<<< o >>>symmetry 35 comments + add yours

If I’d finished it in time I might have used this for my entry for the Photo Friday self-portrait challenge, but I don’t imagine it would have faired all that well. Not that I think it’s a bad image (I really like this one) but I imagine that it might not have the same broad appeal.

As for this shot: my wife found ‘the groin’ when we were camping last summer, and at some point we thought we might polish and mount it – but we haven’t got around to it yet. As for what this shot is about: I’m not entirely sure. I guess, on some levels, that it’s a critique of the simple message portrayed by my last two images, but beyond that I’m not sure that I’d care to fix its meaning. I would be interested to hear how others see it though.

capture date
shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
focal length
image quality
white balance
Canon G5
10.09pm on 23/4/04
aperture priority
4x3 + people [portraiture] + self-portrait
comment by gwen at 10:52 PM (GMT) on 27 April, 2004

For research *ahem* purposes, I have revisited the original portrait, and find that it pales in comparison.

p.s. I found a friend for your stump.

comment by bob at 11:01 PM (GMT) on 27 April, 2004

Dave -- how do you do it? Fantastic image.. the use of animate and inanimate objects -- unbelievably great image... nice nice nice work.... bob

comment by Zero at 12:25 AM (GMT) on 28 April, 2004

This is, by far, one of the coolest images I've EVER seen posted on the internet. You're creativity astonishes me. And that stump is so freakin' detailed that I'm finding it hard to believe that it's a coincidence of nature. I think God had a plan for that stump all along and you've helped to fulfill its destiny. Nice work.

comment by theresa at 01:31 AM (GMT) on 28 April, 2004

Sorry (blushing) I can't stop staring. So much detail can be seen in that "wood." haha!...sorry.

comment by Maxine at 03:17 AM (GMT) on 28 April, 2004

OK it is an amazing photo and I love it! So, at the first gaze I thought it was the new shorts fashion for this summer...no symmetry and silver fabric is back! But 2 seconds later and I realized how great and powerful the photo was! Well done. Said that, I am a little bit worry about to where you are going to. I remember once at the Tate Gallery looking to an installation of someone who filmed her insides, mouth,vagina....ok...there is a statement there and I like that, but still, I love yours abstract kind of pictures :)

comment by rod at 04:19 AM (GMT) on 28 April, 2004

I've always noticed that the lighting in your photos is absolutely impeccable. This is no less than a perfect shot. Props to your wife for noticing the resemblence of the stump to the human body - I probably would have used it as firewood.

comment by Andy at 04:49 AM (GMT) on 28 April, 2004

Love it.

I have to disagree with rod about lighting. The lighting is impeccable on this with one nagging complaint: the harsh shadows at the bottom.

comment by Kathleen Connally at 05:00 AM (GMT) on 28 April, 2004

Gorgeous photo...lucky wife!

comment by Richard at 06:49 AM (GMT) on 28 April, 2004

VERY GOOD! I really like it!

Two 'critique' points though;

a) The shadows under the log are a bit too hard, and

b) your images often - to me - have an over-smoothed look (do you run them through neat image or something?). Skin tones look a bit too artificially smooth and even. Personal preference maybe but those are my thoughts :-)

Once again - Great shot!!

comment by djn1 at 07:37 AM (GMT) on 28 April, 2004

If anyone's interested I did do another version of this shot. This one is one of the earlier versions I worked on and is a much 'harder' image. The smoothing in the original is a consequence of selectively adding a blurred overlay layer (which excludes the stump). My main reason for doing this, other than that I like the soft/diffuse look, is that the lighting for this shot wasn't perfect and required quite a boost in the contrast levels. A consequence of this is that my skin ended up looking rather blotchy. So, vanity won out over photographic purity. That said, I personally prefer the final version anyway - it does a better job (IMO) of isolating the stump - but would be interested to hear what you think.

comment by Jessyel Ty Gonzalez at 08:17 AM (GMT) on 28 April, 2004

It's one of those, "I like it so much, I don't even have an opinion on it" shots...

comment by amanda at 08:24 AM (GMT) on 28 April, 2004

oh my this place gets better and better

i was stumped for words with the arse shot

now im just...

i come here because you're prolly my favourite photoblogger but your wife is gonna start thinking im a groupie soon lol

i prefer the one u posted. u know im a fan of the blur and blend ;)

comment by Simon C at 09:11 AM (GMT) on 28 April, 2004

Oh heck. After the self portrait I really should have learnt not to browse at work. I better start clearing my desk...

Great shot!

comment by paul at 11:49 AM (GMT) on 28 April, 2004

very original portrait, the image looks great and so does the photographer...

the texture of tree and hairy skin is marvelous

just love this one!

comment by Daniel at 03:05 PM (GMT) on 28 April, 2004

T H I S S H O T I S J U S T C O O L!

comment by Judith Polakoff at 03:35 PM (GMT) on 28 April, 2004

Nice shot! I also prefer this version over the other, less "polished" one. Did you achieve the shiny, silvery look of the log with Photoshop, or is the surface actually painted? Just out of curiosity, I would one day love to see a side-by-side example of the raw version and the finished version of one of your photos (not necessarily this particular one), just to get an idea about how much post-processing is involved. In any event, this is very creative and, as usual, a perfect composition.

comment by photojunkie at 03:53 PM (GMT) on 28 April, 2004

Stunning. Simply stunning... Ummm do you have a gay brother perhaps?


comment by amanda at 04:09 PM (GMT) on 28 April, 2004

lol rannie

comment by djn1 at 05:07 PM (GMT) on 28 April, 2004

Gwen: good find - I'm sure they'd be happy together ;-)

Amanda: I could get some T-shirts printed if you like :-)

Rannie: no, sorry :-/ ;-)

Judith: the stump looks pretty much like that anyway. It's a silver birch stump (I think) so the bark is fairly silvery anyway.

Everyone else: many thanks. I was a bit aprehensive about this one, because I wasn't too sure what people would make of it. And with some shots I'm not too bothered about that, but others I feel much more engaged with. So, thanks :-)

comment by Renée at 06:27 PM (GMT) on 28 April, 2004

Can I order some printed t-shirts?


comment by amirali at 07:49 PM (GMT) on 28 April, 2004

well done, I like The Strong feeling of male body in it.I follow your photos closely because I Learn a lot from them ,thanks.

comment by Tudy at 08:22 PM (GMT) on 28 April, 2004

All these years Ive been barking up the wrong tree.. hehe.. Its a great, original photo. Love it.

comment by Chris at 01:27 AM (GMT) on 29 April, 2004

Nice wood! I mean work..

comment by amanda at 02:40 AM (GMT) on 29 April, 2004


renee can help me ran the fan club

comment by myla at 04:26 AM (GMT) on 29 April, 2004

Very Herb Ritts. :)

comment by djn1 at 05:19 AM (GMT) on 29 April, 2004

lol ;-)

comment by Sandra Rocha at 11:29 PM (GMT) on 29 April, 2004

thats an incredible image, you just keep going over the top every day :-)

the "groin" almost looks like a very medieval boxer shorts lol

awsome work :-)


comment by Jim at 08:08 PM (GMT) on 30 April, 2004

This really is an amazing shot. The symmetry, lighting and subject are fantastic. You, ahem, nailed this one!

comment by Nichole at 05:21 AM (GMT) on 3 May, 2004

Ok i must know if you ever sell prints, I adore this picture! please let me know.

comment by gregz at 09:37 PM (GMT) on 5 May, 2004

huh..huh... he's got a woody ;-)

comment by rusto at 12:51 AM (GMT) on 6 May, 2004

After I got over my initial amazement on how cool a shot this is, I'm still left giggling over how you constructed a sentence in your commentary on it with the words "polish", "mount" and "groin' in it.

comment by jane at 01:26 PM (GMT) on 6 May, 2004

love it. the metalic effect of the bark works well. I have to agree with an earlier comment about the bit too intense shadow under the 'stump' though.

nice piece though.

comment by kim at 05:01 AM (GMT) on 7 May, 2004

love the image. that's all.

comment by C4 at 08:02 AM (GMT) on 26 May, 2004

ahhhh i like it


comment by Heather Herb at 02:49 AM (GMT) on 11 November, 2009

I love this photograph.....I wasn't quite sure what you were holding at first, but now I understand. The log fits the shape of the body so well. Not to mention the texture of the bark oddly goes amazingly with the texture of the hair and skin.

I am fascinated with the human figure......this is definately something I would hang in my house.