Group Shot Lighting Help

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by tgs.photography, Nov 2, 2017.

  1. tgs.photography

    tgs.photography TPF Noob!

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    Ok, so here's the deal. I've been tasked at my staff retreat this year to photograph the group of about 35 people indoor in an extremely poorly lit environment.

    I have one speedlight; an Altura AP-C1001 ETTL that I rarely use because I don't take many portraits (of humans) and I tend to stick to macro or landscape.

    I don't really want to invest in a lighting set-up for something I'll do once a year, but really want to get good results to impress.

    I shoot with a Canon 50D and will be using my Canon 10-22mm wide angle. I plan to shoot elevated with a wireless shutter release cable.

    Given my horribly lit scenario here and my one speedlight; without buying a bunch of lighting equipment I wont use more than once a year...what options do I have to photograph this many people? I'm willing to spend $80 tops here for whatever I need. What do you suggest??

    Thanks in advance!!


     
  2. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    OMG... a 10-22mm wide-angle lens...be alert for the front people being rendered large, and the people even a bit farther away being rendered much smaller. SHORT focal length lenses are VERY challenging to use on group photos!!!!

    35 people? One speedlight? ISO 640 and f/6.3 at 30 feet or so...
     
  3. tgs.photography

    tgs.photography TPF Noob!

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    I have a 50mm prime I could use. Or my kit lens...which has been overtly abused.
     
  4. dennybeall

    dennybeall No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Use the 50mm if that's all you have - the 10-22 is not usually appropriate for a large group shot.
    Get up some, in relation to the group and turn all the lights on - use the flash as well. If you can detach the flash and hold it up and to the side that would help. If there is a nice whiter ceiling you can try bouncing the flash off of that.
     
  5. DGMPhotography

    DGMPhotography Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Bruh... get at least one more flash. Or do the photo outdoors. This sounds like a recipe for disaster.

    Unless you can bounce off the ceiling evenly, and even then it could be less than optimal.

    Make sure to pose your people in layers. Fill in the space between heads. And consider having things symmetrical (hands a certain way, etc), though with 35 people that may not be practical.
     
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  6. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Bouncing off the ceiling will entail a loss of light power because of the increased distance (inverse square law).
    Also light only from above is generally not flattering for portraits (dark eye sockets), which is why photographers use a bounce card to direct some of the light straight forward as well as up.
    Your flash unit has a small bounce card, but you can easily make a bigger one that would be more effective for a group of 35 people.
    You will need to set the flash unit to a wide angle, but you really need, at the least, a second flash unit.

    I have and recommend:
    Yongnuo YN 560 III
     
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  7. TCampbell

    TCampbell Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The wonderful thing about needing gear you’ll hardly ever use again... is that there are several places that will rent you the gear for a couple of days and it wont cost much.

    LensRentals.com, BorrowLenses.com, etc. If you have a local camera shop... even they may rent out gear (I live near a ProCam store and they also rent gear.)

    But lighting is tough for groups because light spreads apart as the distance from the light source increases and this causes the light “fall off” problem. People nearest to the light are very bright... and people farthest from the light are much too dark. You usually need more than one and they need to be arranged so everyone is roughly similar distance from the lights.

    Apart from that... consider changing the location. Can the shot be taken outside?
     

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