Saturday, March 13, 2010

A Different Side of Me...


I took the portrait above yesterday at a small local photo-studio. The interesting thing was that I walked in wearing my tattered old 'Camden Market' t-shirt and a pair of worn weekend jeans, and walked out with a picture of me in my Omani best. No change of clothing was involved, as the outfit change was all achieved through the 'magic of Photoshop'... Obviously, technology wise, there's really not much novel about this picture or process. All it requires is a few stored outfits as layers in the aforementioned software and, voila, Bob's your uncle..! However, personally I haven't come across this particular rendition of use of photo manipulation, where the outfit is adjusted to befit a particular cultural norm (these photos are usually used in passports by the locals). This technique works particularly well with the Omani muzzar and dishdasha, as these can be placed in front of the subject. How this would work with a keffiyeh, which also occupies space behind the subject, would require a slightly more laborious process. There's something charming in the applications simplicity and benign deception. It would would be easy (and it's probably already done) to apply the same process to this season couture catwalk collection or Saville Row sartorial contraptions. It probably would, however, to retain the conceptually ascetic spirit of the above photo, require the image to retain the modest frame and context of a passport photo or, at most, a torso shot, as otherwise the deception becomes too apparent. It should be an image that involves a glance rather than proper scrutiny - a picture that captures a quality, a somatic ambiance, rather than performing as an accurate depiction... But, as it stands, for me as a non-Omani the image retains an aspect of novelty and has by contextual default become something closer to a souvenir rather than something practical or useful. Something that's a perfectly acceptable outcome in its own right, as it performs as a mnemonic node that will henceforth represent and remind me of a hot Spring weekend in Nizwa, March 2010...

10 comments:

laila said...

loool you look realy cool as an omani realy nice pic tom :)

Simon said...

This is the side of you I always saw. I knew it was lurking in there not too deep below the surface...

ghadah said...

the think that shocked me was the lack of shock.

Anonymous said...

Right Ghadah! It's more shocking to think that the guy in this photo is from FINLAND! PERRKELE!

Thomas said...

I'm ambidextrous...

Tom

Thomas said...

That's Culturally Ambidextrous...

Tom

ghadah alkandari said...

you're ambilobotomous.

Anonymous said...

seksikäs!

Thomas said...

Kiitos...

Anonymous said...

milloin