Here is a self portrait, and the process that went through my head making it. I thought that would be good to share. Here’s how to make a dramatic self-portrait in ten steps.
- First, I thought “let’s do a quick self portrait, indoors, lit by simple TTL flash”.
- I then thought “But let’s make it off-camera flash”.
- I went on to think “I want a dramatic image, so let’s use only flash light: available light should play no role”.
- To achieve that, I set my camera to manual exposure, 1/125th second, f/5.6, ISO 100. I took a test shot: black. Good, just what I wanted.
- Next, I aimed a single 430EX flash in slave mode at the wall diagonally from the side.
- Next, I attached a 1/4″ Honl Photo grid to the flash to avoid lighting up the whole wall; instead, I cast a nice parabola. That grid is my most used accessory, I think.
- I added a projected image of a set of lenses, only just visible.
- Now I put myself into that parabola: light straight into my face. Diagonal to the camera.
- I selected an almost-standard lens length (28mm on a Canon 7D, meaning a “real” 45mm) and off-centre composition, with a heavy shadow dramatically cast by me onto the wall.
- Finally, to take the shot I would have used a tripod, but since I had a student available, I asked her to shoot for me (Kayleigh, you know who you are).
And the result? Here it is.
(For best results, click and view at original size)
What do you think? Me to a T, eh? This entire shot took just a few minutes to set up. You can do this too!