My interest in taking selfies came about one day when I was trying to do some street photography in Edinburgh, however, I just couldn’t get my eye in and see anything worth photographing. It was one of those days when everything fails to come together, the street, the light and myself, and you end up with virtually no usable images on the camera media card.
Retiring to a café for some coffee and a scone, I recalled reading online about a photographer who found himself in the same position, unable to get going and his solution was to starts taking selfies. Now, at that point in time I thought a selfie was just those silly ones you see everywhere, pouting lips, silly faces and so on. Then I starting thinking, a selfie is also a self-portrait and that’s an entire genre of photography itself. So, why not treat it as such and see what I could do with the subject. Potentially there could be an almost endless variety of different selfies I could take. This really got me interested.
The great thing about selfies is that you only need four things, the subject, as in yourself, a suitable camera, a means to support the camera and a healthy amount of imagination. All so simple and that’s one of the reasons why I’ve been taking selfies for years now and hope to continue for many more. The humble selfie can be taken anywhere, day or night, from standing on a trig point on a remote mountain top to paddling in the sea at the coast. And all manner of places in-between.
When out taking selfies I’m always looking for something different, creating a different selfie from anything I’ve created before and that can be quite challenging when you’ve already taken almost 3500 of them. But that’s all part of the fun, looking at all the variables and how you can pull them together to create another selfie. It really gets the brain working, wondering where to place the camera, what lens to use, where the light sources are, what the background is, how you will position yourself and so on.
When I first started taking selfies I would usually hand-hold the camera and look for all manner of reflective surfaces, mirrors inside shops, glass windows, polished metal, even puddles. My usual camera would be my Panasonic Lumix G7 fitted with a 40 – 150mm zoom (actually 80 – 300mm in 35mm film terms) which is great for framing. I’ve also been using a Ricoh Theta V 360 degree camera which records everything around the camera, all 360 degrees and offers an amazing variety of potential images. And along those same lines, I’ve also purchased a GoPro Hero 10 and GoPro Max cameras, both offering interesting opportunities for selfies.
Creating selfies can be straight forward yet can also be challenging and my advice is simply get out there and take as many selfies as you can. Try anything that comes to mind, think out-of-the-box and try to avoid those standard generic selfies you see all over the place.
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