On January 14th 2011, a pretty astonishing five years ago, I sat down and started Creative Splurges with a simple post. I had no idea back then how long it’d last, but I certainly didn’t expect to be sitting here posting a fifth anniversary celebration.
Ultimately there is little to say to mark this occasion that I’ve not already said over the last five years of site birthday posts; it’s still the same usual stuff about thanking you for your readership, some sort of vague comments about improving as a photographer, and waffling on about how I had no idea what I was actually hoping to achieve when I started this site. All perfectly true and just as valid as always, of course, but that doesn’t really change the fact it’s all been said before.
My tradition on this day is to post a self-portrait in my bathroom mirror. It started with that first post in 2011, a random self-portrait (before ‘selfies’ were in vogue) that opened this website as little more than a ‘I’m here, just let me figure this out’. The second was a slightly updated version, with a DSLR rather than an iPhone. The third was a bit of an afterthought, admittedly, and not even taken in a mirror. By the fourth (on the third anniversary, just to complicate things) it was clearly a tradition, and I started attempting to apply the logic that it would be representative of my progression as a photographer. Last year I expanded on that concept, choosing to shoot with a fast lens and being more deliberate with my composition as a representation of what I’d achieved in that year.
Some time ago I started thinking that my fifth anniversary should be marked by something a little more significant. More recently I realised I have no idea what that might be. I wasn’t even sure how to mark the anniversary at all, as arguably all I’ve learnt in the last year has really been stuff I can only apply when pointing the camera at someone else. Today, however, I figured out how to get creative with lighting within the confines of a mirror selfie – unwittingly solving a problem I posed myself two years ago – and the result is the image at top right, which although it doesn’t look much like it is a self-portrait in the exact same mirror that all but one of the previous images have been taken in.
To get the shot, I simply put an external flash in front of the mirror, pointing upwards with a cap on it. This created the mostly-central, slightly-uplit effect in the finished shot.
As last year, I took a few different shots to play about and get the result, including one very much in last year’s vein. The decent ones are all down below.
Otherwise, all that’s left for me to do is once again thank you for reading this site.
In that last shot, I used a tonal contrast filter to bring out the detail. It’s unfortunately brought out all of the lines on my face making me look pretty tired and a bit old. Either that or that’s how I really look. Either way, it stays in.