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.

Port Clinton, Ohio overlooking Lake Erie - sunset

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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