I have been feeling particularly ugly for a year or so now, what with my stupid hair being stupid and my skin feeling saggy because I’ve had to stop taking collagen supplements since moving to the UK (because they don’t have Meiji and Fancl here).
(Disclaimer: I don’t know that collagen supplements really work but I had taken them for years and felt okay about myself. Since coming to the UK, I have felt progressively older and uglier, although it could be due to the air being very dry here, or it could be just plain old aging, so I don’t know, lol.)
Last Saturday evening, while Piers and I were at a pub waiting for his friends to arrive, I decided to play around with my camera because I suddenly remembered it has a Soft Skin mode to “shoot more beautiful skin”.
Piers had bought me a Sony Cyber-shot (DSC-WX80) a few months ago to replace my iPhone camera (yes, I had been using my iPhone camera for nearly two years because my Lumix had sensor dust in it and I never got around to sending it back).
I chose this model out of all the cameras in the store based on the merits of its compactness and pretty white looks, which shows how serious I am about photography.
So, while Piers was sipping his beer, and I was ignoring my Pimm’s cocktail in favour of camwhoring, I turned on Soft Skin mode, took a self-portrait and looked at the playback display.
“Wow!” I said, “The soft skin mode has made me pretty again!”
I showed Piers the photo and he looked at me quizzically. “Hon, you look exactly like that in real life.”
I said, “No, no, the camera has smoothened out my face so I look much better!”
Piers rolled his eyes and said, “I think you have face dysmorphia.”
Yeah, sure, whatever.
I think Piers is quite blind. He can’t even tell whether I’ve got makeup on or not most of the time, which might make one think that he is just being sweet, trying to throw in a subtle compliment, but I think the truth is that he is genuinely blind.
I did look better on the camera playback because of the soft focus effect and the fact that playbacks are small in size (and I tend to look better when you can hardly see me).
I don’t think the photos look so nice after viewing them on my computer now. But they’re still better than usual.
I prefer my old Lumix’s beautiful skin mode though. Instead of making it a soft focus effect, it has some kind of special flash to make your skin glow. Kinda like this:
Anyway, I made Piers take more photos of me before his friends finally arrived and I quite liked them. Maybe it was just a good day.
I usually have to take a hundred photos before I’m satisfied with one, but that day, I only had to take about 20 before I could find one I liked.
The next day, I experimented some more. I tried Soft Skin mode and Background Defocus and couldn’t decide which I liked more.
So, basically, soft skin blurs out your face while background defocus blurs everything but. Lol, stupid camera tricks, although I have to admit it’s handy and saves you from having to photoshop your photos.
Well, okay, I definitely look better with Soft Skin cos who doesn’t? But background defocus photos look more professional so I like them better, even if they make me look ugly.
Anyway, I quickly got tired of looking at my stupid face so I stopped taking photos of myself. I was at Piers’ parents’ house for a barbeque to take advantage of the rare warm and sunny day and there were dogs and a baby, which were much better (although harder) subjects to photograph. But I will leave that for another day.
I will do more “camera experiments” (which are in fact nothing more than vanity posts in disguise) in the future so keep coming back and keep reading!
In the meantime, allow me to leave you with some sage advice:
Do not believe every photo you see on the Internet! Between makeup and camera tricks and photoshop, no one is what they look like anymore. So, caveat emptor and have a nice week!