Outer Layers

When you are online, perhaps you have noticed that there is a lot written about how we present ourselves online.  Articles that discuss the ways in which we distort the reality of our lives, particularly on social media, to appear more of something, be that richer, smarter, thinner, happier.  It’s an interesting thought, but not a new one. Don’t we always put on outer layers before heading into the world? It’s the clothes we wear, car we drive, place we live.  While things I’ve read online tend to be disparaging of this sort of behavior, I just come away with the feeling that it’s not all that bad and it’s reality.  I was thinking about the way I present myself in person and how I dress and what that might say about me.  I came up with this photo:

ISO 2000 50mm f/6.3 1/50

ISO 2000 50mm f/6.3 1/50

These are my wedding rings. It’s rare that you would see me without at least one of these on.  The bottom ring is an anniversary band that I usually wear stacked with my original engagement ring and wedding band.  I love those rings, but I spend a lot of time outdoors. That is where the other ring, a silicone Qalo ring, comes in. I wear it for all the times I’m concerned about damaging my other rings. Sometimes, I’m out doing something cool like hiking, other times I’m cleaning the house.  The thing is though, these rings are my outer layer, I’m saying to the world that I am married.

When I was setting up the rings for this photo shoot, I knew that I was going to covert the image to black and white. I usually do my black and white conversions in Photoshop, but this week I had watched an online tutorial about using Lightroom instead.  I decided to edit this image in Lightroom only. I used the basic panel to increase the exposure in the shadows and the blacks. Then I used the sliders within the black and white panel to come up with the tones in the photo.  I find when I am converting images to black and white I don’t have a go to way of adjusting the image, I just start experimenting and see what I can come up with. I then used the split-toning feature to make the highlights a bit blue and the shadows golden. I have also added a vignette and grain.

What do you think of the photo? Do you think a lot about the way you present yourself in person or online? The internet would suggest that maybe you do! Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

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36 thoughts on “Outer Layers

  1. I adore this photo! And very thought provoking…

    I believe that there are many that have made personas of sorts online. It is easy to fall into putting on a front for those who see us on places such as Facebook. I know that in my struggles early on with depression, it was important for me to be perceived as strong and not allow others to see the real me. Now, as I have matured into my mid-thirties I do not feel the need to pretend that I have life all figured out or am always put together. Reality verses the online realm can often be skewed and misleading. I do find that blogging is a great outlet for me to be myself and show all facets. It is as if a great weight is lifted at times.

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  2. I’m pretty much an open book Amy. Like you outdoors a lot too and my dress is pretty casual. i had my wedding rings stolen about 10 years ago and now I wear a simple flat ring. Suits me well.

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  3. I love your photo, Amy, as always. I also love Lightroom and hardly ever drift to the full Photoshop! Maybe that’s too laissez faire for the purists, but so be it. As for the image I present, I like to adhere to the WYSIWYG principle 😜

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    • I learned Photoshop first, so I tend to think of it first when it comes to editing. Now that I have Lightroom, I have been taking some classes online to become more proficient with it. There are some features that I like better in Lightroom, but still many that I prefer Photoshop. Honestly, I think the beauty of editing is that we can all do it a different way, in fact, how boring if we were all the same.

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  4. I have three rings acquired over the years like you do that I use for similar purposes. Nice photo. 🙂 I try to express who I am on my blog, but I have chosen to not put personal info on the rich and famous social media sites. What turns me totally off is that it stifles real conversation between families, the drama that is consistent, and the misrepresentation just to get the stats up. I still have the accounts but use more for electronic yellow pages.

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  5. Loved the post AND the rings. I do the same thing with a “sport” wedding ring for workouts and sports. I find I wear that one more and more often. To me the rings are a symbol of loyalty and love for my husband rather than to send a message to the outside world.

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  6. what a great idea to have the silicone ring – where did you get the idea and where did you find that one? just curious….
    and the wedding ring can also save time – and you know just let others know to go elsewhere if they want that kind of friendship.
    and the topic here is truly discussed often –
    and the analogy came to my mind
    if I shared it here before please forgive me – like with the color orange – ha!

    but we have this auto salvage place across town – we drove by for years and saw the little building that people work at – surrounded by lots of fence. one summer, they redid the fence and whoa – the junk (not just clutter – wink – but junk a lunk) cars – smashed and parts of some – anyhow, you know what they look like – and when they finished their fence – wow – the visual noise was gone.
    I never view the new brown fence the same way I ignored the older wood fence.
    now that I know what is back there- I am grateful for the fence because it spares us from seeing that hot mess all the time.

    and isn’t life sometimes like this – we all have mess- well sadly – some more than others. and sometimes maybe it is manners and a social respect to share certain things. it can be healthy. however, not the ones who are really having issues with projecting a false self.
    and side note – I am getting ready to post this excerpt from a 1944 book – and the section is called “posing” – and it reminded me of a Profit episode last Tuesday – where the show had the topic of “fronts” and facades come up.

    anyhow, good post here!

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  7. I like the photo a lot, well done! And it does tell a story of the rings’ owner. Your post made me think about the topic… I think non-commercial bloggers are often quite sincere in their posts, or they (we) focus on being artistically creative. Whilst instagrammers and snapchatters focus on showing off an image they would like the world to see and commercial bloggers focus on sponsored content. So I wouldn’t say everything online is just for show, though I can see why some might think that. And as you said, does it differ that much from our clothers or car? I guess not! It’s just another layer.

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  8. This picture is beautiful. It is in the lost simplest detail that we tell the biggest part of our story. I really loved this. It has magnitude in it. Thank you for sharing

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  9. beautiful and thought provoking post. The balance of who we are and what face we choose to use in certain situations, the outer-layer as you put it, mask as I like to call it, is a fascinating way we interact with each other.

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