Today I participated in photographing a self-portrait, the reason being was to test lighting set ups using the beauty dish and including hair lighting.
24-105mm F4.0 Lens
Sekonic Light Meter
Pocket wizard x 2
First of all I measured the amount of light required to light my face using the beauty dish. I decided to use the beauty dish to create a slight Rembrandt lighting effect beneath my nose. I plugged the pocket wizard into the head, which had the beauty dish attached, then quickly took a meter reading whilst I tested the light. My initial reading was F11 and 3/10, so that my aperture settings were dead on the f-stop I slightly moved the Beauty dish back around 30 cm. After taking a second measurement me moving the beauty dish slightly has affected the scene and has given me a meter reading of exactly F11. My beauty dish was positioned slightly higher than me at sitting level but angled so it was at a 45 degree pointing downwards towards my face.
For my second light I used a smaller soft box and positioned it directly above my head facing completely downwards to illuminate my hair. I wanted to position the hair light so that it gave off a similar aperture value to my key light. I removed the pocket wizard from my key light and placed it within the hair light so that I could test that particular light individually. After taking multiple readings and positioning the light differently I made it so the reading from my metering was exactly F11.
After setting up my lights it was time to shoot. I don’t own a remote so I had to use the self timer on my Canon 5D, to enable the self timer settings I had to press the drive button on my camera and spin the dial until the self timer was available on the screen. I found it really difficult to focus the camera so that I was in focus within the frame. I moved a chair into my studio space so that I could focus on the back of the chair. Unfortunately whilst I was present within the frame the manual focusing setting I had chosen was not adequate resulting in my not been in focus, making the photograph unsharp.
As this was only a test to make improvements next time I will consider buying a remote control for my camera. This will enable me to be able to sit within the frame whilst I’m photographing myself rather than me having to press the shutter then quickly get into position.
In regards to composition I am pleased with the outcome. I feel as if its different to how I would usually compose a portrait; for example I’d position the subject/model within the centre of the frame. By using a tight crop within the left hand side of my body, it suggests that the frame is infinite and creates a sense of illusion as to how the rest of my body is positioned.
In post production using Photoshop I edited the background so that it had a slight pink hue to it. This in turn brings out the colour within my hair and also it creates a colour scheme within my photograph. For my next self portrait I plan to use pastel colour gels to light the background so there is little post production as possible. In order to do this I would have to light the background separately using 2 soft boxes to create cross lighting. Inside the soft boxes I will place the colour gels I feel necessary for my portrait background.
Leeds based fashion/portrait photographer currently studying Foundation degree photography
Email : Georginaharrison2709@gmail.com
Tel : 07568300690