Photo Challenge 01: Self Portrait

I’ve decided to take up photography again as a creative outlet from my more… technical endeavors. This is something I’ve experimented with the past, and I really enjoyed it. If you’re curious, some of my old photos are available here.

As a starting point for inspiration, I’m going to be following this 30-day photography challenge, though I’m just going to be doing the challenges as I have time, rather than one-a-day.

The first challenge is to capture a self-portrait. This one was interesting because I wanted to find a shot that not only captured a literal self-portrait, but also captured something about myself (a metaphorical self-portrait, if you will).

I was a bit stumped on what to do for this, until I was sitting at my desk and noticed the annoying glare my reflection made in my monitor thanks to the light from the window. So, I decided to run with that, and I’m fairly pleased with the result:

I had to play a bit with the color balance in editing. Getting my reflection to be defined enough to stand out strikingly on the monitor was a challenge. To help, I added a couple artificial lights off the right side of the frame to supplement the light coming from the window.

To get my reflection in focus, I had to resurrect the optics knowledge echoing from a physics class years ago. Recall that, in a perfect reflection, the angles of the light rays stay the same relative to each other through the mirror. In effect, the mirror can be modeled as a pane of glass with the image behind it. (That is, if a subject is 2 feet in front of the mirror, it can be modeled as if the subject were sitting 2 feet behind a pane of glass.)

So, to focus on my reflection, I rolled the focus out to focus a few feet beyond the surface of the monitor.