52Frames 2020-01 – Self-portrait

New year means – trying once again to restart 52Frames, and hope that it sticks, and if it doesn’t stick, well, it will have lasted for as long as it will have had, and hopefully I’ll get a few reasonable pictures out of it.

Traditionally, the first 52Frames theme of the year is the self-portrait – it’s actually a pretty good idea to kick-off the year, I think 🙂

Last year, Pierre bought a few Yongnuo 300-III LED panels with which I hadn’t yet taken the time to play. So this self-portrait is my first foray into “proper” portrait photography with a three-point lighting – main light left and above, secondary light right and a bit lower, and light behind to separate the subject (err, me) from the backdrop (err, my black curtain in the TV room.)

I then ran a few edits on Darktable – fixing the exposition and whatnot, removing a couple of really major skin blotches (considering what’s left, I’ll let you imagine what I removed 😉 ), and SHIP IT!

And I decided I was happy enough with it to change my 7+-year old Facebook profile photo – so you may have seen that picture already, but now you get a tiny bit of behind the scenes too 🙂

52Frames – 2019 Week 01 – Self-portrait

The first assignment of the year for the 52Frames project was, as it is traditional, “Self-Portrait“. I got a crystal ball for Christmas that I needed to take for a first spin, so that’s what I did.

I did want to have a fairly neutral background – which is pretty hard when you do have a crystal ball that gives you a huge field of view – so I ended up taking pictures on the floor, below my camera set on my beloved tripod that can rotate the central column 90°. Even there, I’m a bit annoyed at the reflection from the window – but oh well. (I tried to post-process them away and failed miserably :P)

I played quite a bit with different ways of getting a proper focus – increasing the f-stop to get more “probability of being in focus”, trying to let the camera do its thing with autofocus and pray for the best, setting the camera at “this seems like a pretty good distance” manually and moving the ball up and down, taking multiple pictures as I went… In the end, the one I eventually chose was one of the earlier in the set. I like the hand position, and I also like the curl of hair that happened to go behind it.

The conclusion of that whole setup was that focusing on a crystal ball is not necessarily trivial, and it’s so much worse when trying to do it blindly while controlling the shutter with a remote 😉

Also worth mentioning: my t-shirt is the t-shirt for Slingshot by Tobias Klausmann, and if you haven’t read it yet you should 😉