My beautiful picture

While doing my accounts at the weekend and rooting around in boxes for old bank statements, I got sidetracked (as you do) and stumbled across a set of black and white negatives without a contact sheet. They turned out to be a series of self-portraits I took in 1983 (I know it was 1983, because it says so on the Unemployment Benefit Attendance Card in the bottom right hand corner) and never printed up.

I vaguely recall not liking the lighting – the bright white object I’m using as a table is a photographic lightbox. Anyhow – dead flowers, black balloons, bottle of Tequila, brimming ashtray, nude playing-cards and a small but strategically-placed mirror? I think we can safely conclude I was trying very hard to appear decadent.

The rubber cord wrapped around my arm isn’t drug-related, by the way; it’s my extra-long cable release, which enabled me to press the shutter from a distance. One of the most tiresome things about digital cameras is there’s no way of using cable releases with them (or at least not with the ones I have). In order to take self-portraits nowadays you have to use the self-timer, which invariably takes you by surprise even though you’re expecting it, or ask someone else to press the shutter, which just isn’t the same.

My beautiful picture

My beautiful picture

My beautiful picture



  1. You could try a ‘Cable Release Adaptor Bracket’ looks a bit clunky, but it screws into the tripod mount and by fiddling about with a few thumb screws it holds the end of a standard release over the shutter button.

    There is a cheaper version that is effectively a velcro strap with a release built in that wraps round the camera, but the weight of a long release might make it and the camera wag about.

    I won’t spam up your blog with links, they are not hard to find in UK stores/websites, [not sure about the land of choc, beer and chips.]

    (P.S. I don’t sell these, and I’ve never used one, I just blew in from Chris Fowler’s blog.)

  2. It’s he combination of your self portraits and your comment, that makes it attractive and that’s proving that you’re not really decadent.

  3. Pingback: Anne Billson in 1982 | Morkhoven Divers

  4. Pingback: Anne Billson in 1982 | Morkhoven Divers

  5. No drama, putting bread on the table must always come first.

    I’m tempted to ask you a film question, but I’m not sure this would be appropriate at such slight

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