Wheeling and Dealing: I was in Las Vegas for a sporting goods trade show, one where vendors and dealers get together to promote new items and place orders. The sporting goods industry is big in the United States, and the conventions are equally so. Product promotions, lectures, demonstrations, and marketing workshops are all available to stocking dealers, while common enthusiasts like myself who manage to obtain the coveted tickets must be content to just to gawk at the latest and greatest. I was motivated not so much by the show itself but with a prospect of spending some quality time with some old and dear friends.
Of course, if I had been Joe McNally, I'd have added a gelled speedlight positioned to provide a "neon" highlight on the back of my head. Easy to do with a truck load of equipment and a handful of eager assistants, but difficult when it's just you and an idea.
Convenient surface can usually be found if you use your imagination. Obviously, these two selfies weren't made from the exact same position.
Hey! Over Here! If you're wondering why I never seem to be looking directly into the camera, the reason is simple: When the reticulated LCD panel of the P7700 is rotated to face forward, it is a few inches to the right of the lens axis. When adjusting the composition, I am actually looking to the left of the lens, resulting in my off-center gaze.
For this shot (Photo #6) I chose to use the "behind you" bounce. While I was forced to sacrifice a great deal of light output, this technique allowed me to light my subjects from a much higher vantage point . The flash was about 6' off the ground (I'm 5' 6" tall) and angled upward, putting it well above my head. I would have needed an 8' tall light stand to duplicate the apparent height of my bounced light source, something I obviously didn't have with me. On camera direct flash would have been out of the question.
Incidentally, if you look carefully at the restaurant door, you can see a huge white glare spot. This is the reflection of the light bouncing off the building behind me.
It's becoming apparent that the P7700 is not the camera one uses to "push the envelope" under low light conditions. As I had said before, I use it to deal with the contrast extremes that often come with working outdoors in indirect sunlight. Unfortunately, this exercise may have pushed me a little closer to purchasing a camera like the Nikon Coolpix A or the Fuji X100s, cameras wtih APS-sized sensors.
One final note: The selfies I post are seldom much more than lighting sketches. When I'm actually shooting to get a specific look, I'll use the techniques I refined during these exercises as the foundations for a better, more memorable image. I only reasons I shoot myself so frequently are my availability and my willingness to be part of a spontaneous lighting experiment.