A project for me

I have decided I have got to do something drastic to increase my photographic skills. More action, less talk. The thing I decided on was a project: I am going to try to take a portrait of myself every day....and then talk about it. My plan is to do as minimal of editing as possible, at least initially, to stretch my photographic skills. Bad hair day. Busy. Tired. Doesn't matter. I am going to try to take--and post--a self-portrait a day.

I am hoping that in addition to increasing my photographic skills, it will force me to be more creative and not so "rote." So there you have it.

Today's issue was focusing. I set up a chair and tried to focus on it using autofocus, and then I used the manual focus to tweak the focus to a few inches in front of the chair, to compensate for where my head would go. Anyway, what came in sharp focus was my hair to the right of my face (left side of the screen). The rule is to "focus on the eyes," and that didn't do it. I am going to need to figure out focusing when the subject isn't there!

Anyway, here are the particulars of the shot:

  • Camera was set vertically on my tripod and set at Mirror Up.
  • Composed the shot by placing the chair where I wanted it and then doing the focusing deal I spoke about above.
  • Used my wireless remote to trigger the shutter.
  • Used Aperture priority, f/8, with a shutter speed of 1/60s. 0EV dialed in. Used pop-up flash with -1.0 EV, ISO 200, Auto WB, and Matrix metering. Picture control was D2XMODE1.
  • I pulled the RAW file into Capture NX2 and made the following tweaks:
    • Changed WB to Flash
    • Rotated and cropped
    • Changed picture control to Portrait
    • Changed exposure compensation to +1.0 (I really underexposed it!)
    • Removed camera sharpening, and then later added it using Unsharp Mask at 50, 5, 4.
    • Created a black control point and moved it to the right
    • Saved as a JPEG
Here is today's photo, the first of many (I hope!). Click on the image to get a larger version:


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This page contains a single entry by Melinda P. published on June 25, 2009 10:20 PM.

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