A lot of people get confused when they try to figure out how to shoot a simple self portrait.  It’s really pretty easy.

In short, you want to keep it simple.  This is especially true if you are traveling or on vacation as lots of gear usually translates into a serious impediment.  This isn’t to say that gear isn’t important, as it is.  But you can do a lot with a little,when the little is carefully chosen.

The above photo is a self portrait I shot at the end of the summer on a long motorcycle trip to Alaska.  The little tan Pelican case you can see on the back of the GSA was my only camera case.  It was big enough for just a D700 body, a 28-300mm lens, a SB-900 flash, and a SU-800 commander.

The trick is to get the light up and off the camera.  The closer to the lens the light is, the flatter the image is going to be.  This is where the SU-Commander comes into play.  This is basically a little gizmo that speaks wirelessly to the flash.  It sits up on the hot shoe, reads what the camera is doing, and transmits instructions across the airwaves to the flash.

I set the exposure low to underexpose the scene and accentuate the clouds, then balanced the flash on the guard rail to the right.  The camera was mounted to a small fluid head attached to the handlebars of Rabbit’s bike.

Set the self timer, and you are off…

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