How not to take a self-portrait

As regular readers of Gruts will know, I am an excellent photographer.

"Yes," they might say, "but that's because you have an excellent camera."

Whilst it is true that I do indeed have an excellent camera, it is pretty easy to take superb photographs with the simplest of photographic equipment, provided you use a bit of common-sense, and follow a few simple guidelines.

For example, here are a few simple guidelines if you plan to take a portrait of yourself and an old friend who happens to be visiting from out-of-town:

  • choose a suitable, well-lit area in which to take your photograph;
  • if you can't find a well-lit area, use a flash gun;
  • use a tripod and self-timer;
  • if you and your friend are standing next to each other (as will usually be the case), take the photograph in landscape rather than portrait mode to make sure that you both fit into the picture;
  • do not drink a pint of ale, half a bottle of Shiraz, and a couple of extremely large Glenmorangies before attempting to take the photograph;
  • above all else, if the camera has a video mode, make sure you haven't engaged it accidentally.

As it so happened, Stense was visiting from out-of-town yesterday, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to illustrate the sort of thing that can happen if you attempt to take a portrait of yourself and an old friend, and you don't follow the simple guidelines listed above:

Piece of cake, really.

Richard Carter

A fat, bearded chap with a Charles Darwin fixation.


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