Friday, March 10, 2006
Self-portrait without glasses, 10 March, 2006
I've worn glasses since I was seven. I think I even have my very first pair still hidden in a drawer somewhere. I've never seriously considered switching to contact lenses. After (hum of arithmetic) twenty-three years, my specs have become an extension not just of my body but of my personality--I think of myself as a person who wears glasses, and I feel naked--incomplete--less myself--without them. (Taking them off also makes me hard of hearing--an inverted form of synaesthesia?)
I'm also extremely short-sighted--without corrective lenses my range of vision is about four inches. So not only do I rarely take my glasses off--I also can't see myself in a mirror without them, and I have pretty much no idea what I look like without those frames perched on my nose. And it's never occurred to me to be photographed--or to photograph myself--spectacle-less, so that I could finally see what my face looks like unobscured.
Till this afternoon.
Strange, slightly vertiginous idea: I may actually look better without them.
(Trying to take a self-portrait with a camera lacking a swivelling viewfinder is an exercise in trial and error--factor in not being able to fix your eyes on the lens, and you get a series of shots that are either woefully or artily out-of-focus and off-centre.)
Posted by Nicholas Laughlin at 8:09 PM