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How do I take a picture like this of me? Answered

So I came across this picture of Marion Cotillard by yann rabanier on tumblr, and I was just amazed by it. I was wondering how to take a picture like this of MYSELF. I'm not much of a photography expert, but I would like as much help as I can get. 

I've got an Olympus e520 dslr camera. and can anyone explain to me what sort of edit tools, or camera settings, etc I should use to get a picture like this?

Thank you!!


I very much doubt that he's using editing tools like photoshop etc, you need to remember he's a pro photographer using fill lighting in a studio. He's probably had many years practise with light falling onto and reflecting from various objects and people.

This particular pic seems to have a very shallow depth of field with the plane of focus set to her eyes, which would explain her neck and ears being out of focus.

There doesnt seem to be any direct lighting, Im guessing at 3 reflected sources off a white screen, 1 in the front down on the floor which is casting the collar bone shadows and 2 wider apart higer than the models head level. The screen to the left of the models head seems to be bigger than the one on the right, the pools of shadow are more striking on her right eye socket, possibly he's draped a white cotton sheet over a large window to get the soft light, you can sort of make something out if you enlarge the pic and study the reflections on her eyes.

All this info to be taken with a pinch of salt seeing as Im not a pro photographer, but merely analysing this pic.

To get that shallow a depth of field they likely used low light. This would make it possible to open the aperture all the way. Use the shutter speed settings to get the right exposure. Low light conditions often give you more creative options. For example to achieve a flowing water effect you turn down the shutter speed to 1/15 second and then use the aperture to set exposure. Kind of the opposite of this.

For this person to actually take this shot of themselves would be very difficult unless using a mirror. The focus will be very critical and you will not be able to just jump in front of the camera. Also using a mirror you will not get the straight on look unless the camera is in the shot.

Pupils are small so the light levels were fairly high.

even pro photographers use light box and photoshop all the time.

More pictures are made on the computer than in the camera these days.

+1 Well answered.

I would add, that to get a shallow depth of field, the aperture of the largest lens with the smallest 'f' stop and to avoid distortion I would use a moderate distance telezoom.

Thanks a lot, every one. I'll try it out soon, and update.

Google's free Picasa will allow you to add soft focus to a picture and control the size and depth.