Monday, July 18, 2011

How I Got The Shot #22 - Self Portrait in Port Clinton Ohio

Sometimes you just need to get a picture of yourself and to be honest it is not the easiest portrait to get.  That is why I enlist the help of my wife and place her in the drivers seat!
Check out the post today to see how I went about setting this up and getting a nice, sunset self portrait.



Check out the details after the break...

Creative Process:
We got a condo for some much needed vacation time in Port Clinton, Ohio which is a town right on Lake Erie.  I brought a minimum compliment of gear - enough to fit into a Tamrac System 6 bag and still be able to handle just about any situation I might come across.
I rarely have pictures of myself as I am usually behind the camera and getting self portraits working alone is a little tricky sometimes.   I employed my wife's help, which made the process very easy.

Normally if shooting a self portrait without help, you would have to manually find the distance and set the focus manually, zone focus, or setup someone/some thing in the spot you would be - lock focus at that point.
This is one of the most difficult things to do in my opinion.  Having the extra help really made the shoot easier.

Location:
Port Clinton, Ohio overlooking Lake Erie - sunset

Gear:
Nikon D50
Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6
Nikon SB-26 in optical slave mode
Lumiquest Softbox III
Flashpoint clamp with mini ball head, Frio cold shoe adapter

EXIF Info:
Shot in Aperture Priority, 1/500th @ f/9, ISO 200, 116mm
JPG standard , auto white balance, shot in manual mode.  Exposed for the background, used flash to illuminate subject to desired level.

Lighting Setup:
SB-26 @ 1/8 power through the SB III - full CTO gel
Had the speed light setup on a clamp on the railing to camera left.  Triggered by an optical slave from the pop-up flash of the D50.

Ambient only exposure, speed light not triggered:


A setup shot showing the placement of the SB III on the railing:

And with this setup, everything was good so long as I did not vary my distance from the light source - the exposure would be what we wanted from shot to shot.

If I did move, we could change the exposure either on camera or from the power of the speed light.  If I got closer, we would want to power the light down a bit or stop down the aperture from f/9 to f/11 for example.  The SB-26 will allow for us to manually set the power down to 1/64th if necessary or we can add extra layers of diffusion material to the  light source to kill some of the power if need be.

I learned that it is not easy to be on the "other side" of the camera.

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