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12-14-2015, 06:37 AM - 2 Likes   #1
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Self-Portrait cc please
Lens: Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Camera: Pentax k5 Photo Location: Geraldton, WA ISO: 800 Shutter Speed: 1/60s Aperture: F10 

I was keen to practice shooting a self-portrait at our outdoor veranda. I had no clue how much you need to think about when your are standing behind/in-front of the camera at the same time. I took around 40 pictures and this one is my preferred shot. However,I can still see some space for improvement e.g. a bit distracting background. Any other comments? Thank you.

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12-14-2015, 07:29 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Katja Quote
I was keen to practice shooting a self-portrait at our outdoor veranda. I had no clue how much you need to think about when your are standing behind/in-front of the camera at the same time. I took around 40 pictures and this one is my preferred shot. However,I can still see some space for improvement e.g. a bit distracting background. Any other comments? Thank you.
What was your intent? Self portraits like most portraits can be simply records of a persons look at a moment in time or the can be crafted to draw out and emphasize some aspect of the person.

What lighting did you use?
12-14-2015, 07:36 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
What was your intent? Self portraits like most portraits can be simply records of a persons look at a moment in time or the can be crafted to draw out and emphasize some aspect of the person.

What lighting did you use?
Thank you for your reply UncleVanya. My intent was to find out why all photographers are raving about raving about 'porch' light. I used only natural light - no flash, nor reflector. To be honest, I just wanted to see 'the light' and didn't expect, it cold be so challenging to pose yourself in-front of lens. I usually take self-portrait with my iPhone and DSLR is all different story. First of all, I was way too close to the camera body and didn't like the light at all. Then I moved a bit more into the room ..
12-14-2015, 08:40 AM   #4
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Porch light? That's a new one for me.

What lens did you use? And what aperture? In posting from a phone so if the info is there I just missed it. I would think a longer lens with wider aperture would help reduce the background distractions, and I think the light on you would need to be more even unless you want a stark look.

Just for fun try processing that image to black and white and maybe bump the contrast up.

12-14-2015, 06:30 PM   #5
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Torch light? The light source is aimed too far behind the center of your profile, it's illuminating your ear and cheek, a reflective surface the the front would have defined your face and profile, and put a little more color into your eye, which is always a good thing, and highlighted the necklace as well. Also, consider trying a true profile, and then trying an oblique (3/4 face) because what you have is neither one nor the other and it's a little distracting.
Pretty creative idea. Did you use a self timer or remote?
01-18-2016, 06:14 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
Porch light? That's a new one for me.

What lens did you use? And what aperture? In posting from a phone so if the info is there I just missed it. I would think a longer lens with wider aperture would help reduce the background distractions, and I think the light on you would need to be more even unless you want a stark look.

Just for fun try processing that image to black and white and maybe bump the contrast up.
Porch light (garage door or any doorway) - is known as flattering light for everyone. Its also quite effective is you want to avoid any shadows under the eyes (if there is no light from the above).You could achieve the same light with placing a reflector above the subject's head.

Re lens/exposure - I used Tamron 90mm f/2.8 with exposure at 1/60 - f/10 - ISO 800

Re B& W version - I've tried that and I think I prefer color.

---------- Post added 01-19-2016 at 12:43 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by robgski Quote
Torch light?
It's called 'porch light' and not 'torch light'. :-) At lest that's how they called it in America.

QuoteOriginally posted by robgski Quote
The light source is aimed too far behind the center of your profile, it's illuminating your ear and cheek, a reflective surface the the front would have defined your face and profile, and put a little more color into your eye, which is always a good thing, and highlighted the necklace as well. Also, consider trying a true profile, and then trying an oblique (3/4 face) because what you have is neither one nor the other and it's a little distracting.
Pretty creative idea.
Thanks for your ideas - I'll try it next time.There was only one light source - daylight and I am certain I could get more light on my face by moving out of the room. I agree with your comment about a true profile/3/4 face - that's the bit which I didn't know why it was bordering me. thank you for your comment.

QuoteOriginally posted by robgski Quote
Did you use a self timer or remote?
I used self-timer at 12 sec.
03-15-2016, 05:03 PM   #7
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The only thing I can think of is the direction you are looking at..looks unnatural to me. Maybe looking straight ahead?
There are a couple of ways that can make porch light look even better. Try to stand as close to the edge of the shadow of the porch as possible without getting your face in direct sunshine. Also you can turn around so just you hair is lite from the light beyond the shadow so your hair developers a natural highlight (in the studio they call it a hair light or rim lighting)
Try not to have the background too bright ��

Good luck and let us know how you make out!

Randy
03-17-2016, 07:12 AM - 1 Like   #8
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Do you have the room (or space) where you can place the mirror? I would place the tripod behind the mirror, so I can see myself and control the light and posing, focusing on some subject instead of me first, set aperture around -4+ and do test shooting.

03-18-2016, 07:05 AM - 1 Like   #9
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I like your look here. I don't like the distractions of the stuff behind you. I look at the background more than you. I don't see a connection between the background and you so why have it?
04-16-2016, 08:20 PM - 2 Likes   #10
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I think you have made a damn fine effort here. Also, you have opened yourself up to constructive criticism and should be applauded for both. You have been given some excellent advice from some very talented folks, so it would surely benefit you to practice. My question to you is: According your file photo, you are a very attractive young lady, with pretty long hair. Why hide both from the viewers by stuffing your hair under a cap? Again, wonderful effort and I am sure you will be doing great things in the near future. Thanks. Tonytee.
04-24-2018, 11:34 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by slip Quote
The only thing I can think of is the direction you are looking at..looks unnatural to me. Maybe looking straight ahead?
Thank you for your comments Randy. Sorry, it's been a little while and I've just come across some unseen comments in this thread today!

QuoteOriginally posted by slip Quote
Try to stand as close to the edge of the shadow of the porch as possible without getting your face in direct sunshine. Also you can turn around so just your hair is lite from the light beyond the shadow so your hair developers a natural highlight (in the studio they call it a hair light or rim lighting)
Try not to have the background too bright ��

Good luck and let us know how you make out!
This suggestion sounds interesting and also a bit challenging to do on your own .. but I'll give it a go! Thank you.

---------- Post added 04-25-2018 at 05:36 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by micromacro Quote
I would place the tripod behind the mirror, so I can see myself and control the light and posing, focusing on some subject instead of me first, set aperture around -4+ and do test shooting.
This is a brilliant idea! Thank Lana you for sharing your thoughts.
04-26-2018, 06:28 PM   #12
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As Slip says, if you put the camera on its tripod out in the sunshine, and you stand just inside the edge of the porch's shadow line, expose for the face so you get the skin tones like you did, the inverse square law means the stuff further back should just drop off into darkness - crush any remnants to black in postprocessing.

Look towards the camera, because it's a sideways light that providing you have concrete rather than lawn should evenly fill in all the skin textures so the face glows and there are good catchlights in the eyes - adjust your angle until they're located in the irises.

What it really does is quickly and naturally emulate beauty lighting like an actor or model would do in a studio for a headshot, with a strobe above the eye line and a reflector below.

My avatar is porch lighting... the overhang of the entrance to a corporate office.

Last edited by clackers; 04-27-2018 at 12:47 AM.
04-28-2018, 02:28 AM - 5 Likes   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
Look towards the camera, because it's a sideways light that providing you have concrete rather than lawn should evenly fill in all the skin textures so the face glows and there are good catchlights in the eyes - adjust your angle until they're located in the irises.
Thank you for your additional thoughts Clackers re the porch light. I had another go and I think I'm heading in the right direction.

QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
What it really does is quickly and naturally emulate beauty lighting like an actor or model would do in a studio for a headshot, with a strobe above the eye line and a reflector below.
I do studio photography and know about the importance of the catchlight! But I didn't think about it when I was using the porch light. Thanks for the reminder! :-)

QuoteOriginally posted by slip Quote
Also you can turn around so just your hair is lite from the light beyond the shadow so your hair developers a natural highlight (in the studio they call it a hair light or rim lighting)
Thanks Randy. I reckon the hair light requires either an external flash or a strobe. I'll have a go at this another time.
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04-28-2018, 03:12 AM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Katja Quote
I do studio photography and know about the importance of the catchlight! But I didn't think about it when I was using the porch light. Thanks for the reminder! :-) .
Great pic, Katja!

Now you can see that the ground and area in front of the porch is just a big softbox, all your studio principles come into play.
04-28-2018, 04:06 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
studio principles come into play
Thank you Clackers. I'm trying hard to understand lighting principles .. and it's hard. But I'm not going to give up that easily. :-)
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