kramon blog

cycling between video and photography with an HDSLR at hand

Archive for June 2010

DIY portraiture

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DIY portrait

jump portraits: the funnest ones to make!

Do you, as a photographer, have the same problem?

I have plenty of pictures of the people around me. But when asked; I haven’t got a decent one of myself. At parties and social events, at home or on holidays, I’m usually the one taking the pictures ’cause you do it so well’.

And the thing is; almost everybody needs pictures of themselves for their avatars or websites or…

The only (relatively) decent pictures I have of myself, are the ones taken by fellow photographers while out on one of our photo-safaris or somewhere at a workshop. But there’s a way to get your portrait more easely: Do It Yourself! …as in the best punk tradition.

AND; there’s much you can learn by taking/making your own portrait.

When I think of a new light-plan, or want to test some new gear; I pretty quickly want to try it out. I’ve bored my wife, children and even the cat to death with these testshoots. Their interest in the tieniest of light/aperture/shutter variations… well; let’s just say they couldn’t care less. Bless them.

DIY portrait

testing an Elinchrome Quadra turns me into a... cowboy?

– What do you need?

1/ Besides your camera and yourself, having a decent tripod is important… You’re able to frame your picture the same way every shot. Every variation you try will also be more visible/detectable that way. And if you want to experiment with long exposures: no problemo.

2/ Space: almost every room (or garden, or field,…) fits! The tiniest of rooms can throw the biggest of challenges at you. Welcome them. Just try and make a decent picture in your bathroom. It’s good practice for when you’re out on a real shoot and are confronted with closet-sized offices where you have to portray the CEO… believe me: it will happen.

Quadra Testing fun

Quadra Testing fun

3/ Time: take lot’s of it. don’t be happy too quickly; see where you can improve and do it. Try to mimic the style of a photographer you admire and do it step by step; what’s the composition? what lenses does he/she use? what kinda light is at play? where’s the focus? how is the colour being used? …

The nice thing is; you get to see menus in your camera you wouldn’t otherwise go into. You can learn new ways of doing things (how do I focus myself?). You realize how difficult posing can be. But above all: it’s fun! Now GO PLAY!

….and show me what you did yourself via the comments.


Written by kristoframon

June 23, 2010 at 09:53