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minniev
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Just Me

Postby minniev » Tue Aug 08, 2017 1:43 pm

So, I had to have a picture of myself for the dam bird exhibit. And there are no pictures of me, unless you count a couple of street snaps that Dave Chinn sneaked up on me with in New Orleans a while back, and the occasional group shots my daughter in law manages to get me into with her phone snaps.

Taking a selfie with a handheld camera held backwards, no control of lighting and in a junk-riddled house is harder than it looks like it oughta be. I took about 30 pictures of the ceiling, wall, bookcase, crazy looking eyes (you can't look where you think you should),and various strange crops before I got one I thought I might could use. I didn't try to "fix myself up" since yes, I am old, and yes there are wrinkles, and yes, it would be hopeless anyway.

Any comments or suggestions are welcome, though I hope I never have to do this again.
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"God gave me photography so that I could pray with my eyes" - Dewitt Jones

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Charles Haacker
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Re: Just Me

Postby Charles Haacker » Tue Aug 08, 2017 2:15 pm

So I decide I should surface at least briefly for air and your selfie is the first thing I see. It's not a bad picture! The lighting looks fine, there is good detail everywhere, we're all getting old so meh, but jeepers Min, ya look so SAD! :( Some of that is likely due to the struggle with the tech side, leaving little to no room for the art side. A portrait should say something about the subject. What this says to me is SAD! Part of it is the raised eyes, exacerbated by the low camera angle. My main suggestion would be to get the tripod out and use a remote trigger if you have one. Struggling to hand-hold a camera when you can't see the screen is just too hard, physically difficult and distracting. The background of plain wall is fine, the light you have should be fine, the chair is okay (although you could try a stool so the chair back doesn't try to draw attention), but the camera should be raised until it's about level with your eyes. Then you have options, looking into the lens or not, whatever, but the camera being fixed in one position should make it a lot easier to get something that doesn't look like your dog died. :| I'm personally fond of getting the camera in the picture with the old-mirror-selfie trick, but everything depends on what else the mirror is reflecting and I have used the bathroom mirror more than once, including my current iteration. For that One I hung a towel over the shower curtain rod and eventually changed out the whole background, but that's a nuisance. I personally would not recommend using this particular picture for your exhibit. :)
Last edited by Charles Haacker on Tue Aug 08, 2017 4:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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(I prefer to present pictures in albums because I can put them in specific order.)

All the great photographers use cameras! No, really. :|

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minniev
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Re: Just Me

Postby minniev » Tue Aug 08, 2017 2:53 pm

Charles Haacker wrote:So I decide I should surface at least briefly for air and your selfie is the first thing I see. It's not a bad picture! The lighting looks fine, there is good detail everywhere, we're all getting old so meh, but jeepers Min, ya look so SAD! :( Some of that is likely do to the struggle with the tech side, leaving little to no room for the art side. A portrait should say something about the subject. What this says to me is SAD! Part of it is the raised eyes, exacerbated by the low camera angle. My main suggestion would be to get the tripod out and use a remote trigger if you have one. Struggling to hand-hold a camera when you can't see the screen is just too hard, physically difficult and distracting. The background of plain wall is fine, the light you have should be fine, the chair is okay (although you could try a stool so the chair back doesn't try to draw attention), but the camera should be raised until it's about level with your eyes. Then you have options, looking into the lens or not, whatever, but the camera being fixed in one position should make it a lot easier to get something that doesn't look like your dog died. :| I'm personally fond of getting the camera in the picture with the old-mirror-selfie trick, but everything depends on what else the mirror is reflecting and I have used the bathroom mirror more than once, including my current iteration. For that One I hung a towel over the shower curtain rod and eventually changed out the whole background, but that's a nuisance. I personally would not recommend using this particular picture for your exhibit. :)


Thanks Chuck, glad to see you back. Never woulda thought of the mirror trick! I have a couple of old mirrors that I can experiment with. That would be a better option than a remote, cause I still couldn't see what I was taking a picture of with a remote. I appreciate tips from a real portrait guy! i wish you could just drop by and do the deed for me, but you're a few miles away!

Some days with this project I feel like my dog died :) I'm on such unknown ground, and every day a new landmine explodes under my feet.

I appreciate your help a lot!
"God gave me photography so that I could pray with my eyes" - Dewitt Jones

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Charles Haacker
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Re: Just Me

Postby Charles Haacker » Tue Aug 08, 2017 3:04 pm

minniev wrote:Thanks Chuck, glad to see you back. Never woulda thought of the mirror trick! I have a couple of old mirrors that I can experiment with. That would be a better option than a remote, cause I still couldn't see what I was taking a picture of with a remote. I appreciate tips from a real portrait guy! i wish you could just drop by and do the deed for me, but you're a few miles away!

Some days with this project I feel like my dog died :) I'm on such unknown ground, and every day a new landmine explodes under my feet.

I appreciate your help a lot!

A coupl'a things I forgot to mention: one is to clean the mirror thoroughly. I tend to forget that but it leads to a lot of nasty little spots, esp. In dark areas. Also I always reverse the shot I'm going to use so it's accurate right-to-left. I like to keep the camera in the picture, but It's also possible to have the camera on a tripod at an angle so it doesn't appear. A piece of masking tape on the floor can serve as your mark (in movies and teevee they call it "hitting your mark"). You can try something, walk over and check it, then "hit your mark" for another take. If you have a framed mirror you can include the frame to be the frame. If you want to be looking at the lens, do just that: look right into the reflection of the lens. Or you can look off. If you pull the camera back you have wiggle room that can be cropped later.

You must know what a triumph the Dam Birds are! There is a reason they asked you to exhibit! :thumbup: :thanks:
Friends call me Chuck. :photo: This link takes you to my Flickr albums. Please click on any album to scroll through it.
(I prefer to present pictures in albums because I can put them in specific order.)

All the great photographers use cameras! No, really. :|

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PietFrancke
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Re: Just Me

Postby PietFrancke » Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:06 pm

I'm with Chuck, but also I think move a mirror to a north facing window or some such, I think the light was a little harsh as is. You deserve a softer light. But my recommendation also is give Miss Julian a PM and see what she says. Don't give up on this! And Ernst needs to weigh in too!

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Graham Smith
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Re: Just Me

Postby Graham Smith » Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:19 pm

Very useful... and a nice photo :)


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