Self Portrait on the Beach


This is one of my favorite places in the whole world – the black sand beach at Jökulsárlón in Iceland. When I noticed my tiny reflection on the rock, I decided this was the perfect place for an unusual self portrait. So, I set up my tripod with my camera on it, stood so that the shadows of my camera and tripod were hidden by the shadow of my legs and body. Then, I set a two second timer, released the shutter, and threw my hands into the air. It was an incredibly easy shot – and a really fun and different self portrait. 🙂

Tips for taking shadow portraits:

1. Look for a simple composition, so that your shadow doesn’t get lost in a cluttered scene.

2. Use a tripod to hold your camera so that your arms are free for a more interesting pose. A 2-second timer will give you time to pose.

3. Hide the shadow of the tripod in your own shadow. Nobody will even know it was there!

4. Shadow portraits work well when the sun is low in the sky. You’ll get a long, stretched out shadow on the ground that is a whole lot of fun to work with.

5. Of course, you’ll want a bright sunny morning or evening for shooting shadows. You won’t have much luck on a cloudy day! 😉

Have fun!

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Having way too much fun after sunrise at Mesquite Dunes in Death Valley National Park. With Neal Yu and Glade Gauger… my favorite crazy photographers.

Lovers - Varina Patel

You don’t see my tripod, but it’s there! Jay and I posed for this shot just before sunset in Bisti Wilderness in New Mexico.


About Author Varina Patel

There is nothing more remarkable to me than the power of nature. It is both cataclysmic and subtle. Slow and continuous erosion by water and wind can create landscapes every bit as astonishing as those shaped by catastrophic events – and minuscule details can be as breathtaking as grand vistas that stretch from one horizon to the other. Nature is incredibly diverse. Burning desert sands and mossy riverbanks… Brilliant sunbeams and fading alpenglow… Silent snowfall and raging summer storms… Each offers a unique opportunity. I am irresistibly drawn to the challenge of finding my next photograph, and mastering the skills required to capture it effectively.