07 June 2014

Self Portrait | #Selfie Photos

#Selfie Photos

For most of us, a selfie photo would mean a photo taken from a camera phone with hands extended. And since this usually focuses more on subjects face, being creative with the facial expression is the thing. I actually have hundreds of Selfies even before this trend came to be what it is called today. The onset of smartphones, digicams, entry level DSLR’s and Androids gave way to this kind of photography, and I’ve had it all, it’s the mark of this generation after all, I was a kid when this world existed without cellphones, and text messages that when it came to be; it was such a breakthrough technology.


I’m way past half assed selfie photos, pardon my strong opinion. I just think that if your photos aren’t sharp enough, forget the rest. You’ve heard this somewhere, but I won’t elaborate much on that. Camera phones just doesn’t do much justice, even digicams no matter how expensive they are, I should know; high Megapixels just doesn’t guarantee sharp photos, the CMOS sensor makes all Digicams the same no matter how much they vary in price range. It’s even frustrating when I take photos from my Android phone, be overly excited that they look good in the screen, only to tear at my hair when I check the file in the computer and see the photo on a larger screen. People can continue to use the camera 360 if they want to, nothing wrong with it really, but if you are passionate with photography, you wouldn’t sell out sharpness and make your yourself look like wax models; after all, facial features, expressions, the soulful eyes, these are what makes us humans and a camera is a tool to capture that essence. 

As a travel blogger, I would often travel alone to explore the places I visit. I would be lucky if I had a travel buddy who could take instructions in taking photos because there is no way that I would leave a place without having my photo taken, and a phone or digicam selfie is out of the question. That aside, there are times that I wouldn’t have anyone else but myself, so I have to make do. Learning how to take self portraits proved to be an effort but fun and rewarding. The most basic equipment for me would be my entry level DSLR, a remote and tripod is needed but not required.

These photos I recently took in Los Arcos de Hermanos Resort in San Jose, Belmonte Bulacan on a company sponsored summer outing. While it was only for a day trip, I decided to stay for the night and actually spend my weekend in there with a few friends. I had planned to do this all along since it has been a while that I did night pool swimming (Check this link: A Night In A Dark Pool). The previous one, I did the same thing, taking photos of my friends using only the available fluorescent pool lamp. It did yield some amazing photos under low light condition. This time though, I didn’t have my tripod as I deemed it heavy for this relaxed trip, my remote shutter release is with me though, and this lessens the effort of going back and forth for camera adjustments. You can well imagine the effort photographers do just to create a set up for taking photos.

Placing the camera on top of a water jug that is placed on a table solved the issue of stability, no tripod, no problem. I was being resourceful, now I set up my camera for 2 second remote release, means I have about 3 seconds to be ready after hitting the remote button. For the ambient light, the lamps available aren’t sufficient, but I can’t use the camera flash as it would flatten out the image. If you consider studio portraits, the situation is far from it, I only have key light which are the lamps that can only illuminate me from the side. This set up of short light would normally work on female subjects; I’m just trying to be creative with silhouettes and shadows. To those who know better, would understand what I meant by short light and key lights, but for the sake of creativity and practicing portraiture with ambient setting, this would do. Setting my camera on manual mode, to better illuminate me as the subject I used a slow shutter speed which mean I posed still and steady for a number of seconds in each of these pictures. I prefer clean photos with less noise as possible; I used ISO 200 to achieve a good contrast in shadows while opened the Aperture to its widest possible. Without really looking much for the camera’s LCD Screen, I managed to take several frames in RAW file since I intended to process the photos to a good use.

Francis Balgos is a Call Center Agent, Weekend Travel Warrior, Amateur Spelunker, Sometime Surfer, Newbie Mountain Climber, Photography Enthusiast, Certified Beach Bum, A first born son, Faithful lover, True Explorer...

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