Saturday, February 13, 2010

Self Portraits

So today I'm going to share a random sampling of some self portraits.  The background is I was given a remote shutter release for my camera for my birthday and over Christmas I got lights, tripod, etc.  So I thought I'd work on some self portraits as it's cold outside, I already have photographed snow, ice and frost this winter and I want to continue to have new content.  I hope that if I can perfect these self portraits with regards to lighting, settings and poses that I can take that  knowledge and have some confidence working with other human subjects.  As now I am much more at ease fighting with a cat or dog for the perfect pose or a bee for that matter, than a person.

Here is the first sampling.  These were all taken in my basement using sheets as a backdrop.  I hope to get outside this weekend and take some outdoor self portraits along with some nature shots.  I'd love your comments, suggestions for improvement and more.  This is a learning experience for me.

The above is the same picture.  
The one has been edited in Photoshop using filters for effect. 

Just my legs and feet.  Again, I edited this in Photoshop
and used filters for texture.  It seemed kind of blah without.

I'll toast to that!  I was trying to work with depth of field on this one.
Did I suceed?

Thanks for reading today and I'd love comments and suggestions.  I hope to have some nature for my Monday post.  I have also been filling in my off days with posts from my Flickr stream.  I hope you have enjoyed that.

Have a great weekend!

DK Miller


  1. A remote shutter release makes self portraits much easier than setting the timer and running. That method can get very I'm no expert but I think your depth of field test was a success.

  2. YEs, a remote shutter release is wonderful and what made me think to work on self portraits. I'm hoping what I learn with the self's will help me feel more confident working with people.

    Thanks on the vote of success. I think it worked too. I wanted the wine to feel closer than me and I wanted both in focus.

    Have a great day! And unrelated - your dog is cute. I'd want to shoot portriats of him if we lived close.

  3. Yes I believe you did succeed!

  4. Hi Diane,

    I think your depth of field effort worked fine. A suggestion on your background, however. You might get a better effect if you ran the sheets through the dryer, you know,fluffed them up, to get rid of the creases. For me, the sharp and ordered creases are a distraction. Just a thought.

  5. great first sampling... it's tough to get it just right... I go to flickr for inspiration on SP's.

    p.s. nice to see what you look like!

  6. Thanks and Photogrunt, you are right, the sheets did have creases in them and it is distracting. Next indoor shoot I'll get it right. Actually, next shoot is gonna be outside.

  7. OR you could go exactly the opposite from Photogrunt's comment and create a wild, colorful and/or textured background next time you do an inside photo session. That might make for an interesting effect, if you use the right clothing to work with the backdrop. Once in the 1980s, I shot a guitarist who played trippy, psychedelic music and I painted a backdrop especially for him. The pics turned out pretty nicely! I was also big on using gels to throw light and color on the background at the same time (hey, it WAS the 80s, LOL!).

    One thing I'd love to see you do is light for a particular mood. I like the Photoshopped picture of your legs, but you could also create some pretty cool effects/moods by different types of lighting.

  8. Thanks Janiss, it could be fun to do something wild in the background. I need to play around and read up on lighting more. I just sort of inherited lights and thought I'd try them out. My setup is less than ideal. I don't have a lot of room, end up shooting at wide angle just to fit me in the photo.

    As for the lights, I'm learning. I was given them at Christmas as handme down and there were no real instructions on how to use the lights so I've just been playing. Do you know of any good resources?


  9. I wish I had resources for you, but I originally learned about lighting and photography in the 1980s and the books I have came from that time - those old, old HP Photo books! But while I learned some basics from them (which you can probably find on the web now), I learned even more from what you are doing now - experimenting. You could use something to stand in for you - a lamp or something like that, and set up lighting from a new angle, or dramatic, contrasty lighting, or a back light or something, get approximate exposure settings and then step in with the remote, and go on to adjust accordingly. That alone will teach you lots!

  10. Thanks Janiss, I do plan to continue to experiment. :-) Most of my photography has been outdoors, even back when I took b&w film photography classes. So indoor with lights is all new. I will share more as I take more. Probably every couple of weeks at the slow rate I move.