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Image of the Week, Part II: The Subtle Selfie

Like most photographers, Tim Sharkey is more comfortable behind the lens of his camera than in front of it. So the notion of taking a conventional “selfie,” that ubiquitous, mobile-device-spawned digital self-indulgence that litters Facebook and other social media portals, is more or less abhorrent to him.


Quick: Find the professional photographer in this image. (Hint: He’s in the reflected boat.) Photo courtesy/copyright Tim Sharkey/Sharkey Images. (Click image to enlarge.)

But when an unusual selfie opportunity presented itself, even Sharkey couldn’t resist. Of course, his approach to a self-portrait is a little more subtle and a lot more artful than average.

Look closely at this image of a Robinson 44 helicopter carrying a pilot and a couple of other passengers during last weekend’s Long Island Stampede Poker Run (read the story) and you won’t find Sharkey’s mug anywhere. That because he’s in the boat reflected on the underside of the helicopter’s fuselage.

“I was shooting the run from Joe Amoroso’s Outerlimits,” Sharkey explained. “On our way back, this black R-44 was chasing us down. I shot photos of it coming up on our rooster tail. Then it moved off to the side. As the helicopter moved in closer to us, my goal was to get the best shot of its interior, which I managed to but then noticed the reflection coming off the chopper. It was our wakes from our boat and a Cigarette along side us.

“At one point, I was hoping they would pass us because that was what it was going to take to get the reflection of the boat onto the chopper,” he continued. “After many shots I finally got it! I am generally not into the ‘selfie’ pics, but this was a challenge. Trying to get our reflection shot off a helicopter while running more than 80 mph in a boat in choppy waters was something worth working for.”

One more fun element of this Sharkey image? Two passengers inside the helicopter are using their iPhones to capture the photographer taking their picture. The selfie possibilities are mindboggling.

Related story: Conditions Don’t Dampen Long Island Stampede Poker Run