Including yourself in vacation pictures

You probably don’t have many pictures of yourself while on vacation.

After all you’re the one who’s always behind the camera.

Even in this age of camera self-timers and after market wireless remotes, including yourself is problematic at times.

Even after you’ve set everything on the camera and all that’s needed is for someone to press the shutter, it never seems to quite work the way you want, isn’t it?

If you have access to Adobe Photoshop CS3 and above, here’s a simple way of adding yourself in a picture.

Remember, I don’t consider myself a photoshop guru even though I play one in real life.

Besides, I prefer to shoot everything in the camera than fix it in Photoshop, but that’s just me.

Whenever you enter the back-end realm of post production a.k.a. as the digital darkroom, things can get complicated real fast.

Adobe software versions change almost as quickly as I change my underpants, that’s why I always skip every other version and upgrade once every 2 years.

If I weren’t teaching, I probably wouldn’t upgrade as often.

Taking the Picture

Use a tripod or place your camera on some object that’s sturdy so it doesn’t move for the 2 exposures you’re about to make.

In my situation, we were at the State Capitol in Sacramento.

It’s a beautiful imposing building but as luck would have it, whenever I go places, it never fails that I arrive at the worse possible time for pictures–high noon.

My gear, a Canon Powershot G11 was set on a little table top tripod.

I did this so that my all my brother-in-law Eric needed to do was step out, hold the external flash the same exact position I did (about 5 feet) while it was connected via off-camera hot shoe sync cord and fire the shutter.

To make sure I had the same exposure I set both the camera 1/250 @ f8 ISO 100 and flash on 1/4th power (manual mode).

I made the first picture then took my place next to my daughter on the left.

Eric took my place behind the camera for the 2nd picture. I asked him to hold the external flash and aim it the same way then fire the shutter.

Using Adobe Bridge CS3

Grab the files I’m using from this download link then follow along.

Adding myself to a group photo using Adobe Bridge CS3 from Peter Phun on Vimeo.

Unzip the downloaded folder onto your desktop.

To give you a better sense of where we us stood, see the picture below.

I didn’t want us all to be squinting in the bright sun and I wanted the imposing dome in the picture, so I chose the shaded area.

I’ve done this same trick using Photoshop Elements but it’s been a while. If I can figure it out, I’ll post a video as well if someone requests it.