Impress your friends with a fun self-portrait.Self-portraits are becoming increasingly popular in the modern world. This is especially true when it comes to social networking sites, as most require you to upload a photo of yourself to be used as your profile avatar. This picture is often the first thing that people will see when browsing your networking page, so why not get creative and try capturing something that's a little bit different?
For some people, the idea of taking a self-portrait might be slightly daunting. This is usually because we're so used to being behind the camera that the idea of posing for our own shots may seem alien at first. But in practice, it's actually a lot of fun, and with yourself as the main subject of the picture, it's something that you can try out whenever you like.
One of the biggest benefits of digital photography is that it allows us to perform some digital trickery using editing software. One great example of this is creating a portrait within a portrait. This requires taking a
photograph of yourself holding a large photo frame and then using editing software to cleverly copy the image inside of the photo frame over and over again so that it resembles a never-ending tunnel of images. The result is one that's truly mesmerising and makes for an interesting profile picture on social networking sites. What's more, the great thing about this technique is that you don't need any expensive or sophisticated photo equipment either; it can be done using just about any type of camera, including a simple point-and-shoot or even a cameraphone. You will need a tripod, however, to set your camera up on, or alternatively you can rest it on a straight, flat surface.
To find out how to shoot, edit and share your own creative avatar now, just follow along with our simple step-by-step guide below and we'll show you everything you need to create your very own mind-bending picture-in-a-picture self-portrait.
Choose a locationUsing a location with a chair or bench is a good idea as it will act as a marker, so you always know where in the frame to be. It’s also handy if you’re holding a heavy frame as it means you can take the weight off.
Set up your tripodUsing a tripod will allow you to take the shot and be in the photo at the same time. Once you've set your camera up on a sturdy tripod, frame the image, making sure you leave enough headroom to fit in the photo.
Select Aperture PrioritySet the camera to Aperture Priority (A or Av) and dial in an aperture of around f5.6 - this should nicely blur distractions in the background. Don't worry about the shutter speed as the camera will set this for you.
Focus the shotPlace the picture frame roughly where you'll be sitting and focus on it by half depressing the shutter button. Afterwards, switch to Manual Focus (MF) to prevent it re-focusing when you take the shot.
Use the self-timerActivate Self-timer mode to give you enough time to get into position once the shutter button is pushed. Alternatively, you could ask someone else to push it for you or use a remote shutter release.
Take your imageFully depress the shutter button and get into place for the photo. Review the shot on the rear screen and make any compositional changes that you need to make. Carry on taking photos until you're happy.
Edit Construct your picture-in-a-picture in Photoshop
Duplicate the layerThe first step is to create a duplicate of the image on a new layer in the Layers palette (Window>Layers). Do this by Ctrl/ right-clicking the Background layer, choosing Duplicate Layer and then clicking OK.
Resize to fitHead up to Edit>Free Transform, then click and drag one of the corner tabs to resize the layer to roughly fit the photo frame. Holding Shift while you resize will make sure that the layer stays in proportion.
Move into positionIf the layer isn’t in the right position, click and drag in the centre of the image and move it into the right place. If you need to make further size adjustments, you can also do this now.
Rotate the layerMove your mouse to the outside edge of one of the corner tabs, then click and drag to rotate the layer until it matches the angle of the frame. Once the image roughly fits the frame, hit Enter to confirm.
Tidy up the edgesClick the eye icon next to the top layer in the Layers palette, then grab the Polygonal Lasso tool and trace the inside of the frame. Go to Select>Inverse, then press Delete before going to Select>Deselect.
Repeat until completeClick the eye icon next to the top layer to reveal it again. Now simply repeat
steps 1 to 4 but duplicating the top layer instead of the background. Keep doing .