Barbados Island Photography
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How to create a self portrait

Equipment that I need for a self portrait

You have your list of stuff that you always take on a photo shoot and for a self portrait; I took a few more things.

Since I was outdoors I put weights on the bottom of all of my tripods so that they would not blow over.

I had a manikin head on the top of one of my tripods.  I made it the same height as me so that I could get the correct focus on my camera and I put it exactly where I was going to be.  I put a marker under it so that I knew where to stand when I moved the manikin.

I put my camera onto a tripod set it to focus manually and focus on the manikin head (this tripod also has weights on it so that it does not blow over)

I set the f-stop and shutter speed (you can also set your camera to programme mode or any of the other modes that your camera has).

I set the self timer to 3 seconds, that may be a bit slow.

I moved the manikin out of sight of the camera, pressed the shutter button, the timer was set to about 3 seconds and I ran into position to get my picture taken.

In the picture that I did eventually get (the one at the end of this article). I used an off camera flash, which I set up the same way that I would if I was setting it up for any other picture but this is optional.

My Mistakes

I made a few mistakes

  •  I zoomed in too much and when I checked the camera I was not in the picture.
  • Sometimes my focus was off .  The manual focus setting had changed and when I checked the camera, I was totally out of focus.
  • I forgot to change the focus setting to manual and the sky was in focus and not me.
  • I set the self timer too fast and I did not get in position in time
  • I did not stand exactly on the marker.
  • I took the picture with the glasses hanging around my neck.  If I was taking a picture of someone else I would look for things like, hair out of place, stains to hide, clothing wrinkled in the wrong place and extras that should not be there.  I need to put more thought into it and check myself before I start.

This is the extra equipment that I needed.

  • Tripod to put the manikin head or foam ball on
  • Manikin head or foam ball to stick on top of the tripod
  • Tripod for your camera
  • Weights for the tripods because I was outdoors and because with me running around, there is more chance of bumping it
These are the things that I had to know or research in my manual before I left home
  • How to set the self timer
  • How to put the camaera into manual mode
  • How to focus manually
  • How to connect the camera to the tripod
  • How to attach the weights to the tripod

Well I am going back to see if I can get a better one without the glasses hanging around my neck.

Here is another option

It can be really easy.   You can set your camera to self timer, use the widest angle, put it on a table and run in front before it goes off.  Grin and there you have it.  If you are lucky it will be in focus and you will be in the picture.

Have fun with this and get other people to play too.


More Photo stuff or Photo tips and ideas