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Critique Buddies Self Portrait Challenge

By rowarrior
I had completely different visions of what I wanted to do for this challenge, I was intending on building a nice big sandcastle on the beach when I was on holiday and then jumping on it for the photo. Alas the weather, and other factors intervened, and it didn't happen, didn't even get to build my sandcastle! So the bucket just had to get it in my gran's back garden ;o)

For this I had my camera propped up on a beach towel on the grass, focussed on the bucket at f8, and with the pop-up flash on. Unfortunately as the camera was in portrait mode the flash didn't light evenly (I realised it wouldn't at the time, but it was the best I could do for fill in flash), but I didn't have the cord with me to do the off camera flash thing, and I knew I wasn't likely to get another chance at the photo, so I just had to make do.

Now feel free to let rip, I know there's soooo many things to criticise about this one!

Tags: Portraits and people Humour and fun Sports and action

Voters: tigertimb, alansnap, fauxtography and 11 more

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tigertimb 12 40 66 United Kingdom
30 Jul 2009 12:19AM
Great fun shot with the wide angle producing some interesting distortions similar to a mirror at a fairground - looks like you're bending forward which has helped so that your head hasn't shrunk into the distance.
If you had managed to do this at the beach with a sandcastle it would have been very different - less quirky, but lovely with the sea as the backdrop.
But the main thing for me here is the lighting; get the flash right and not only could you fill in the shadows of your face but do so whilst also reducing the exposure of the background and bringing out the details of that sky too. The difficulty is going to be to ensure that you don't overexpose the bucket and shoes, so raise or angle the flash upwards to get a more even effect.
Hope this helps
(P.S. I at least got to start my annual huge sandcastle this year, but the british summer brought a heavy storm which left it abandoned only half complete Sad)
alansnap 16 577 26 United Kingdom
30 Jul 2009 8:20AM
Bighead Smile Smile lol. Great fun and the lens distortion adds to it. I don't mind the uneven lighting, after all you weren't doing an Annie Liebowitz, just a Tigger impression.

fauxtography 15 6.6k 36
30 Jul 2009 10:08AM
Yes, very fairground attraction like. Smile It's a pity that the weather conspired against you as the beach shot would have been great. I'd have been tempted to have the camera a little further away to minimise the distortion a bit. From your description you know that off camera flash with the flashgun would have been better... that would help the image.... how flat is the bucket now?
Picture_Newport 12 659 19 United Kingdom
30 Jul 2009 12:22PM
Not too much to add following on from the guys but will give it a go.

Lovely colours in the bucket and the grass helped along by your fill in flash. I like the angle too, Unlike Mark I quite like the distortion, it adds to the unusual viewpoint.

It's just a shame the flash didn't fill more of yourself, the light fades the further up the image you go. I find the houses in the background a little distracting also, perhaps you could have gone to a local park or more scenic place to get a less cluttered background.

Nice to see something a little different.


kaybee 16 7.5k 26 Scotland
30 Jul 2009 12:29PM
You lost weight?
You are having waaay too much fun doing this
rowarrior 12 4.4k 9 Scotland
30 Jul 2009 5:35PM
Thanks all, yes, I'd have liked a less cluttered background too, but somewhat lacking those in this city Sad I'm going to see if I can find a beach maybe this weekend and have another go, and get the flash work right this time too,

Quote:You lost weight?
You are having waaay too much fun doing this

Yes I have, 3 stone, and probably a bit more after jumping up and down about 15 times to get this shot lol
James_C Plus
11 38 57 United Kingdom
30 Jul 2009 7:57PM
Well I think its a really fun shot and you obviously enjoyed yourself doing it - your grin says it all.

HectorRivera 13 17 1 United States
31 Jul 2009 8:35PM
Gaving fun yet?
Ganto 14 769 2 Ireland
31 Jul 2009 11:53PM
Nice one Katie!
somnathchatterjee 11 67 175 India
2 Aug 2009 8:58AM
woodrow 13 153 Scotland
4 Aug 2009 9:16PM

a fun shot, looks it

folk above have said it, re: flash

i would have lowered exposure and increased flash output

an external flash here would have worked well

did you want to sqwash your bucket, do you not like it?
rowarrior 12 4.4k 9 Scotland
4 Aug 2009 10:29PM
Thanks guys.

Quote:did you want to sqwash your bucket, do you not like it?

Well I was a bit disenchanted and not getting to build my sandcastles lol I did find another cool bucket with loads of turret bits and things in Poundland this evening though, I may have to get it too for a super sandcastle before I try the beach shot!

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