Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Every so often, I sneak up on myself with a camera ...

Every so often, I sneak up on myself with a camera

... and take a picture of me. I was testing out a lighting configuration and needed someone to photograph, so I chose the only person in the room to be the model. Here's the process:

Set up a chair with a four-foot fluorescent lighting fixture ($9 at Home Depot) with daylight balanced tubes to the left and slightly behind a chair, white reflector to the right. Flash unit on camera set at 1/4 power bouncing off ceiling. Hang a sheet of light blue cloth behind the chair just out of range of the main light. Set focus on camera on back of chair. Set self timer on camera. Press shutter. Walk to chair. Sit down. Make a Tim Conway face into a mirror next to the camera. Wait for shutter to trip. Get up, walk to camera, evaluate the picture. Adjust light and reflector as needed. Reset self timer and repeat the above steps until an acceptable image is obtained.

Open image in Photoshop Elements. Throw the kitchen sink at it. Someday when I have time, I'll explain "kitchen sink" photo processing. It involves inverted layers, tone compression, color saturation/desaturation, vignetting, gaussian blur, texturing and unsharp masking. I've explained many of those individual techniques on my photography tips blog. As in the case of this photo, you can combine those actions to your heart's content.

Photograph © 2009 James Jordan.


Dona said...

Love it! When I first saw it I thought it was a colorful cartoon character.

I hope you use this as your facebook/twitter/blogger profile photo. (But not LinkedIn.)

James said...

A lot of people think of me as a cartoon character. I'll have to think about the profile photo thing!

Wanda said...

Oh my goodness..... I absolutely LOVE this self portrait!!!

You are adorable ~~ and remind me of a dear dear friend who lives in Texas named Tom!!!

Love and Hugs

SD at "Addicted to The Click" said...

I love this! Cracks me up - the look on your face - and thinking of Tim Conway! I miss the Carol Burnett show! ;o)