Old School Selfies

OK, this week I’m just having some fun. I admit it. Sometimes you just have to let your hair down. And I know what you’re thinking. “That would be great, Ed, if you actually had any hair.” Well, watch and learn.

At Getty Images where I work, we have a monthly employee art walk, complete with fine art prints dangling from our way cool state-of-the-art gallery hanging system. Not that it’s always been that way. When I did my first show two years ago, we had to pin our prints to the back of cubicle walls with stick pins. Yep, we’ve come a long way since our first rodeo.

But sometimes our curator, Leah, likes to have some fun, too. So instead of inviting artists to display their fancy work like she normally does, she invites everyone to participate. She’ll hang some poster board and chose a theme, like “Your Pets” or in this case, “Your Vacation Photos”, and everyone gets to participate. No conservation framing here. Anything goes, including snapshots, laserjet prints on bond paper – whatever.

Well, I had forgotten to dig through my boring old vacation slides to find something suitable for this event (probably on purpose), but on the day of the event Leah hounded me to come up with something, reminding me that we had an expensive new color laser printer at our disposal. And it suddenly clicked – I have an offsite backup of all my images at work, including low-res scans of all my old boring vacation snapshots. Perfect! I, too, can make a fool of myself!

Ed with Rhino

Ed gets charged by a rhino, in Singapore.

Ed at Bridge of Eternity

Ed stands on the Bridge of Eternity, in Singapore.

Back in the 1980s I had been a consultant to Mobil Oil Indonesia, and I made several trips to Southeast Asia to help them out. On the way there and back, I visited countries such as Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, and Japan, mostly on my own. Not wanting to return with no photos of myself in these exotic locations but having no one to take photos of me, I resorted to taking a kind of selfie, long before it was a word. It never occurred to me to include my big fat arm in the photo, and I wouldn’t have been able to aim properly, anyway.

You see, this was the film days, with optical viewfinders, so there was no big digital screen for me to use to frame the shots. So, I would find a nearby bench or a post or a wall and prop the camera on it, set the self timer, and run into the picture.

Ed an Friends in Medan, Sumatra, Indonesia

Ed poses with members of a Filipino band in Medan, Sumatra, Indonesia.

Or not. Sometimes I would use a reflection of myself. The important thing was to prove that I’d been to all these places, so how I did it really didn’t matter.

Ed and Crowd Reflected in Wall

Ed takes a self-portrait using his reflection while waiting in line for the tram, in Hong Kong.

So here they are – proof that I was there, and proof that I had hair. So whatever you may think of my current work, let it never be said that Ed does not know how to take boring vacation pictures with the best of them.

Wanna come over for a slide show? I still have my old Kodak Carousel slide projector! It’ll be great!

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4 Responses to “Old School Selfies”

  1. Sue-Z says:

    Slide show, show time! When is the party! Great blog, thanks for a few good laugh’s.

  2. Frances says:

    Fun photos, not “boring”!!

  3. Dan says:

    Love the rhino picture. I’ve seen that “whu….?” look many times!