Self Portraits

November 12, 2007

Have you ever looked back at your photos and realized that you have a lot of pictures of places you have been but none of them have you in the picture? Well this is a common problem. remoteThere are of course solutions. You could pester people who happen to be passing by and get them to take the picture. Hopefully you have a camera that is easy to operate or you’re inĀ for trouble. The second solution is to use a tripod/rig your camera on a solid object and use the timer mode. Some camera’s let you set the time the camera takes between pressing the shutter release and it taking a picture which should give you enough time to get in the shot. Still how many times do you laugh when you see people running in front of their camera only to never know if it even took the shot or if they got there in time? Still another option is to hold out your camera in front of your face and take the picture. This always results in something laughable. Unfortunately many people do this and it results in what I call the “Myspace Syndrome” since that’s how most people on Myspace get their photos in their profilesportrait.

The third solution is the one I like. It involves getting a camera that supports a wireless remote and then purchasing the remote. I use the RC-1 for the Canon Digital Rebel XT. It’s a very simple device that works just like a television remote. It has a small infrared transmitter, a single button, and a mode selector. For the XT you simply put the camera in timer/remote mode and it will look for the remote. You can have the remote take a delayed picture or take the photo right away. I prefer the former as it allows me to hide the remote from the frame of the photo. As you can see in this photo I pretty well hid the remote behind Jamie.

Now the advantages of this method are many. Here are a few of them:

1) You don’t have to run from the camera to the scene

2) If you are the only subject of the photo then now the camera has something to focus on (assuming you don’t set the focus portrait2manually in which case you’re out of luck)

3) You can look way more relaxed in the photo

4) You can get great pictures with yourself in them and still get to claim credit for taking the photo as well

Now using a remote is not without issues. For this remote, since it is infrared, it works via line of sight. I know there are some remote systems that work behind walls/obstructions but those are a little more expensive and your camera has to support it. Other then that it is clear sailing. Look forward to having more photos in your collection that have you in them. I picked my remote up at Samy’s Camera but you can find them anywhere like B&H, Amazon, or NewEgg to name a few of my favorite establishments.