On the Road: Self Portrait

Nikon D200, 35mm 1.8 AF-S DX, ISO 400, f/11, 1/25 sec.
Nikon D200, 35mm 1.8 AF-S DX, ISO 400, f/11, 1/25 sec.

I’ve been working on a series of backstage portraits the past several weeks while out on the road. I’m hoping to be able to share them with you all soon, but in the meantime I wanted to share this photo with you.

During some off time today, I was practicing, listening to music, catching up on YouTube videos, and playing around with some lenses. As I was shooting a few test shots of my trumpet and other stuff laying on the hotel room couch, I noticed this translucent room divider right next to the couch.

“Hmm, I wonder what would happen if I shot a speedlight through that thing?”


Instant strip softbox. Awesome.

I decided to do a self-portrait of pretty much what I had been doing: practicing and working on things. I tried to keep it spontaneous, but I did decide to look towards the light because it sculpted my face better (I need all the help I can get these days). I had tried a shot where I was looking at the camera and, due to the positioning of the light modifier (room divider), it ended up split-lighting my face.

DSC_4520The warm light from camera right is coming from the room lamp. I didn’t do any tungsten white balancing because I wanted the contrasting color temperatures. I opened the shutter quite a bit to let that ambient light bleed into the exposure.

For you gear heads, I was using the camera’s self timer to trip the shutter, the built-in flash to optically fire an SB-26 through the divider, and a lovely desk as a makeshift tripod.


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