Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The art of self portraiture

A self-portrait can be an ideal valentine's gift to your partner.

Whether you are shy, lack personal skills, egocentric, narcisstic or simply don't have a willing model, self-portraiture could be the answer.

Whilst challenging, creating a self-portraiture can be a lot of fun and you will learn a lot about your camera and yourself. If you're new to self-portraiture, here are some starter tips to get you going.

Useful equipment for taking a self-portrait are a tripod and a remote release.

- A tripod can be invaluable in some self-portraits. It gives you enornous flexibility on where to take a photo from, especially what hight to take it from. Also many people take self-portraits indoors where light conditions are low and challenging. Using a tripod will go some way to reducing blur in low light conditions.
- A remote release will enable you take a photo some distance away from the camera. There are many advantages in this. If you are using auto-focus you don't have to worry so much about focus as you can place yourself where you want to be in the frame and click the remote release button, the camera will auto-focus on you and take the picture.
Also a mirror can be very useful for taking quick self-portraits shots.

Useful camera settings

Timer release

Framing - Initially this is difficult as the subject you're going to frame isn't in the frame.

1 - is to find a spot to take your picture from. If you are using a tripod this is easy. If you don't have a tripod then find a stable spot where you can place your camera.
2 - find a substitute for you. This can be a pillow or object of similar size. Ideal it would be another person.
3 - increase the size of the frame (for first couple of shots at least). You can crop to ideal frame afterwards.
4 - check frame for clutter and remove it if possible or reframe if not.

Focus -- Many people find this out by trail and error. The problem is usually the place you want to focus on is empty. This can be partly resolved by using someone else or an object in the place you want your picture taken. But if you're using auto focus problems can occur.

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