The days of the selfie have arrived and you can’t go anywhere without someone taking one. In a restaurant, in the park, up a mountain (yes, that’s me!) – look around and everyone’s doing it. We all want to look back at photos of ourselves in the moment.
Do you ever find yourself out taking photos with your DSLR camera, a beautiful scene presents itself and you think “I want to be in that photo?”. Maybe you’re with friends and you all want to be in the photo together. You know that you could take a selfie on your phone but you want a much better quality photo with more than just your head in it.
That’s exactly what happened to me when I was at Scurdie Ness. I got out of bed at 3:30am, went to Scurdie Ness for sunrise and was soaking up the view and just loving being in the moment. I wanted to take a photo to remind myself that the early starts are so worth it. The photo went down a storm on my Facebook page and lots of you were in touch to ask how I did it. In this blog I’m going to show you how you can take a selfie using your DSLR camera.
You might like to read these helpful blogs too:
- The 5 camera accessories that will transform your photography
- The 3 essential things every beginner photographer needs to learn
How to take a selfie with your DSLR camera
Watch this video or read on.
1. Use a tripod
First thing’s first and you’re going to need a tripod. You could ask a friend to take a photo of you but then that’s not a proper selfie haha! Or perhaps you want you and all your friends to be in the photo. A tripod is a must.
Here’s a couple of tripods I recommend:
Benro IT15 Tripod Kit
Buy the Benro IT15 Tripod Kit on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2x5vTMS
Manfrotto Befree Carbon Fibre Travel Tripod with Ball Head
Buy the Manfrotto Befree Carbon Fibre Travel Tripod with Ball Head on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2giVgUH
I’ve written another blog where you’ll find more 5 camera accessories that will make your photography life so much easier.
2. Compose your shot
When framing your photo have a think about where you want to be. Do you want to stand bang in the middle of the photo or would it look better if you’re off to the side? Do you want to look at the camera or do you want to be looking at the beautiful scene in front of you? If you’re going for a full body shot, make sure there’s enough room to get you all in so that you don’t cut off your feet, arm or head haha!
3. Take a photo before you jump in it
To make sure that you get a nice balanced exposure, take a photo of the general scene before you jump right in there. You might be wondering how the camera will know how to focus on you. That’s why I recommend switching to manual focus and focusing a third of the way into the scene. An aperture of around f/13 – f/16 should keep your photo sharp throughout so when you’re in the shot you’ll be in focus too. Or if you want to go for the nice blurry background try an aperture of around f/5.6.
4. Use a remote, mobile app or 10 second timer
The easiest way to take a selfie using your DSLR and avoid running back and forward between the scene and your camera is to use a wireless timer remote control.
Buy the Hahnel Giga T Pro II Wireless Remote Control on Amazon (for Canon): https://amzn.to/2giXnb5
Buy the Hahnel Giga T Pro II Wireless Remote Control on Amazon (for Nikon): https://amzn.to/2gkOvC0
Buy the Hahnel Giga T Pro II Wireless Remote Control on Amazon (for Sony): https://amzn.to/2gOhyP0
Change the drive mode on your camera to 2 second timer so once you press the button on the remote you have time to hide it if you want to. Or you could skip the 2 second delay and get snap happy. The choice is yours! The great thing about using a wireless remote is that you don’t need to bother using manual focus. You can set the autofocus point in the middle and when you press the button on the remote it will try and focus on you – so long as you’re standing in the middle of the frame.
If your camera has wifi there are apps you can use to sync your camera up with your phone to make your phone act like a remote control. Alternatively, if you don’t have a wireless remote or camera with wifi you could use the 10 second timer on your camera. You’ll need the 10 seconds to have plenty time to get yourself into position.
5. Smile, jump, pose, duck-face, whatever
Now’s your opportunity to get creative. Smile, jump, pose, do whatever you like. I’m not going to judge you….. unless you pull a duck-face. Please, just, no. Remember if you do want to jump you’ll need to use a shutter speed fast enough to capture your movement. Try a shutter speed of 1/250.
I took this photo at ISO 50, aperture f/16 and a shutter speed of 0.3 second (I stood really still).
You might find these blogs helpful too:
- How to photograph the Northern Lights
- Why shooting on your camera’s manual mode is way better than auto
- 5 top photography tips for beginners
Over to you
Do you love to take selfies so you can remember the special moments?
Do you think selfies with cameras are better than smartphones?
Leave me a comment below. I’d love to hear from you!
Do you want to learn how to take awesome photos?
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Sign up for Start Shooting on Manual, my free 5 part weekly course that will break down the jargon and help you take back control over your camera.