I've not delved too far into portraiture in my photography. It is something I am interested in, but I just haven't made the time to tackle it on a regular basis. The On Taking Pictures assignments then were the perfect place to begin to ease my way into the world of portraits.
I shot this with one flash positioned camera right with a homemade snoot. Self-portraiture is a lot more difficult than it seems because focus and lighting positioning are tedious. There are tricks to nailing focus, but I was too lazy to look them up. As a result I walked back and forth between the camera and couch more frequently than I'd like to admit.
All in all, I thought this was a solid shot that conveyed the scene I was trying to enact. Even though there is some spill onto the background and a little spot on the record as well, I thought the light position worked great, focusing on my body with good falloff toward my legs. Also there is just enough of the records lit to see them and a tiny spiral shadow from the headphone cable that helps add a bit of depth.
I tried a few self portraits with the assignments with results that I liked, and feel like I was able to finally get some portraits under my belt.
On Taking Assignments
I frequently listen to the On Taking Pictures (OTP) podcast, which I highly recommend to anyone looking for good conversation about creativity, especially as it related to photography. In January 2014 the hosts, Bill Wadman and Jeffery Saddoris, began a new segment of weekly assignments that they gave to listeners. Results of the assignments are posted on the OTP Google Plus group. I decided that I would commit myself to the assignments for a year without interruption, and that I would complete each one before the next assignment was announced on the show each Tuesday morning. My 'On Taking Assignments' blog posts are the culmination of my year-long focus on these assignments.