Comunidad de diseñadores puertorriqueños

Tips of how can a Self- portrait makes you a better photographer


As long as art has existed, so too has the self-portrait. Van Gogh famously painted more than 30 self-portraits, using the available subject-of-self as both an outlet for his artistic talents, and as a method for perfecting his craft. Rembrandt, as perhaps the most prolific master of the self-portrait, painted, etched and drew more than 100 images of himself throughout his lifetime. One can even imagine the cavemen as having injected some degree of self into the prehistoric images painted on their cave walls.

While taking self-portraits, one of the more difficult aspects to nail down is focus. You don’t have the luxury of pinpoint-focusing on the subject’s face, for example, when you, yourself are the subject. To get around this challenge, it is important to have a stand-in object on which you can focus the camera. I personally use my light stand, as it’s usually with me, and is tall enough to mirror my own height.

First, I determine where, in the frame, I will position myself and I place a ‘mark’ on that spot to ensure I’m continually in the right position. Small rocks, a line of chalk or a crack in the sidewalk have all worked well as my mark. Next I focus my camera on the light stand. Once my focus is perfect, I switch my DSLR to manual focus mode. From that point forward, unless I make manual focus adjustments, the focus will remain unchanged. As long as I stand on my mark, I’ll be in focus. This is particularly important when using shallow depth of field, where a single step forward or backward will cause you to be out of focus, ruining the shot.

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Article by Ryan Pendleton

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