

"Today It Rained Bokeh"

K200D, FA 77mm, f/2.8


K200D, FA 31mm, f/2.8

"Such Great Heights"

K200D, D-FA 100mm, f/5

"Into Each Life, Some Rain Must Fall"

K200D, DA 35 Ltd, f/2.8


K200D, DA 12-24 @ 12mm, f/4

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06-30-2009, 04:36 PM   #16
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Wonderful - the last one is remarkable.


06-30-2009, 04:40 PM   #17
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those are utterly superb, Keitha!

I am totally inspired by your work,
its hard to pick a favorite, but the one with the face painting is soooo cool.
thank you for sharing =)
06-30-2009, 04:52 PM   #18
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Amazingly Good

Great photography, great talents and great creatvity

You really shine
06-30-2009, 07:40 PM   #19
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Keitha, some amazing stuff. I know how difficult it can be to do a photo a day project, even when there are no limits on what I can shoot. Doing so when you can only do self portraits must be much more difficult. I have said it before, and will no doubt say it again, but you have such a good eye, both when you are behind the camera, as well as when you are processing your photos. Congratulations.

06-30-2009, 07:53 PM   #20
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Simply brilliant. I was humbled beyond comment by your work when I pulled up this thread this morning and I'm not doing much better now. Thank you for joining our community and my your genius never leave your side.
06-30-2009, 07:54 PM   #21
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Inspirational and excellent.
Good mastery of post processing.
06-30-2009, 08:09 PM   #22
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Gorgeous photos and I love that you managed to keep it fresh photo to photo changing up the style. You're an inspiration for all of us
06-30-2009, 09:10 PM   #23
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I'm amazed at your unending knack for finding self compositions.

06-30-2009, 09:16 PM   #24
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Wonderful photos and truly inspiritational, kudos to you.
07-01-2009, 04:01 PM   #25
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07-01-2009, 04:30 PM   #26
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I finally had a chance to go through the whole set. #36,72,92 and 129 are my favorite. YTou have talent girl! JIM
07-01-2009, 04:41 PM   #27
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I think Darren said it best. What really makes your images such as these shine is your PP'ing - I doubt I've ever seen it overdone. That sets yours apart from many I have seen.

Well done Keitha!!

07-05-2009, 07:18 PM   #28
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Keitha, you are a true artist.
Your images demonstrate exceptional vision, taste and execution.

Love your self-portrait #229.
07-05-2009, 07:47 PM   #29
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...Really amazing!.
07-05-2009, 08:33 PM   #30
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WoW! Beauty, brains, personality and talent. Woman you have got it all! Superbly done! That last one evokes philosophical thought in me.

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