I Will Never Be As Good As Araki

I like to think of the Japanese photographer, Araki, as (among other things) the grandfather of the modern selfie. Photographers have been taking self-portraits since the camera was invented, but Araki makes a regular habit of including himself in his images, and was doing so long before digital photography became a thing. Maybe he wanted to underscore his assertion that the photographer’s subject is never anything but him/herself. Many of his self-inclusions are benign. Others have been racier–like the shot he took on his wedding night of his bride fellating him.

At the beginning of the month, I drove through Sleeping Giant Provincial Park on the north shore of Lake Superior & hiked the shortest trail I could find, Ravine Lake Trail. Still off-season, the place was empty. Once I got into the ravine, I decided to take a selfie. Did I mention that I was alone? I set up the camera on the tripod, took the remote and leaned against a mossy rock. Good enough, I thought, and went on my way. Not until I got home and started processing my photos did I realize that I’d been standing there with my fly wide open. If I’d been Araki, I would at least have exposed myself (photographic pun intended).

Selfie on the Ravine Lake Trail, Sleeping Giant Prov'l Park.

Selfie on the Ravine Lake Trail, Sleeping Giant Prov’l Park.

thunder-bay-may-2015-19

The trail to Ravine Lake.

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