June 6, 2010

This is the Title

The time has come again where I feel compelled to talk about how awesome of a photographer I am. Just kidding, I'm actually not that great/experienced. It just so happens that the picture I'm going to talk about is another self-portrait. I actually don't take that many pictures of myself and I usually don't enjoy looking at myself. What happens is that the only time I have time or feel like experimenting is by myself, so that's when I get all the creative/awesome pictures. Also, the reason I took this picture was for the Gizmodo shooting challenge of the week with the challenge being a self portrait, see the results here.
Anyways... to the subject at hand. Here it is:

As you can see, it's pretty awesome looking with the full moon and half of a semi-transparent me. The background of the picture was pretty straight forward. The me part took a few tries to get right. The original idea was to end up with a spookyish looking tree lit up by the moon and an awesome looking me in the foreground somewhere not looking like too much of an idiot. Here's one of my first attempts:
As you might be able to notice, I look like the skinny weakling that I actually am. I also am not lit up enough and there are some lights shining through my head. To fix the exposure problem I move a little closer. This also makes me look a little bit bigger but it still doesn't look that great as can be seen here:
Now that I'm properly exposed I have to deal with the fact that I still look like myself. Up to this point I had my camera on the tripod about as high as it would go. To make myself look a little bigger/intimidating I put the tripod about as low as it would go. BTW, my flash was about 5 feet to the left of the camera for all these pictures. For the next few pictures I tried moving around the frame to get me in a good place in relation to the moon and tree with these results:

I now have a decent looking me with the cool background. The problem is that since I'm only about 6 feet away from the camera with the focus set to infinity I'm a little blurry. To fix this I closed the aperture to f/8. I would have closed it all the way to f/22 but I could only keep the shutter open for 30 seconds since my rubber band that I use for bulb mode had broken. Also, my flash would have had trouble lighting me up with the aperture any smaller. Now that I got myself into as much focus as was going to happen I played around with standing in the picture for different amounts of time. All the previous pictures, once the flash went off I was out of the picture. I tried standing there for only 10 seconds of the exposure and for the whole exposure but got the winner at 15 seconds. At 10 you could barely see the unlit side of me, but if I stood there for the whole 30 seconds there wasn't any cool see through effect. At 15 seconds you could see that the unlit side of me was there, but it was still transparent enough to be cool. The different tries can be seen here:

As far as exposure goes, I just had to balance the flash with the sky. Everything else was skill trial and error.

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