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  1. #1
    girlafraid's Avatar
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    Self timer photography

    Before I moved over to film about 3 years ago I was pretty much solely a self portrait taker. Mainly through lack of willing models. I actually don't like having my photo taken, I had a style, I rarely showed my face. I got quite ambitious with it though obviously it can be a challenging process.

    When I first started shooting film my style changed. I enjoyed documenting my daily life but in the end more and more I missed thinking up my ideas and seeing them through to the finished shot.

    I have a Zenit e and a Zenit 11 with working self timers and I have tried a few shots but I've always been very disappointed in the results. I find it almost impossible to get a sharp focus. I've had limited success but only when I focus on something and then step in where it was. If this isnt possible I just can't do it.

    I'd love to recapture where I was ideas wise but in film.

    Any advice or tips would be very welcome! Sorry for the long winded explanation and I hope this is in the right section.

  2. #2

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    Maybe put an inanimate object in your place.. Like a chair or a cup. I've had pretty good luck doing that with Rollei at F3.5

  3. #3
    girlafraid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToddB View Post
    Maybe put an inanimate object in your place.. Like a chair or a cup. I've had pretty good luck doing that with Rollei at F3.5
    Thanks! I have tried that a few times and I have had the most success that way but it's not always easy. I do have two tripods (that I never have with me so I normally end up going the chair and a load of books route!) from when I used to do TTV. I could use one for the camera and one for focus but it still depends on if I stand in the right spot!

  4. #4
    AgX
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    A light stand or a tripod as focusing substitute would work.

    You might also combine such with a measuring tape.

  5. #5

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    I sometimes do this for the same "lack of willing models" reason. I tend to use a long cable release rather than the self timer, but either approach works. If you are going to be in a set position, perhaps seated in a chair, you can set up the focus with a metal tape measure. If using large apertures with limited depth of field, this works quite well. The measurement should be from the camera film plane, which is sometimes shown on the top of the camera as a line and circle, to where your eyes will be. You then set that distance on the lens. If you are less certain about the pose you will be in, you are best using a smaller aperture to gain more depth of field.
    Alex

  6. #6
    girlafraid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AgX View Post
    A light stand or a tripod as focusing substitute would work.

    You might also combine such with a measuring tape.
    I was thinking this might be a solution.

  7. #7
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Why not use a mirror?

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  8. #8

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    Using a wide angle lens can help get a different look and you get the benefit of greater apparent depth of field.
    Dave

    "She's always out making pictures, She's always out making scenes.
    She's always out the window, When it comes to making Dreams.

    It's all mixed up, It's all mixed up, It's all mixed up."

    From It's All Mixed Up by The Cars

  9. #9

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    Simply use a piece of string at the length you decide you want to focus at.
    If you want to use different distances. tie a series of knots along the length.
    IE: 5, 8 and 10 feet. Set the focus hold the string to your eye and you're done. Don't pull the camera over, that's a bad thing.
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

  10. #10
    frank's Avatar
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    Yes. String with a knot every foot, then use the focus scale on the lens.
    My blog / photo website: http://frankfoto.jimdo.com/

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