View of the Drew | Andrew Halpern Photography

The Selfie

1/200" / F8 / iso 100/ 55mm (88mm equiv)

Girl on Brooklyn Bridge

1/200″ / F8 / iso 100/ 55mm (88mm equiv)

I don’t do it. Nor should you. —

Just kidding. There is nothing wrong with “the selfie.” I’m actually not sure why people disparage it so much. This actually isn’t a new thing, people taking photographs of themselves. People have always done this. Always.

1920s dudes taking a selfie. Click the pic to go to Gothamist.

The only reason it’s increased so much is that every new phone camera comes with a front-facing camera.  And phone cameras have gotten quite good.

Back to the shot. This photograph is actually a very tight crop of a much larger shot. What’s interesting is how much resolution I’m able to get from this small crop. The original shots out of my camera weigh in at 18 megapixels, while this crop uses only about 30% of those pixels. But that’s still 5.4 megapixels and that’s nothing to sneeze at.  Despite all the whinging about the uselessness of high pixel counts, they still can make a difference.

If I had to do it again, I would have used a longer lens, and a shallower depth of field. But we don’t always have time to pick the exact settings on grab-shots like this. Since the subject wasn’t very isolated, I chose to add a small amount of whitish , post-crop vignette around the shot to emphasize the girl.

If you are using Lightroom, there are actually two types of vignetting you can play with. The first type is pre-crop vignetting which applies to the entire shot. This is usually used to correct lens issues but it can be used to achieve a post-processing effect. The second type of vignetting is called post-crop, and this type is usually the one we use to achieve special effects. You’ll often see the white version in wedding photography. There are also different settings for the post-crop vignetting, but I’ll leave that discussion for another day.

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