I’ve been doing photography as a serious hobby for just over a year, and the one thing I still haven’t really tried is portraits. In my mind, portraits require special lenses, specific lighting, and most of all subjects who are willing to cooperate. I’ve come across none of these in the past year. With Christmas fast approaching, the desire to take photos of people will be increasing, so I thought I’d start off by taking a picture of myself.
I’ve never really thought about taking self-portraits, as to me it seems a little vain. The more I thought about it, I realized that most people that see my photos are on the Internet. People I’ve never met, or talked to before, so why should it matter. For all intents and purposes, self portraits should be viewed as normal portraits of random people that you would never come into contact with anyways.
The setup for this shot was fun and… well… educational. I hung a large black backdrop from the ceiling, and positioned a clamp lamp with a 60 watt bulb 90 degrees to my face at about 3 feet away. I clamped another light on the back of the chair I was sitting in and pointed it directly at the back drop. What I was attempting to do was illuminate half of my face from the side, while the other half was in shadow. The light behind me ever so slightly brought out the darkened edge of my face. After about 45 shots, I came away with two that I thought worked well, and my favourite below.