How to Take Pictures of Yourself With an Auto Timer

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Nearly every camera sold today has an auto timer. It is a valuable tool in photography. It allows the photographer to take pictures of himself. This is useful when there is no one else around, the photographer wants to be in a group photo or needs a picture framed in a specific way. An auto timer is also handy for taking photographs using slow shutter speeds. Examples of this are low light situations or taking pictures of stars moving through the night sky. Manually pressing the button to take pictures like these shakes the camera and causes blurring. An auto timer will snap the picture for you without moving the camera.

  • Find the auto timer button on your camera. Look for a symbol that looks like a clock with one hand and a dot at the top. This is usually next to or on a button for the auto timer.

  • Turn the camera on and press the auto timer button. The auto timer symbol of a clock with one hand will appear on the screen. If there is a number in or next to the circle, this is the number of seconds the camera delays before snapping the picture. Try pressing the auto timer button again. If the number changes then you have a choice of how long to delay the picture. If the auto timer symbol disappears, keep pressing the button until it appears again.

  • Find a solid place to put the camera. Look for something flat and level that is about the same height as whatever you are photographing. Whatever you put the camera on must be stable. If it is balancing on an uneven rock, a gust of wind could blow it over while you wait for the picture to snap. A wall or a table works nicely. A tripod is the best platform for an auto timer photo. It can be adjusted for any height or angle.

  • Frame your shot. Look through the lens of the camera and visualize what you want to see in the photograph. Also visualize yourself in the photograph and plan where you will be when you run into frame. Framing an auto timer photograph requires patient adjustment. The camera may need to be slightly tilted up or down to get what you want into the frame. The camera cord or a magazine placed at the front or the back of the camera can be used for tilting. If you are tilting downward, be careful not to cut off the bottom of the frame by shooting the platform where the camera is sitting. You can also put the camera on a sweatshirt or jacket. This makes a stable platform that can be bunched up to create the desired tilt.

  • Press the button. Be very careful when you do this. If you push the button too hard you may move the camera and mess up the framing you worked so hard to create. When you push the button, the camera will start beeping and a light will flash. This indicates that the countdown has begun.

  • Run into frame. Get in position for the picture as quickly as you can. In the last few seconds of the countdown the beeping will get faster and the light will blink more rapidly. The picture is snapped when both stop.

  • Head back to the camera and see how the auto timer photograph turned out. If you don't like it, make adjustments as necessary and take another. Most cameras require you to press the auto timer button again before taking another auto timer picture.

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