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Self-portrait or Selfie?

by | 2018-10-26 9:06pm Asia/Tokyo

Recently, my beautiful wife took her own profile picture for a local business website. She told me it was challenging to do because she couldn’t get pictures in focus when she used a self-timer, and her camera doesn’t have wifi built in, so the only way to take pictures was to use a remote shutter release cable and check after each photo. Self-portraits aren’t easy to take when you can’t view yourself through some other external screen, so she wasn’t able to really take a great photo like I know she can make. Her Canon 5D Mark III let her down.

However, though she will hate for me to say this, but my micro four-thirds Olympus OMD EM1 is way better than the full-frame Canon 5D Mark III in a variety of ways. The primary reason to own a Canon camera is for accessory support, full-frame bokeh control, better high-iso photo quality, and higher resolution. In other words, if you want to make photos with super blurry backgrounds to use in very large (poster size, billboard size, etc.) then you need the Canon. If you don’t need that, you are far better off with the Olympus.

And in the case of self-portraits, the Olympus was simply way easier and more useful. It has built-in wifi and a smartphone app that lets you control it wirelessly as if you were looking at the camera screen. I could sit six feet away, look at my phone, center myself in the frame, move lighting gear closer or move it out of the frame, etc. without taking test shots and getting up to look at the camera. As a result, I found it simple to take my own self-portrait.

I used one Yongnu flash unit and a reflector for these shots. I really needed at least one more flash to light up the dark part of my face in the photo on the left, but I didn’t have one available. I made due with the one that I did have.

The lighting setup is the most basic one there is, but it’s very effective for simple portraits like these. If my studio were a bit bigger, I would have put more distance between myself and the background. I wanted to make it completely black, but having some gray isn’t so bad.

The pictures are a bit dark since I wanted to light myself but didn’t want to light my background. So, in Lightroom I boosted exposure and did a bit more touching up. It’s nothing special, but it was fun and I got some profile pictures I can use for the next year or so. lol