Category Archives: 6 – Review a Portrait Sequence

Review a Portrait Sequence

For this exercise I took a sequence of self-portraits with the Camera with a 50mm on a tripod lens at distance that resulted in head shot, I knew before I started that there was a danger that I would end up with a sequence of rather dull ‘passport photos’. To avoid this, I took a large number of pictures with perhaps over exaggerated expressions and head positions. When I was taking the pictures I imagine that those where I was more of less looking at the camera and smiling would be the most satisfying images. To a large extent this was true as can be seen from the contact sheets of the sequence below:

I did remove from the sequence pictures a where my head was excessively clipped and a few where the picture was blurred due to movement but overall the contact sheets show the pictures in the sequence they were taken.


As I had expected the pictures where I turned my face a long way to the left or right and then turned my eyes to look at the camera were probably the least successful. The most successful picture were ones where I was more or less looking at the camera and the most successful ones were when I had my shoulders turned a little so that the portrait is not simply a smiling mug shot. Five of my favourite shots are shown below.


Of these five my least favourite is the one in the middle in which I believe is too much like a mug shot with my body aligned at 90 degrees to the camera lens. My favourite shot is the one fourth from the left although I also like the one on the extreme right.

When I studied the contact sheets I was surprise how much I gravitated to the ones that had a happy smiling expression and I really could not get excited about any of those where I had tried to put on a serious or sad expression. Perhaps it is hard to get a successful picture showing a serious expression when taking a sequence of selfies because however hard I tried these days’ selfies seem to be always associated with happy events.

The main things I learnt a lot from studying these sequence of pictures; how much a relative small change in position of the head and body could make a huge difference in how I perceived the resulting picture. Also how hard is was to take a satisfactory self-portrait without a smiley expression