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Hand on my heart
Hand on my heart

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Self-Portrait Revisited (Classic Editing)
Camera: Minolta DiMAGE 7i
Location: In my bathroom
Date: Jun 13, 2003
Aperture: 3.5
ISO: 200
Shutter: 1/60
Galleries: Portraiture, Nude
Date Uploaded: Jun 16, 2003


I started off taking some straight portraits in our back garden in the early evening light. I post-processed them and they came out alright but weren't particularly interesting - just reasonably nicely done snapshots of me.

Last time we had a self portrait challenge I thought about entering a similar (boob) picture but chickened out. I almost chickened out again but decided to take a few shots. That was a nigtmare let me tell you no decent lighting but I felt too timid/ weird to shoot outside or to open curtains for a more natural light source and I also found it hard to hold the camera at the right angle, aiming blindly in the hope of capturing what I wanted in the frame. I should have been less lazy and set up the tripod. I played around with the results and just wasn't sure.

So I entered a straight portrait.

Then I changed my mind. I decided at the last minute to play around some more with cropping, colour and contrast and to go for it!

So, about this image then... I intended from the start for this to be in black and white - I decided to colourize later to reflect my skin tones. I like the grain which was not intentional but I think looks right for the style. I'll be interested in whether other people like these choices or not.

Although the challenge description does mention 'faces' I decided not to take that too literally. I do appreciate that voters may disagree, and that some may also be put off by the nudity.

My aim was a more intimate and very personal portrait. Not a titillating nude (excuse pun) but a true image of me. My naked self.

I predict a pretty low ranking but am hoping for some interesting feedback.

Place: 155 out of 222
Avg (all users): 4.9555
Avg (commenters): 6.3939
Avg (participants): 4.9353
Avg (non-participants): 4.9739
Views since voting: 7296
Votes: 292
Comments: 40
Favorites: 5 (view)

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10/05/2004 03:02:27 AM
hi. i read the other comments before writing mine.

first, your have nice breasts and beautiful hands. i felt it was a sexy photo that was well done. it's your art and your feelings about doing this photo.

i appreciated it and glad i was able to see it.
nice job.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/12/2004 11:07:35 AM
Was chatting to someone about this image today and their comment below about it not being my heart. This was my response, which I thought might be nice to also add here.

It IS the wrong side to be my heart... but it was a figurative title for me so I decided to go with it. "Hand on my heart" is often said to convey truthfulness about the statement it accompanies and that's what I was going for.
03/07/2004 11:25:01 AM
Interesting use of grain.. Not sure if this was intentional or not, but it definitely adds something to the shot, particularly with the choice of sepia. I like the soft focus, it suits the shot well. Like some of your other shots there's good contrast and brightness. I'm not sure about the composition. I think a longer necklace may have added interest. All in all, good shot, and extra kudos for bravery!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/07/2003 11:59:56 AM
Thanks Anna for your critique. Won't be entering the nude challenge as I'm not yet ready to become a paying member of DPC, but I hope similar challenge themes may be set again in the future.

The grain was not deliberate - I think it was because light may have been too low but I'm not experienced with the camera so I don't know.

I see what you mean about the strong light at the lower right area.

Thanks again.
07/07/2003 11:38:11 AM
Fantastic photo, shows a lot of bravery on your part. I don't often look at photos here and think about how brave the person had to be to do that but in this case I think it shows outstanding courage on your part.

Looking at your score I can't understand why so low, the lighting is a little off but honestly it isn't all that bad, considering everything, such as the handheld camera...lol and I know with a DiMage that isn't all that easy to do with one hand, I do it all the time. I only see a small overexposed area along your side, and the shadow created by your arm appears a little grainy.

Your focus is very good and the angle you did this at works very well, makes it more than just a "boob shot." It really does say something about you, it says you are willing to be more than just a photographer you are willing to put yourself out there and do things that most only are willing to ask others to do.

This really does meet the challenge as you are showing a part of your soul for the artistic interuption of the challenge. I think you did a beautiful job and you should have scored higher. Now I am waiting to see what you do for the nude challenge =o)

  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
06/24/2003 05:09:31 PM
Thank you for having the courage to submit this image. I know it's not an easy thing to do when you are not a size 8. I love the lighting and the graininess of the shot. The perspective and curves of your body are gorgeous. Well done to you :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/24/2003 02:35:13 AM
Self-portraits are difficult to compose. Tension of image angle and attempted modisty encourage the viewer to look closer.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/23/2003 11:00:18 PM
I like the softness. It looks like it's a little grainy though.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/21/2003 08:06:47 PM
You are a brave soul to share this with us... or is it easier to show parts than expose your Self through your eyes, your facial expression? I fear too many may see this as 'nekkid,' though l hope we're not all that puerile.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/21/2003 01:25:45 PM
Lighting is really nice here. I'm not sure what this says about you, but I do find the photo well composed and with many effective elements.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/21/2003 12:57:54 PM
One of the more daring shots in the challenge - a great feat. I know this skintone well, as I call a very similar place "home" or "pillow" often. :) I like the inclusion of the wedding band and I think this is an exceptionally well taken self portrait.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/21/2003 12:13:24 AM
very nice, very brave
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/20/2003 05:04:52 PM
Oooo. Nice breast! Seriously, I really like the toning and graininess in this shot, it has a *real* feel to it, and I think that's what you were aiming for. Good job!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/20/2003 01:38:34 PM
I do like the body form as art. I DO see this as art, I like the soft color. The jewelry does help to balance the shot, but the cross is almost too soft for me.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/20/2003 09:01:25 AM
That's not your heart...

Good pic tho. ;)

  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/20/2003 08:38:54 AM
10 - floyd
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/19/2003 11:54:39 PM
Wow, either you have tiny hands, or very large... The shot is really grainy and greenish tint to it. Did you use Levels to fix the color?
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/19/2003 08:59:03 PM
I really like this photo, the texture and grain add a lot to the quality-10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/19/2003 06:22:16 PM
Nice nipple you got there misses;)
06/19/2003 03:52:27 PM
I'm not a big fan of nudes on dpc in general, but the graininess really sets a mood, and I like that the dark and light tones throughout aren't pushed too far. Gives it an impressionistic feel.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/19/2003 01:01:00 PM
Lovely photo, is that a nipple I see peeking through there?! *gasp horror* .. I also love the inclusion of the ankh in the top of the photograph, I think that adds a lot, mainly because of the meaning of the symbol in ancient egypt. it's nice to see a REAL person shot. beautiful!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/19/2003 11:06:36 AM
I've looked at this image since last night and saved/put-off voting for it until last. Why? I wanted to compare this against the other interpretations of 'self', the result is, to me, it stands head and shoulders above the rest. It's not the most technically accomplished submission, and it's not the 'little boy' factor of naked skin, so why do I like it?

Answer is I don't know why, or at least I can't vocalise why. You obviously have a lot more confidence with your body than I do with mine and I'm sure you will have received negative feedback because of this. I think this photo simply says to me 'this is me - take it or leave it'.

Could it be improved? Only in so far as I find the neacklace has been cut off too soon, but then that would unbalance the image.

I wish I could find it easier to type what I feel but I fear that I may come across as crass or have a comment taken out of context (I manage to do that with my wife all the time & she knows me better than anyone).

If you had any doubts about posting this image due to the fear of feedback I'm glad you did, and I look forward to seeing where it's placed and others comments.

I'm not in the habit of giving 10 (i.e. I never have as if you rate something as perfect how can you ever better it) so I hope you're happy with a 9.

All the best.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/19/2003 09:24:15 AM
I can't help saying this, but I bet your friends all say you have a big "heart". :)

Decent lighting and framing and a slightly grainy texture adds curious interest to the image. Like a large number of the portraits in this challenge, I think psychologists would have a field day analyzing this one.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/19/2003 07:16:18 AM
I like your necklace (sorry, not much to say about the photo itself, nothing outstanding, nothing wrong - a good pic)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/19/2003 03:37:22 AM
woow! bravo! your brave! good luck
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/19/2003 02:36:54 AM
This picture has stayed with me since I first viewed it yesterday... achingly real. You took a big risk and I commend you. I find the necklace to be distracting though.Good stuff.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/19/2003 12:38:44 AM
That's not your heart! Are you Annida? I recognise the pendant
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/18/2003 11:27:16 PM
that's not your heart sweetie! It's an interesting picture though. I don't know if you meant for it to be erotic, but it definitely comes off that way. Actually, I don't think you did since the title has the word "heart" in it and in the photo your wearing a wedding band! Love the tone.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/18/2003 09:23:33 PM
Nice portrait! Like the lighting, tone, and the grainy look. Not sure if I like the jewelry being in the photo or not; somewhat of a distraction IMHO. I also wonder if another angle would work better. Still, a very good shot. 7
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/18/2003 07:52:23 PM
Wondeful lighting, bang on! I promise I won't say anything a typical man would say about the structure of the photo okay, ummm excellent portrait. Shiver, ummm well what can I say? Nice composition, and the ring is very fitting, yes I love the ring - Gary.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/18/2003 06:59:53 PM
that's not your heart. lol The focus on this shot is really soft. I think I was looking forward to more of a face shot, but this still counts as you. I think the lighting towards the lower right is a bit harsh, and also on your finger tips. I think that the jewelry is a bit distracting from the overall shot.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/18/2003 06:39:49 PM
I think a portrait should reveal some character, or emotion of the model, by showing expression in eyes or other facial features. Did your picture accomplish that? Not really. It merely shows some body part, which isn't the same as a portrait in my mind.

artistic/creativity? minimal

Technical? ok other than the digital noise, which I have a problem with too.

Overall? Composition is pretty good but doesn't meet the challenge.
06/18/2003 06:11:05 PM
All sensual, tastefully done.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/18/2003 05:34:01 PM
teeny bit grainy, but I like the tones. Skin is beautiful, as are bodies, male or female, and yours is a beautiful body with lovely tones. I like how you let your wee nipple poke out. This is exactly what all of us FEEL like when we take a picture of ourselves, like we are naked and waiting for the world to judge us based on the outside. I got a body a lot like yours...cocoa and ample, and most days, I'm pretty happy with it. Thank you for posting this and being brave. Now..for the lighting..its a little strange, where part of you is blown out and other part of you is very shadowed, but its dramatic. Not sure I would have chosen this angle for presentation either, but its art, and we all love it! I like the inclusion of your hand with the wedding ring, reminiscent of love. :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/18/2003 05:28:28 PM
Something about this photo reminds me of the photos Alfred Stieglitz took of Georgia O'Keefe. I like the grain soft look. Good work and good luck in the challenge.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/18/2003 12:25:44 PM
Powerfully feminine. I really like the two little silver accents against your skin. Awesome.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/18/2003 12:24:37 PM
Very brave and well conceived - I love the constrast in sizes but might have cropped tighter- well done - 9
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/18/2003 11:46:21 AM
this might have been more appropriate for the body parts challenge, not the "Self-Portrait ", i believe... regardless of the challenge, this picture doesn't really appeal to me anyway, sorry... 2.

  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/18/2003 03:53:23 AM
Strictly speaking I don't think that is where your heart is. Not a bad idea, I suppose, but it just seems like nudity for the sake of it to me. Sorry. (3)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/18/2003 12:12:11 AM
Nice....very daring statement!!!!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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