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Photography Question 
Romen Vargas
 

Self Portraits


I was just wondering how do you take good self portraits. I submitted some photos and Jim enquired if that was me and I just realized that I'm not in ANY of my photos (cause I'm taking them). My camera has a timer and I've got a remote release (its electronic cable and not infra-red). But even with that, does anyone have any good techniques or methods for self portraits? How would you compose, angle, etc the shot when you're not in the shot to begin with???


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7/2/2000

 
Jim Miotke
BetterPhoto Member
BetterPhotoJim.com
Owner, BetterPhoto.com, Inc.
  Hi Romen,
Self-portraiture can be a really fun way to explore the next level of photography. It can be as serious as a Van Gogh of Rembrandt painting or it can be as informal as holding a camera as far as you can in front of your face.

Either way you go, here are a few guidelines:
bullet If you don't already have one, you will obviously need a good tripod.
bullet If you did not have a remote control, you could use the self-timer. The remote will allow you to take your time and relax, a very good thing when it comes to portraiture.
bullet If you use a remote, make sure that you completely hide it before the shutter fires; use the two-second delay if you have one. This will give you time to hide it. But most importantly...
bullet As you look through the viewfinder, imagine yourself standing or sitting where you will be. Ask a passerby or friend to double for you, if you can. Since this is usually not an option, instead visualize about where your body will be.
bullet Focus first on an object or person in the same plane and then switch the autofocus off. This is an important step; you do not want the camera to refocus when the shutter actually opens; it will usually focus on something other than yourself.

Hope this helps. Have fun with this branch of photography.


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7/4/2000

 
Justin L. Berk   I found a good way to do a self portrait (depending on what you want). It is just to use a decent indoor lighting - not too many, not too dark - and take a picture into a mirror with a flash. If you can look around the camera with one eye it's a nice photographer's point of view =)
Hope this helps.


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7/4/2000

 
Jim Miotke
BetterPhoto Member
BetterPhotoJim.com
Owner, BetterPhoto.com, Inc.
  Latte and Me - A Self-PortraitYes - this can be a lot of fun. Here is an example I did a few years back.


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7/4/2000

 
John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/27/2001
 
 
 
Romen,
To give you a couple more ideas I'm going to post a couple of photos I did earlier this year. I have a terrible time with traditional poses for self-portraiture in anticipating the shutter release. So . . . I try to have myself doing something which is a little less formal portraiture than the standard studio shot. If you don't have a remote and need to use a self timer, practice moving from the tripod to the pose a few times before activating the self-timer. In the first I needed a pedestrian to complete my vision of what I wanted; it was bitter cold and very late at night so I provided myself! In the second it was an exercise in practicing double exposure by depressing the rewind button and cranking the film advance lever simultaneously to cock the shutter without moving the film. It could have been better with a solid background without some of the clutter, but otherwise was a good exposure . . . and fun too.


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8/2/2000

 
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