Self portrait fail

Josh66

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Posting this here instead of one of the gallery threads since the picture is 'bad'.


2012022202 by J E, on Flickr

First off - I'm going to reshoot that. That (self portrait) was a 2 second exposure at f/8 with 400 ISO film.

The obvious stuff: Change of wardrobe, faster film, open up (aperture) if needed - don't really want to do that though.

Next time, I'll use 3200 ISO film, that's three more stops, getting the exposure time down to 1/4 second. I think that might be doable. I don't really want to open up much past f/8... I'd rather push the film to 6400 or 12800 before opening up... I plan on using Delta 3200, which can be pushed that far if needed.

Anything I'm not thinking of? I thought of trying to add a rim light or something, but I'm not sure if I can get the power low enough at those ISOs... I also have no experience at that, so I would likely have to bracket an entire roll (12 frames) to do that.

How do you meter rim light? Can I just put the flash behind me and face the flash instead of the camera when I take the meter reading?
 
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Josh66

Josh66

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For the wardrobe change, I'm thinking "Indiana Jones". Fedora, leather jacket (?) or some other shirt, and satchel diagonally over the left (camera right) shoulder.

I'm using a bulb release (stepping on it to activate the shutter), so I could use my left hand to trigger a flash (with radio trigger). No clue what the flash power should be though. I do have a flash meter.
 

EIngerson

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I think you should contrast the aged lantern with a modern heavy metal leather and chains outfit just to confuse people.
 
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Josh66

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HAHA. Closest I have to that is a biker type leather jacket. No spikes or anything like that.
 
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Josh66

Josh66

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That reminds me - I was afraid to wear anything black, so it doesn't get lost in the background and make me look like a floating head...

I realize that a little rim lighting would solve that, but I'm not really sure how to do that, or how I should be metering the flash.
 
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Josh66

Josh66

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I have a jean jacket. :lol: I think I'd have to lose the fedora with a jean jacket though, lol.

(That actually sounds like a better idea than what I was planning on wearing.)

I also have a 'modern looking' field jacket - like the M-65 but slimmer and more modern looking ... maybe that could work too...
 

chuasam

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It is only a FAIL if you do not learn from it.
 

Bossy

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I agree! ^^^ You're probably going to have to meter for all your lighting, a little back-lighting is a good idea :) And a shorter exposure, 2 seconds is a long time to hold stock still!
 
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Josh66

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It is only a FAIL if you do not learn from it.
I think I have already. Trying to limit the failure rate next time around. :lol:

I feel like I know what I want it to look like, but I also know that I don't know how to do that, lol.
 

chuasam

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I feel like I know what I want it to look like, but I also know that I don't know how to do that, lol.
Then you're better off than 80% of the people on here.
Show me an example of what you are trying to accomplish and let's see if we can get that sorted.
 
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Josh66

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2 seconds is a long time to hold stock still!
Yes, it is!

I think I can pull off 1/4 second though. (I'm actually a little surprised how good this looks for a 2 second exposure.)


The thing I don't know, and have never really done before, is - how do you meter back lighting?

Could I just take a reading facing the flash (away from the camera), then take another reading at the background facing the camera to make sure there won't be any spill?

I think that's my main problem - in this shot, there was a wall about 5 or 6 feet behind me. I might have to find somewhere else to do this where there won't be a wall right behind me... Not sure how to get the back-lighting without any of it spilling over to the wall.


I don't have a studio, I have to figure out how to do it in my living room...lol.

I guess I can probably figure it out with a bunch of meter readings... See what power will expose me, but not the wall...

How 'hot' does the backlight need to be though? Just meter normally, or a stop over, a stop under...?
 
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Josh66

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Show me an example of what you are trying to accomplish and let's see if we can get that sorted.
I can't really think of any specific example. Just imagine a typical 'searching a cave' scene in an adventure movie. Ambient on the front from the lantern, flash on the back for rim lighting to separate me from the black background.
 

Bossy

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I'm a film failure, I'd probably just meter with my digital and then take it with film *hangs head in shame*.

If the light is the same power as the front light, it should be the same right? And you'll be blocking most of it...Hopefully someone helpful jumps in!
 

chuasam

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Meter for the continuous light (the lamp) and then have a flash set to about -2 to -3 stops below that (or -2 to -3 TTL mode). The remainder of the light will come from the lamp itself. Don't forget to flag your flash so that it doesn't hit the lamp.
 

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