|Self portrait 2-2-13|
There are days when I take perfectly fine, serviceable, focused, nicely lit, clear photos of myself. But when I scroll back through the images, I realize they don't really capture the me that is me on that particular day. At all. Until I distort them.
Distortion is typically something to be avoided. If my pictures come out of the camera blurry or grainy, it's because I made a mistake. I goofed. I chose the wrong setting. I didn't light my subject right. I moved. I jiggled the camera. Distortion is unwanted noise or interference that gets in the way of the image's clarity.
But not always.
Sometimes it is the exactly the distortion, the noise, the intentional warping/exaggerating/twisting/spinning/bending of the image, that makes it suddenly clear. A distorted image, for me anyway, can be the more accurate artistic expression because it breaks open an emotional quality, an atmosphere, a state of mind, a feeling, an idea, that is otherwise locked. Noise gets attention, or draws attention, in a way that I find satisfying and useful -- especially when the distortion, ironically, results in a more accurate communication of what's truest.