Creating a Mirrorless Self-Portrait

One of the best ways to improve your photography is the self-assignment and one of the most challenging forms of that is the self-portrait. Today Jamie MacDonald takes you beyond what most people think of as a self portrait. If you’ve practiced this difficult discipline, drop us a note via the Contact page showing your own mirrorless self portrait and we’ll feature it on this blog. In the meantime to get you inspired to get those self-timers working, here’s Jamie…


Unless you’ve been living in a cave somewhere the last year I’m sure you have heard the term “selfie. A selfie, most of the time is simply a self portrait taken by holding a camera at arm’s length and taking a head shot. Most people if asked will tell you a selfie is made with a cell phone or point-and-shoot camera, and often by a teenager or young adult. I am here today to tell you that a selfie doesn’t have to be that droll. We’re artists aren’t we? We love to create and share our work but how often do we get to be part of it?

When was the last time you were in a GOOD photo? It was about a year ago when I decided to start putting myself in front of the camera since I was always the one behind it. And you know what? It’s been a blast! I decided while exploring this abandoned rail car that I wanted a shot of me in what is becoming my signature self portrait stance which is my back to the camera.

I set my Olympus OM-D E-M1 with Rokinon 7.5mm fisheye mounted on a MeFoto tripod. Leveled the tripod even though it may not look level due to the fact the rail car is precariously tipped to the side! Switched the E-M1 to WiFi, walked into position and fired off this shot remotely from my iPhone. Being able to compose the shot from my iPhone made this an easy task. To process the image I used the technique I have outlined in the video below to generate a quasi HDR photo. Once that has been created I jumped into Silver Efex Pro2 by Nik to do the final conversion to black and white.

So there you have it, a next level selfie to get you beyond the arms length head shots that the kids are doing and put you back to where you belong….Making art.— Jamie MacDonald