Self-portraits Made Simple

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What are hints to taking great self-portraits?

Self-portraits Made Simple

At one point or another, almost everyone needs (or wants) a good picture of themselves. So why not have your favorite digital photographer - you - take the shot? It's easy to do, and it doesn't require much in the way of special equipment.

To take a good self-portrait, all you need is your digital camera (with remote control or self-timer), a tripod and a good background to shoot against.

Your Background: Choose a background that's uncluttered. Make sure there are no objects or lines (such as window frames) that may appear to be "growing out of your head" in the finished portrait. Neutral colors make the best backgrounds. If you're using flash, pose yourself at least four feet in front of any walls to avoid shadows. Try to avoid backlit situations (for example, posing in front of a window with sunlight streaming through it).

Your Tripod: Any steady tripod that's rated at least for your camera's weight and tall enough to extend approximately to your height (standing or sitting) is fine. If you're shooting outdoors, consider suspending a weight below the tripod to add steadiness in any wind.

Your Camera: A camera with a remote control is ideal, since that will allow you to shoot without having to rush into your pose. A ten-second or longer self-timer is your next best choice. Pocket-sized cameras are usually a poor choice for indoor portraits. Their flash is usualy placed so close to the lens that red-eye is almost unavoidable. For flash photography, a hot-shoe mounted flash is best. If your camera has a manual focus option, pre-focus for where you'll be sitting or standing.

Now, simply shoot, make adjustments and shoot again until you have a pleasing digital portrait.



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