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January 11, 2013


Tough call - both photos are great, each offering a different emotion/ view of you as a person. I think overall I prefer the 2nd one, the eyes make it stronger to me, as a portrait. More an image of the subject, as opposed to the first feeling more like an image of an emotion of the moment.

First of all, happy birthday Gordon!
I try to imagine what having one's birthday during the Holidays means for a little boy. Awful.
For a grown-up person it's probably better. For a good-shaped sixty years old man I think it's close to ideal.
As for the photographs, they are both awesome, but I definitely prefer the first one.
I would say that's the one you would shoot for yourself, whereas the other one would be fit for an assignment job.
Thank you for your suggestion: I'll be turning sixty in fourteen months, and a self-portrait is the gift I will present myself with. Hoping that I will be feeling good and laughing as you did (and as I do now).


I turned 61 a few days ago and I feel even better than you! It all has to do with attitude. Forty-four years of photographing and I am just as passionate about photography as I was when I started. I started taking a self-portrait on my birthday about 10 years ago. One day I will make a series of prints showing me aging in the same setting and light. Should be interesting.

Happy Birthday and thanks for the words, thoughts and photographs you so graciously give us. I wish you many more years of good health, success and inspiration.

Which portrait do I prefer? Easy - the top image. Emotion is bursting out of that first image and, for me, emotion trumps technical considerations every time. Happy birthday!

Happy Birthday! I have tried self portraits and try to work with zone focusing so there isn't too much guess work. But I still try to place something where I'd be sitting/standing in frame before I step in. I did take a few dozen photos and was pleased with one decent one. Self portraiture can be rough.

Happy Birthday, Gordon!
When I saw the first shot, I haven't then noticed what the post is about, but my first thought was like "he knows a thing or two about tones".
Then at the end I read this: "If you're shooting RAW, the final step is tweak the sliders and click the buttons in your software of choice until you get the color and tone you're looking for."
You got it definitely right, it is intriguing to see how those subtle tonal variations pop out from the background, yet with moderate contrast. Also the sharpness is perfect, not too much as so often seen these days.

Well, and btw. both portraits are fantastic content-wise. I cannot decide which one I prefer, but if I ultimately have to I would pick the first due to gut-feeling.

I wish you another 60 happy years, and the online-photo-world more such examples of perfectly nailed bw-photos.

Aye, happy birthday indeed.

Both are great, but I do lean toward the more sombre expression.

Happy Birthday, Gordon! I was delighted to reach 60 a few years ago... In fact, I'll be 63 at the end of this month :-)

Both of your self-portraits are wonderful, but I lean towards the first. I really like the feeling you captured.

Best regards,

I tried a self portrait the other day, and though my OM-D has a flip up/down screen it doesn't help with self-portraits. I positioned it so the camera LCD could be viewed in our bedroom mirror which made framing a breeze :)

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