Self portrait – State of mind

Sunday, March 16th, 2014

Have a screw loose x800
or rather having a loose screw…


This spring of 2014 there is a national competition by NSFF – Norwegian Association of Photography. One may compete within open category or bound theme – this spring the bound theme is “humour”. Easy peasy… Our local photogroup here in Sandnes has the same bound theme for competing in March meeting, so I tweaked some ideas. Actually I had quite a lot of ideas, but putting them into action is more demanding. This one was easy as I could do it at home with most of my stuff at hand and myself as a willing model.


Can not recall where and when the idea came to mind but I used some preparation to think a little about the setup. First of all a dark neutral background and a “dramatic” lighting setup – charcoal cotton canvas I put on the wall in my library. For softbox purpose I grabbed a Light tent, clad it with double side refelective emergency film, wrappet it on all sides but the front, put a Nikon SB900 flash into it and placed it some 30-45° above me – worked very good. A handheld reflector was put down on my left helping to avoid too much shadow and the on camera flash was dimmed down by adding a softbox and pointing 60° upwards. Roof is white so I got a bounce back there as well.

DIY Softbox: Light tent and emergency foil.

The real pain was getting the screws in and out of my head, obviously as my facial expression says. I can only recommend not using too long wooden screws as they tend to fasten, feeling all to well in my brain. A joke! Screw heads are fake ones used in scrapbooking. Attached with doublesided tape (also from my wife’s scrapbooking collection). The line in my head between the screws is made by using thin nylon fishing wire tightly around and knotted behind my head. A little uncomfortable. The hole for the missing screw is a dark pencil colour and a pen pressed into the skin to have a depression, but a little help from Lightroom in post processing to bring it more alive. I also glued a fake head onto a wooden screw to have the same type displayed in the photo. Intentionally I thought of having this in colour and with a red drop of fake blood from the hole in my head. Never managed to create a fake blood from corn starch and red food colour – so that one fell out of my plan. Real blood never occurred to me, not dedicated enough? The T-Skirt is a leftover from my younger life when I had an occupation in the Royal Norwegian Airforce: Anti-sex clothing.

Screw heads

Also useful with this setup is a CamRanger to remote control my dSLR. Not seen on the picture, but on my lap I have a iPad with liveview from the D800 in front if me. So I could pretty easy find a god posing and capture the moment via a networked link and capture the picture from a tap on the screen. I have found this gadged quite usefull many times when trying to compose a setup from tricky angles.


So at last I can display my true state of mind.
Have a screw loose Full xHD
Click for larger picture.

Ragnar Myklebust is TumbleSky Photograpy || Copyright © All rights reserved.

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