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Self Portraits (March) | Camera Settings and Thoug...

Self Portraits (March) | Camera Settings and Thoughts

March was a fun month for self portraits. #portraitsofme is going strong on Instagram and my 3 little co-subjects are still happy to pose with me from time to time. Below are the images that I posted for the project, as well as a few extras. I’ve included settings information and will include a bit of my thought process regarding the set up of each set of images, as well.

The first 3 self portraits were for the prompt {Happiness Is…} Connecting with the kids truly makes me happy. Their happiness to get in front of the camera if I am with them makes me feel lucky. I knew I wanted to capture a tickle war, and I wanted the frames to solely be about the connections between subjects. In order to simplify the frame I chose to shoot from above (the camera is on a tripod, with the extension arm raised up as far as possible) to keep the background clean. I also opened all of the window coverings behind the camera and on a window to camera right so that the shadows were softened, allowing each subjects’s face to be relatively well illuminated.

4pm, SE facing window, 26mm, ISO 3200, f/4, 1/160

4pm, SE facing window, 26mm, ISO 3200, f/4, 1/160

4pm, SE facing window, 26mm, ISO 3200, f/4, 1/160

4pm, SE facing window, 26mm, ISO 3200, f/4, 1/160

4pm, SE facing window, 26mm, ISO 3200, f/4, 1/160

4pm, SE facing window, 26mm, ISO 3200, f/4, 1/160

The next two images were for the prompt {evening routine.} As a late afternoon shoot in very early spring I didn’t have a ton of light to work with. I let my shutter speed fall quite low (1/40 and 1/60) because as my own subject, I knew that I could hold still for the shutter.

3pm, NW facing window, 34mm, ISO 800, f/4, 1/60

3pm, NW facing window, 34mm, ISO 800, f/4, 1/60

3pm, NW facing window, 24mm, ISO 800, f/3.5, 1/40

3pm, NW facing window, 24mm, ISO 800, f/3.5, 1/40

I shared a tutorial about the next three images earlier this week. Find it, here!

9am, 66mm, ISO 200, f/8.0, 1/800

9am, 66mm, ISO 200, f/8.0, 1/800

9am, 66mm, ISO 200, f/8.0, 1/800

9am, 66mm, ISO 200, f/8.0, 1/800

9am, 66mm, ISO 200, f/8.0, 1/800

9am, 66mm, ISO 200, f/8.0, 1/800

The prompt for these final two images was {classic portrait.} Minutes prior to creating these images I had put our youngest child down for a nap, then wandered into our bathroom and noticed the amazing dappled light and reflections bouncing off of the tub. The light was begging to be photographed, so I ran down to grab my camera and set up to shoot. I initially chose a white sleeveless top as wardrobe, but after the first set of images on the Interval Timer Mode I realized that the brightness of my clothing did not support the mood of the frames and the tonal value of the shirt was also one of the brightest points in the frame, drawing the viewer’s eye unnecessarily. Switching to the navy silk camisole allowed the wardrobe choice to be more cohesive with the mood of the images.

1pm, NW facing window, 42mm, ISO 200, f/2.8, 1/500

1pm, NW facing window, 42mm, ISO 200, f/2.8, 1/500

1pm, NW facing window, 42mm, ISO 200, f/2.8, 1/500

1pm, NW facing window, 42mm, ISO 200, f/2.8, 1/500

Do you usually end up choosing one of the first, or one of the last, images in a set of self portraits as your ‘keeper?’ Tell me in the comments!

-M

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  1. Liz Toms

    8 April

    Loved this post… thanks for sharing… for me, my keepers are usually either the first or the last image… very rarely an image in between!

    • MeganCieloha

      8 April

      Thank you, Liz! I’m the same way- the shots that I like most are generally from the first handful, or the last :)

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