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Self Portrait techniques/tips?
We all are in that shameless position that we want a picture of ourselves and the only option is to hold the camera as far out as possible and point it at ourselves and hope for the best..

Since I bought my Rebel XT, I've yet to take a good self portrait. I either miss myself completely, it's blurry, it's out of focus, or the composition is horrible..

How to hold it so the arm isn't visible. Where to hold it for the best looking shot. What to pose like, so I don't look like and idiot in the shot. Zoom/No zoom? Focusing tips?..

Comments (6)

Good luck getting suggestions. I too am curious about this. I recently bought a Rebel XT. One thing I do know is that it used to be much easier with my previous point and shoot camerasCanon A620 and G7. The thing is, I needed to use macro mode at arms length and I don't have a macro lens for the RXT. So far the only thing that seems to work OK is focusing on something temporarily set up at the distance where you will be after the timer goes off or having the cameras' depth of field set so you be in focus in front of a pre-focused wall, tree, etc.



What I'd really like to know is if there is a way to set the camera (especially without a macro lens) so that it will do a fresh focus at center frame (hopefully on my mug) right before it takes the pic..

I can't seem to replace the horribly fake smile on my face with a sincere one nor do I want to go with the serious look too much so good luck on what to do with your face. Entertainers, models and so on practice different expressions and angles in the mirror to do for photo shoots, videos and so on. You might try that. The only good candid shot I got of me smiling normally was when my cat just happened to do something funny at the right moment..

Another great thing about P&Ss is that they often allow for multiple timer shots, say up to 10 shots in a row, 5 seconds apart. Why the heck DSLRs only allow for one 10 second timer shot is beyond my comprehension. So much for easily trying different expressions and angles..

Oh yeah, if possible do have a mirror behind the camera so you can see your expression and/or pretending the camera is a particular person might help. Knowing that I often tend to do a half (hearted) smile helped me avoid doing that though it is an optional and maybe more sincere and realistic look. Smiling with the eyes is important too. It looks a little better and can be easily overlooked while doing a my fake grin. Oh, the Hugh Manatee..

Maybe I'm too serious, but I am amazed that people like Mariah Carey and Janet Jackson can perform the exact same convincing smile whenever necessary. Then again it might be easy at there level of success and the job pretty much requires it. What really blows my mind are the people who can maintain a good smile during an extended talk. Wow, that must take a lot of training! I can't imagine doing that and not at the same time thinking "This is so cheesy." I guess that's what they call "acting". There you go...say "Cheese!"..

Comment #1

Related2SaintAnna:you have hit it on the head. I feel your exact pains when trying to take shots..

It seems illogical to canon to make a 10 second timer, and NOT the ability to refocus at the last moment to take the shot. What good is autofocus with the 10 second timer then? Only in the timer mode should it do this, all other modes should function as is...

Comment #2

Yumology wrote:.

It seems illogical to canon to make a 10 second timer, and NOT theability to refocus at the last moment to take the shot..

You think so? I don't..

What good is autofocus with the 10 second timer then?.

So you can focus somewhere, and then get in the picture yourself. Or that you can get a longer exposure without moving the camera..

Only in the timer modeshould it do this, all other modes should function as is..

Nope. Becase you do it wrong it does not mean the camera should function different. Have you noticed the size of the autofocus sensors? Exactly how much of a chance to place yourself in a certain point you have when facing the camera a few meters away? Or, worse, to place the focus point on your eye when handholding the camera in reverse at a arm's length?.

How should you do it? Depends what you want. Basically, I hate selfportraits at arm's lenght, but....

1. Select an higher number aperture value to allow you a bit of a leeway due to depth of field..

2. Check your exposure. Make sure the shutter speed is high enough for you to handhold that at an arm's lenght in reverse. If not, increase the ISO.3. Autofocus or manual focus on your fist, arm stretched.4. *turn off the autofocus* on the lens, to keep the focus5.



Better ways to get your image:-ask somebody to take a picture.

- put the camera on something and back away a few meters. The focus procedure is the same- use a tripod if the situation is such...

Comment #3

I was having a go at this at the weekend and found the same things as you. I felt that the arms length is a bit too close for me even at 18mm (and that's not a good focal length for portraits anyway). The focus happening at the beginning of the self-timer was something I hadn't realised either..

In the end I found some steps and rested my camera on them after having manually set the focus by pointing at the spot where I was going to place the camera. It worked reasonably well and I managed it at f/6.3 at 55mm. A very light tripod might do for times like this though..

Some people do get good at the arms length thing though so perhaps it's a case or practice...

Comment #4

Check Ebay for inexpensive remote switches. Infra-red, half-press to focus and full press to shoot.jonGive me something to shoot..

Comment #5

1. Take a look at mirror and smile/pose till you find expression you are looking for..

2. Find place where background is good enough for your self portrait..

3. Place camera on tripod..

4. Prefocus at area where you'll be standing (place tall subject there (lightstand?)).

5. Start timer, position yourself at the spot, don't forget pose selected in N1..

P.S. If you have good frend/photogarpher he(she) will do exact portrait you wish!http://www.stan-pustylnik.smugmug.com..

Comment #6

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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