An Emotional Self Portrait with Lizzy Gadd

Text and Photos by Lizzy Gadd

This is a self portrait taken in early October, during an incredible month-long adventure camping out of my car in the Canadian Rockies. I happened to be stuffing my face with a muffin in a coffee shop in Banff, Alberta, when I looked out the window and saw these dark rain clouds settling in... and immediately I had the idea to race up a nearby mountain to one of my favorite fallen trees and create this darker, emotional image.

I wanted to shoot as low as possible to avoid some distracting objects behind the tree in the background and to get an angle that really shows the height of the tree branches against the mountain backdrop. 

I also love shooting low among ground foliage and grass with a wide open aperture, as I find it gives a soft dreamy foreground to my images and lets the eye be drawn to me as the main focus of the image.  The Platypod was absolutely perfect to get the low angle I wanted.  Once I had the shot set up, I put my camera on intervalometer mode and let it take continuous photos every 3 seconds as I climbed up this tree and curled up on the branch, letting it take a series of images to choose from. This image was shot with my Sony a7R III and the Sony 85mm f/1.4 GM lens, at f/1.6, 1/3200s and ISO 50.

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