Wednesday, March 28

High Noon

I really, really must stop going for outfit shots at lunch. The key ingredient to decent shots is good lighting and the contrast is just too high at noon. In winter I can get away with it if I keep to the shade, but it's really giving it some wellie now and I am getting grumpy about all the lost detail. That's right, I am being a geek about it.

Don't get me wrong though: I am not complaining about the weather. Far from it - I am over the moon to be taking my clogs for their first outing this year, albeit I only dared brave the morning chill in my closed toe pair.

Nah, I am only grumbling because I forgot my tripod at work and couldn't reshoot these later in the day. Maybe it was for the best, I doubt I would have had the patience for another round of clones. ;D

As soon as a few of you are creating your very own clones now (Steffi of Naehfiddeley, Priya of Sunshine Over The Mountains and Franca of Oranges & Apples for instance) I thought I'd share some tips for taking clone shots. (You can find a tut on clone post production here):

First things first: To clone yourself you absolutely need a tripod. Unless you have a friendly assistant to operate the camera for you, you will also need a self-timer or remote.

Believable focus
One of the biggest giveaways that your twin(s) were born in photo editing software is focus. Generally photos look a lot more "real" if you're not all lined up in a row but are standing at different distances to the lens (a step forewards or back can make a world of difference).

Unless you're using a very large depth of field (everything in frame is in focus - you can achieve this by picking a small aperture such as f16 or higher) standing at different distances to the camera means some of you should be in soft focus.

So, if like me you prefer a small depth of field (everything but you is out of focus - you can achieve this by using a large aperture such as f3.2 or lower) the following will make post production a darn sight easier and quicker:

After you've taken a photo of your "lead clone" - the one you want in pin sharp focus - switch your focus to manual before you move around the frame cloning around.
Provided the light doesn't change on you mid shoot you should be able to just drop all of you into one image later without any fiddly blending.

Here's looking at me kid
In order to look like a happy group of  Selfs just hanging out, it helps to be either all looking at the same thing or at each other.

When I am stuck for time I take one shot looking to the left and one looking to the right middle distance in each position. That way I can decide on a direction later and we all end up finding something just out of shot real interesting :)

Given the memory card space and time, you can look yourself right in the eye. To do this you will need to take a number of shots moving your head up, down, left and right by very small increments in each position. Once you are back at your computer you can then identify two shots where you are staring yourself out. It gets easier with practise :)

Varying your stance
One thing that I keep messing up on is my stance. To make your clones look "really real" they need to be standing in a different way to each other. I often end up kicking myself because my best shots in each position are leaning on their left leg and bending their right. My go to move.

Your shots will be at their most convincing when you remember to stand at different angles to the camera and alter the way you hold your arms and legs for each clone.

Have fun and don't forget to share your cloning endeavours! :)

beret: eBay
brooch: etsy (altered)
blouse: all-mighty
cardi & tights: h&m
jacket: zara via time enough for drums
skirt: vamose threads on etsy
clogs: lotta from stockholm


  1. andibgoodeMarch 28, 2012

    Great tips! I did a clone series of photos for a project back in my degree (only had a point & shoot back then so focus wasn't really an issue) but haven't done any since. I always love yours, though!
    -Andi x

  2. light0a0candleMarch 28, 2012

    I would definitely like to try your cloning technique, it looks awesome! I, however, have not yet invested in a tripod. Gotta get on that. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Thank you! I have been practicing ( but your tips will help tremendously! :D

    Sunshine Over The Mountains

  4. Here's one: :)

  5. Dein Tut war der Grund warum ich das auch probieren wollte. :-)

    Über das Problem mit dem Licht um die Mittagszeit bin ich auch die Tage gestolpert. Ich nutze halt immer die Zeit wenn unser Kleiner Mann seinen Mittagsschlaf macht. Und Abends werden die Bilder zu gelbstichig.

    Um Deinen gelben Cardi geneide ich Dich ja gerade toootal. Bin seit Wochen auf der Suche nach einem Gelben. Leider in meiner Größe grad nicht (mehr) zu bekommen. *Schnüff* Aber ich hab noch nich aufgegeben. :-)))



  6. Viel Glueck bei der Suche :) Falls du nicht findest kannst du ja vielleicht was weisses Faerben? Ich bin jetzt ganz auf die Faerberei aus :D

  7.  Mööööönsch .... klaro ... FÄRBEN ... das is ja erst noch die Idee .... warum bin ich da blos noch nicht draufgekommen. *andieStirnklatsch*

    Danke, ... werd beim nächsten Bummeln mal nach nem weißen Jäckchen ausschau halten. :-)

  8. It will be a while before I'm ready for cloning, although my step-son does a lot of it and very effectively, placing his clones in all sorts of exotic locations and in historical situations.  Many thanks for the tut.