Thursday, August 28, 2008

Self Portrait

Self Portraiture can be quite a learning experience. In the past two years, I’ve experimented with making self portraits several times. I don’t particularly need the pictures of myself – just need a model and want the learning experience. In these situations, I find that I’m quite patient, understanding and willing to sign a model release for a very reasonable fee.

To get this photo, I followed some tips from the Strobist. It seems that almost any exposure is “right” for a sunset. I began this shoot with exposures of 1/500 at f5.6 and ended with exposures of 1/160 and f5.

The equipment was my G9 mounted on a tripod, a Nikon SB-28 and a Nikon SB-24 each fitted with a ¼ CTO gen and Stofen diffuser, one light stand and one Canon EOS Elan 7. Both flashes were triggered with a Cactus wireless trigger with the transmitter mounted on the G9. The Elan 7 was turned off; it was used only as a prop to hold the SB-28.

In this particular picture, the G9 was set for 1/250 and f5 at ISO 80. The SB-24 backlight was set for 1/16 power and the SB-28 was set for 1/4 power (I think – forgot to write it down!). These settings probably seem a little higher than suggested at the Strobist site but remember that the G9 was set for ISO 80 and a diffuser eats light. On top of all this, diffusers aren’t normally used outdoors because there’s nothing to bounce the light. Actually, I wanted a diffuser on the main light simply because it would be in the photo. For the first several shots, I had the diffuser pointed upward as though indoors. In the diffuser up position, the SB-28 was set for ½ power (I think).

With the G9 set for a 10 second delay and camera bag on the ground to mark my modeling spot, I made – well, quite a few -- trips back and forth. Elan 7 and flash high, low, wide, front, etc. Take a picture, chimp, critique myself, increase exposure as the sun set, repeat – you get the idea.

This was a fun shoot; try a self portrait.


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