For Round 31 of Get Pushed, once again we feature a “multiple me” style portrait. This one has an interesting twist, and we are happy to present Little Red Riding Bennett by Bennett Johnson as another great contribution to the Get Pushed pool. Bennett has allowed us to use his image in this article and has also been kind enough to answer a few questions about his process in taking the image.
SP: I see that this shot was the second response to your challenge. What was it about self portraits that you liked, prompting you to try another?
Bennett: I had never tried a self portrait before the push and after doing one I found, and this is going to sound narcissistic, that there is a certain beauty in taking a picture of yourself. If one aspect of photography is sharing with others your vision of the world then taking a picture of yourself is a way of sharing a vision of yourself with yourself (makes a lot of sense, right?). I could be both composer, subject and viewer, and that was an interesting aspect I had not experienced with my photography before.
SP: The bright red of your shirt in contrast to the woods is a great combination! The repetition makes for a striking image. What gave you the idea to try a “multiple self portrait” type of shot?
Bennett: I thought of ways to play with the idea of this split self or artistic conversation with myself and that is where the inspiration for the multiple “Bennetts” came from. The rest kind of happened by accident. The scene was chosen more from an attempt to get a good landscape shot and the red sweater, while I wish I could say I planned it for the color scheme, was more a result of the fact that I usually wear that sweater while out taking pictures when it is a little cold. But while setting up the landscape shot I did realize that the green of the forest and the red of the shirt might look cool together and so I abandoned the regular landscape and inserted myself in the pic.
SP: How did you accomplish the focusing in the shot?
Bennett: I did not have my tri-pod with me so I balanced the camera on a tree stump, used the ten second shutter delay, composed each shot before hand in regards to focus and tried to use a smaller aperture for better depth of field, then I spent a lot of time triggering the shutter and running to different spots in the frame. I probably took 30 shots(which resulted in a lot of running) before I was happy with a few of them and the rest was done using photoshop to layer and compile the six different photos.
SP: How do you think “Get Pushed” helps you to loosen up some in photography and get out of your comfort zone into new things?
Bennett: The thing I like about “Get Pushed” is the quality of images I see posted by other members of the group inspires me to not only go outside of my comfort zone to meet the requirements of the push but to also try and take a picture that can stand on its own outside of the challenge, which is fun for me.
Bennett’s photostream is filled with many unique and beautiful images! Check it out here!