Self Portrait Marketing Entry

After my first week with OCA I received an invite to enter into a photography competition.

I have never previously entered my work for competition and this time I felt it would be a good exercise to try something new and with a different type of subject, myself.

The brief was to submit an image which met certain dpi and file size requirements which was a new experience in discovering what that means for my content and how to meet the requirements through manipulating the image which aren’t meant to alter the image creatively.

Using the preview app built into macOS I was able to dictate the dpi requirement and then alter the image display size to meet the file size requirement. I hope that achieved those criteria correctly.

The brief for the image itself was to submit an image which encompasses what the benefits of distance learning means for me.

Personally I find the flexibility of working to my own schedule and in an environment I find comfortable the biggest benefits to my learning with OCA.

I regularly spend time in my garden completing work, playing with my dog and generally contemplating the world. Many mornings I will sit out in the sun with a coffee before getting ready for my day job. I find this time is useful and some of my best ideas will amalgamate during this time. I decided to shoot this scene.

I enjoy using a documentary style to all my images, I try to communicate the facts of the scene, I like the emotion to be transferred through what is captured rather than manipulating an image to ‘tell’ the viewer what they should be thinking or feeling.

For this image I set my camera up at distance suitable to capturing just my back garden, my own world. Composition wise I liked how the shed and grass created a balanced and natural frame through the green colours of both. I feel the house makes a rather busy but approachable and understandable background. A typical terraced house is well known by many. As for myself, I wanted to appear in as natural way as possible. I purposefully shot the image straight after getting out of bed to show how I really am when in this situation, coffee, bed hair and dressing gown. Hopefully people can connect with the formalness of the scene and can relate to this type of experience in life.

With such a bright environment I needed to stop the camera down quite drastically even using only 100 iso. I used a fairly open aperture as I didn’t want to use too high of a f stop as the lens does tend towards being very sharp at f.8 this meant I had to balance the exposure with a fast shutter. This helped with capturing a sharp image as I used a timer to capture the image and any movement from myself or the table etc would cause blur.

If I was to shoot the image again, I would potential use a wide aperture to creat more focus on the subject, myself, and potentially use an ND filter or even faster shutter speed to balance the exposure.

The only editing done to this image was to crop and straighten the image slightly as shooting from a tripod on timer and on uneven ground meant it was hard to get the framing exact. I also slightly raised contrast and saturation to bring the image back to its natural colouring as shooting RAW with my camera does cause the image to be quite ‘flat’ I also altered the tint slightly to lean more towards a film like process more akin to the type of images families would take at home.

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