Here’s the first post of my new feature, “How I Got This Shot”. I shot this self-portrait while bored in my room in Wallops Island, VA. I’m TAD here for a few weeks of good ‘ole Navy training. Since there isn’t a lot to do here besides train, I thought I would put my camera to good use and do something useful for everyone.
In this shot, I was standing about 3 feet away from the wall and had my trusty D40 on a tripod about 6 feet way. (Shooting self-portraits is a real pain without a cable release or wireless shutter trigger by the way. Getting your shot in focus takes a little bit, especially to get it tack sharp.) For lighting, I used 1-SB800 camera left on a light stand at about 1/8 power with a homemade 8″ cardboard snoot. The snoot concentrates the light into one small area, which adds to the dramatic feel. I feathered it just a bit as well, so just the edge of the light was hitting my face. The SB800 was about 4 feet away from me. I made sure to work toward the light so that my face wasn’t too much in the shadows. If I would have looked straight at the camera, the entire left side of my face would have been a shadow and that wasn’t the effect I was going for here. The exposure was at f5.6, 1/125, ISO 200, and the focal length was 48mm on a Nikkor 18-135 DX lens. Focus was set to manual on the lens. I triggered the flash with a Cactus V2s Wireless Trigger System, which worked really well.
After the shot, I processed the photo in Adobe Photoshop CS3. I first went into Camera Raw and made my basic settings. Then I removed any color cast using a Curves adjustment layer. Next I added this trendy Hollywood Effect that I learned from Scott Kelby. It’s featured in a couple of his books, The Adobe Photoshop CS3 Book for Digital Photographers and Scott Kelby’s 7-Point System for Adobe Photoshop CS3. Finally, I added some sharpening and saved the image. The final result is what you see above.
I hope you enjoyed the first feature of this series and I look forward to bringing you more images each week. If you have questions or would like to see something specific, just leave me a comment on the blog or contact me via my Contact page. Have a great day and an awesome week!