Thursday, January 9, 2014

How to take a perfect Selfies?

"Selfie" has been named as 2013 word of the year by Oxford Dictionaries.The phenomenon belongs to taking self portraits and posting it on various social networks. The mania behind 'Selfie' has been investigated in details by Charissa Coulthard in this BBC article.

The write up also suggests 5 tips  from photographer Mindy Stricke on how to take perfect selfie?

  1. Let there be light: "Natural light is best. The 'magic hour' is the hour after sunrise and just before sunset, and will produce the most flattering sunlight." If natural light is missing, stand by a source of artificial light and make sure the flash is off.
  2. Out of arm's way: "Having your arm reached out in shot is only going to be so flattering," says Stricke. She advises experimenting with a mini tripod for your smartphone, or downloading a free self-timer app.
  3. Rule of thirds: "Try to think of how to compose in thirds, like eyes a third of the way up, head a third of the way into the picture - ideally from the top or side," says Bedford-based photographer Stuart Kearey. He advises ensuring a space between you and the background, to achieve a depth of image.
  4. Your 'good' side: "Positioning the camera slightly above your eyeline tends to be the most flattering," says Stricke. She also advises angling your face or body to one side.
  5. Be bold:You might feel silly, but trying out a new look or different hairdo can help you feel more confident. "Changing your look can help make you feel just a little different or more fancy in a photo, and this confidence will shine through your final images," says Emma Chapman of A Beautiful Mess. Kearey suggests adding a prop such as a hat, scarf or piece of jewellery.
I decided to investigate further on the rule of thirds and superimposed the  author Charissa's images used as an example there on a Fibonacci golden spiral.

The one on the left is a wrong selfie and the one on the right is a good selfie. if you notice closely various facial curves and accessories roughly fits on a Fibonacci spiral. 

So a good selfie composition is also about mathematics and getting the Fibonacci spiral right.

This gives me my next DIY idea on Fibonacci viewfinder. How about printing the golden spiral on a transparent sheet and use that as a reference for composition in your digital camera or camera phone?

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