the self portrait challenge

Today was a fun day. Earlier in the week, when I was exploring the forums, I found a thread encouraging us to post self-portraits. That has been bugging me. It sounds simple. But anyone can prop up the camera, hit the timer button and get in the picture. So how was I going to make mine something with at least a little more creativity involved? What would be an interesting location, interesting pose, or a way to make the picture show who I am?

I finally decided to take a simple photo, but change it in Photoshop. Why that? Well, I am not only learning to use my first digital camera, but with the new camera, I expanded my budget to include a copy of Adobe Photoshop. I have never had any training on photoshop or any other high end photo editing software. So this is a great opportunity to begin the learning process.

The “simple photo” was a bit more involved than I expected. I decided to go outside to use natural lighting since I don’t have a studio. I found a suitable backdrop. Then I built a simple frame to hold it up. Everything was angled to make use of the sunlight and avoid shadows on my backdrop. I wanted to be able to remove the background during editing and didn’t know how complicated that would be. I had the camera outside during this process so it would warm up and not have any condensation on the lens. After all, I’m in South Carolina in August. The outdoor temperature was 94deg F. with only 46% humidity. Not our worst weather, but not great either. By the time I started taking photos, I was sweating through my shirt. Yuck. Eventually, I took 24 shots and it looked like 3 of them were usable images. I was also very thirsty and my shirt was soaked. And all that right there in my own front yard. Sheesh!

Then the real fun began. What should I do with the images? The results (so far) are posted. I actually bought Adobe Creative suite and it came with a DVD containing some tutorial video clips. Those were helpful once I decided what to do. The rest depended on getting my creativity jump-started.

All in all, it has been a fun and educational day. Thanks for viewing.

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