See-ming Lee, 2010

by See-ming Lee
My favorite self-portrait was not even taken with a camera.
See-ming Lee / SML.20090902.4810.SQ.BW / SML
See-ming Lee / SML.20090902.4810.SQ.BW / SML

This is one of my favorite self portraits of all times — it was not even taken with a camera — it was taken with a flatbed scanner. The way you do it is somewhat challenging also:

  1. You need to do this completely in the dark — so you kind of not really know what you’re doing.
  2. The result is a bit of a mix of time-lapse and motionography. It’s photography with a cubist twist.
  3. The best shots is if you kind of “move” your head over time as it scans.

There’s also the issue of dust spots — you will leave dusts on the surface. I post-processed these images back in 2009 and at that time it would mean manually go through pixel by pixel in Photoshop so I haven’t really had the time do it all. I plan to make more of these in the future, but I have said this since 2009 and haven’t revisited at all.

No one likes these self portraits except me. I don’t care.

Photographed in SML Universe NYC with the Epson 4810 on September 2, 2009.


See-ming Lee / SML.20090902.4810.SQ / SML
See-ming Lee / SML.20090902.4810.SQ / SML

I made several of these self portraits using a flatbed scanner in 2009. Flatbed scanner is an old tech — so those of you who are young might not know what it is.

Essentially, you scan documents into the computer by placing the objects onto a piece of glass, and a recording device that would scan line by line over time from one end to another.

So I placed my head on the glass surface, and move around while the scanner moves. Since the image was recorded over a minute, I was able to create “brush strokes” from my movement.

Cubism is the art philosophy of looking at things from different perspective. Time-lapse photography is taking a series of photos over time. Scanography is the art of photography using a flatbed scanner. Combining all three philosophies is the driving concept behind this series.

  • See-ming Lee / SML.20090902.4810.SQ / SML
  • Epson 4810
  • 2009-09-02, SML Universe NYC