Self Portraits are not easy C&C

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Ballistics, Feb 24, 2012.

  1. Ballistics

    Ballistics Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    [​IMG]
    Feb232012 by The Photo Major, on Flickr

    This is the first time I use my lightstand/umbrella ensemble. Wife was at work, kids were asleep, and I was bored out of my face.

    This was manually focused. I used 2 lightstands with 2 speedlights. One @ a high 45o (sb700)angle and the other at a low 45(YN467) degree angle. 1/32 power on the top and 1/16 on the bottom.

    Couple of issues:

    - The room was black, so I used TV light to try and focus. Wasn't happening so I had to manually focus. I had to use one of the light stands to focus on and then move it into place.
    - No modeling light sucks
    - I do not have a light meter, so all I could do is a bunch of test shots. Time consuming.
    - Need a reflector holder lol.

    Any tips to make self portraits less of a pain in the ass are greatly appreciated.


     
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  2. bazooka

    bazooka No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Self portraits are certainly difficult, especially when you're trying to simultaneously learn light. I still remember my first self session, it was awful. All things considered, I think you did a fine job. The focus looks good, the exposure looks good, and the light quality looks good.

    You don't need model lights. With practice and additional understanding, you'll be soon know what the light will look like before you take a test shot. Just pretend that the flash is always on like a flashlight!

    This also works the same with the power setting of the lights.... you'll get better at estimating where they need to be before the first shot. It just takes some practice. You'll find that you'll either be taking fewer and fewer test shots, or you'll be doing more complicated lighting setups with roughly the same number of test shots.

    I wonder why you had two lights from the same direction, one high, and one low? I see the one high is the catchlight, but I see no evidence of a light down low... are you sure it fired? This looks like a one light setup.
     
  3. Ballistics

    Ballistics Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Thank you very much. Yes learning light and self portraits combined made for a very long 45 pictures.

    I really enjoy the controlled environment shots. I think I am finding my niche. Practice is hard to come by in a little apartment with 2 children, but I try to do it as often as possible.

    Nono, I had the lower 45 on my left. If I didn't use it, it would have been pitch black. You can faintly see the umbrella in my left eye on on the lower left corner of the iris (my left your right). I tried to emulate a reflector. Very low soft light. Keyword here: tried lol.
     
  4. Ballistics

    Ballistics Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Also I have 2 measily 33" umbrellas. Do I need to buy 45" and 60" umbrellas, or can I just go directly to 60" for full body pictures?
     
  5. bazooka

    bazooka No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hmmm, I don't see it in your eye. And you have it at 1/16 which is higher power than your key light? The light that is there looks like it is probably reflecting off your shirt from the key. Are you sure you don't have a sync issue or something?
     
  6. bazooka

    bazooka No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It depends on how many people you are shooting and/or how soft you want the light to be. I only have a small portable umbrella that I can fit in my camera bag and it's served me fine for up to two people. I would say continue using it until you start running into situations where you need a larger light source.
     
  7. Ballistics

    Ballistics Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I have it backwards. The taller light is 1/16 and the lower light is 1/32. Im not 100% sure it fired. Now you have me questioning it.
     
  8. Bossy

    Bossy No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think its really nice! You just need a midrange and white bump, so your eyeballs are white and not gray :D
     
  9. bazooka

    bazooka No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Even at 1/32 on a weaker flash, I think it would be filling more than it already is assuming the flashes are close to the same distance from you. It looks like it didn't fire to me. However, the single light portrait is nice too!
     
  10. Ballistics

    Ballistics Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Thank you.
     
  11. jake337

    jake337 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    You can use a picture frame hanging from the ceiling to get your frame right and your plane of focus down, then place your head in the frame making sure your eyes/eye are in between the two sides of the picture frame.

    How did you trigger your shutter? If you have one, make a DIY modeling light and set up single focus point on your eye.
    Try using any lamp, for focus, next to you. Have it close enough to switch off before exposure, or use a fast enough shutter peed to kill it. You can pick up a super cheap foot switch for any lamp too.

    Amazon.com: 3-Outlet Surge Light Foot Switch: Electronics
     
  12. Ballistics

    Ballistics Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I don't understand what you mean here.

    Edit: Ohhhh Nevermind. Yes, that is actually a very clever idea!.

    Remote

    Again, not picking up what you are putting down. How would I focus my camera? Can I do it with a remote?
     

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