How do I take a picture of my self.

Started Jul 15, 2009 | Discussions
Carsten Thomsen
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How do I take a picture of my self.
Jul 15, 2009

The other day, trying to take a family portrait with the D700 on a tripod, I though I would practice on myself at first.

So I turn on the self timer, jump into position, and wait for it to shoot.

Out of focus.

I can't for the life of me figure out how to make it focus when taking a picture of myself. I've gone through the manual, and it also says the timer mode is for self-portraits, but is there some hidden function to activate autofocus just a second or so before the timer clicks the shutter?

It seems like I have to be two places at once, both in front of and behind the camera to make it focus, since it appears that focus only occurs at the beginning of the self-timer cycle.

Carsten

G Rash
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Re: How do I take a picture of my self.
In reply to Carsten Thomsen, Jul 15, 2009

Use the interval timer and set it for a few shots with a long enough delay between them for you to get into the second shot. The timer option you are using focuses immediately when you press the shutter release. The interval timer option (which requires a little more effort to set up) will AF for each shot. It is, however, easy once you get the hang of it.
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GR
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digitall
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Re: How do I take a picture of my self.
In reply to Carsten Thomsen, Jul 15, 2009

Of course you simply use manual pre-focus. Autofocus is pointless in this instance.

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Morty Black
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Re: How do I take a picture of my self.
In reply to digitall, Jul 15, 2009

Find a point on the ground where you'll be standing, focus on it, recompose, set to manual focus and use self-timer. In 95 % of the time, the focus is spot on. Or, buy a $20 radio remote on ebay, and problem is solved.

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Carsten Thomsen
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Re: How do I take a picture of my self.
In reply to G Rash, Jul 15, 2009

Thank you so much for the tip.

I knew it was possible, I was just looking under the wrong stone.

Carsten

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Rick L
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Re: How do I take a picture of my self.
In reply to Carsten Thomsen, Jul 15, 2009

Additional thought on the interval timer approach, which I use, and I guess the others. If you are going to shallow dof type of portrait, it's a bit trickier. Figure out where you want your eye to be in the frame and set the focus point there. It might then take a few tries to get your pose so that your eye (or focus point) is in the right place.

In my case, it's also good practice for learning to work with an inept, homely model!
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Rick L
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jfriend00
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Re: How do I take a picture of my self.
In reply to Carsten Thomsen, Jul 15, 2009

Without a stand-in that you can pre-focus on, this is very difficult.

I've tried before by myself and the only thing I could eventually do is to take a series of shots with focus bracketing to make sure one of them nailed the focus. As best I can find, there was no way to tell it to establish focus at the end of the timer sequence rather than the beginning.

If you have a stand-in, then the answer is obvious. Switch the camera to manual focus, manually focus on your stand-in until the green light in the viewfinder shows good focus, then take your hand off the focus barrel and then set off your timer.
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Arretose
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Re: How do I take a picture of my self.
In reply to jfriend00, Jul 15, 2009

DUH! If you use a second person... just have them take the picture of you, after you set it up on a tripod with the settings you prefer. Your comment reminds me of an obtuse guy I once saw lock his keys in his car.... and it took him 5 hours to get his family out!

jfriend00 wrote:

Without a stand-in that you can pre-focus on, this is very difficult.

I've tried before by myself and the only thing I could eventually do is to take a series of shots with focus bracketing to make sure one of them nailed the focus. As best I can find, there was no way to tell it to establish focus at the end of the timer sequence rather than the beginning.

If you have a stand-in, then the answer is obvious. Switch the camera to manual focus, manually focus on your stand-in until the green light in the viewfinder shows good focus, then take your hand off the focus barrel and then set off your timer.
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John
Popular: http://jfriend.smugmug.com/popular
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gmosc
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Re: How do I take a picture of my self.
In reply to Arretose, Jul 15, 2009

Yes if there is a "stand in", simply teach them how to put the focus point over your eye and get them to take the photo. I would also use a tripod and let them tell you to move around instead of moving the camera.

It is a way to get a son or daughter a little more interested in the process, too.

Guy Moscoso

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jfriend00
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Re: How do I take a picture of my self.
In reply to Arretose, Jul 15, 2009

Arretose wrote:

DUH! If you use a second person... just have them take the picture of you, after you set it up on a tripod with the settings you prefer. Your comment reminds me of an obtuse guy I once saw lock his keys in his car.... and it took him 5 hours to get his family out!

There are plenty of reasons NOT to have a stand-in actually take the picture. I like to set up the framing myself and the focus myself and not have someone else mess with that. You could certainly use the stand-in to trigger the camera if you wanted, but even that is better done with self timer n a tripod so there's no shake from the shutter press.

And, the focusing is NOT guaranteed to be right if you ask a stand-in who doesn't know how a dSLR focuses to point the shot and take it. You'd have to teach them how to pre-focus on the right spot and then explain to them the framing you want. Much better to have the stand-in stand in the right place and YOU can set the shot up exactly how you want it, then just stand in their place. Quality images come when you take control of the image parameters yourself rather than leave them to someone who doesn't know your camera or what you're trying to do.

FYI, I have a shot of my wife and I at a wedding. The scene was great, we both looked great. I set up the exposure on my cameera and handed it to a family member and asked them to take a shot of the two of us. When I look at the shot some time later (after the event), I see that they focused right between us on a vase 10 feet behind us. The shot was ruined. It's also very common for them to put your face right in the middle of the shot and have the top third of the image completely wasted space giving you conniptions when you try to crop it into something usable. If you want a good shot, take charge of how it's done, even if you're in the shot.
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digitall
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Re: How do I take a picture of my self.
In reply to Arretose, Jul 16, 2009

Arretose wrote:

Your comment reminds me of an obtuse guy I once saw lock his keys in his car.... and it took him 5 hours to get his family out!

Really, and you watched? I think this apocryphal.

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