My First Self Portrait

Well I have seen plenty of self portraits of people in their bathrooms (Clothed thankfully) on flickr in the past. Mainly used for Avatars but also a way of finally getting their mug out there. So I decided to give it a go after doing some product photography the other night.

I wanted to have a photo that displayed the camera as the core subject and me as merely the driver. So a nice amount of DOF was required. The lens choice was easy, as for a greater DOF I needed a larger aperture setting. So out came my Canon 50mm f1.8 II.

As you can see from the photo I was using my Cactus wireless remote to fire my Vivitar 285 flash with my small homemade snoot with grid (I’ll blog about this soon). It was to the camera’s right and about as high as a toilet. Why the interesting height well that’s where it was sitting. I had angled the flash towards the back right-hand corner of the small room. By bouncing the flash off the wall and roof the light will spill over the camera and not leave a massive flare in the mirror. You will notice plenty of people on Facebook and Myspace have self portraits with massive flares in the mirror. This is from on camera flash. It looks crap.focuspoints-center

So the lighting was sorted. It was time to throw the camera in to Manual and set the Vivitar 285 to 1/16th power the lowest setting possible. I set the camera to a shutter speed of 250 and the aperture at f1.8.

I positioned myself outside of the bathroom perfectly head on to the small 40cm wide mirror, but I had the camera body inside the bathroom.

For the Autofocus points I selected the centre focus point only. This made the camera the focal point not me. If I wanted to set myself as the focal point I would have selected the left corner focal point.

As you can see in this photo the door frame is intersecting my hand so its no good. Its actually not a bad photo otherwise. I needed to shift myself left. Now I had positioned myself correctly and just needed the correct relaxed look on my face.

Because the photo was taken in a mirror I needed to flip the image in Photoshop. I also gave boosted the sharpness and saturated certain colours like the blue in my shirt. Using the burn tool I tried to patch up the brightness on my arm. I still have a lot to learn about post processing but hey its a start.

Next time I do the shoot I would probably check my background wall, as the framed photo kind of annoys me. Also the brightness on my arm is something I would be carefull of. Otherwise I’m very happy for a first time attempt.