Approximately halfway through the month and this project, I feel this is one of my stronger photos – both technically and creatively. I’m pleased that I continue to stretch the boundaries of the theme, each and every day. Again, I didn’t want to merely photography my phone, and I thought this was a good creative direction to go in. This photo required a bit more setup and proper execution than you may think, so stick with me for a second.
Photographing the phone was the easy part. I had my dSLR on a tripod, and I had it set to trigger by remote. By trial-and-error, I figured out how far I needed to have the phone from my camera, and how far I needed to be from the phone to fit my face within the screen. Hmm…I guess that wasn’t as easy as I thought. Anyway, once I started shooting, I thought the overall photo looked pretty flat. The iPhone 4S camera, while amazing, doesn’t function at its best in poor lighting. So, the picture of me on the screen was too dim and grainy. Opening up the blinds and allowing in more light helped, but it still wasn’t to my satisfaction. Additionally, while my dSLR was able to find focus easily, I struggled to get a decent picture of myself showing on the phone. I wasn’t able to get the phone to focus properly. I was about to scrap the idea, when I decided that if I was better lit, the photo would be better. So I set up a light off-camera (camera left) that would light me up better for the iPhone photo. A few dozen trial-and-error shots later, and I came up with this. Not my best facial expression, but after dozens of shots that were scrapped due to lack of focus, odd positioning of the phone within the frame, and poor lighting, I had to keep this one after achieving good results in all 3 of those categories.
The best thing about this photo, for me, is that there are no Photoshop tricks here. I did something similar to this before – where I photographed myself inside my phone – but that one was easy. I just took a separate image of myself and inserted it into the screen space on my iPhone via Photoshop. This was shot just as it looks, and required proper spacing, lighting, timing, technical expertise, a little luck, and PATIENCE.