Need help on Christmas group photo

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by elsaspet, Dec 22, 2004.

  1. elsaspet

    elsaspet TPF Noob!

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    Ok every year we take a timed family group photo with various family member cameras. Every year the photos suck. Dark. Busy. Crap.
    This is the situation: We are all supposed to line up the cameras approximately 20 feet from where the "action" is.
    In the group photo are 22 people, one line sitting, one kneeling and one stranding. It is in front of a dark brick fireplace with big brass attachments, and two huge windows on either side. That is the only light besides household lighting that is inside the room. This scene of people spans about 8ft wide and about 4 ft. deep.
    It would be nice if we can move the location, but they have been doing it that way for 50 years......blah, blah, blah. I can't get closer because everyone else has small compact digitals and no wide angle at all.

    I have a new camera this year, but I don't even know if it will help in this situation. Any tips would be greatly appreciated. I have a Canon 7NE, a sigma lens set (70-300 and 28-90) various filters including floresent and orange-In case B&Ws the ticket.

    Setting and lens suggestions would be great.
     
  2. Jamie R

    Jamie R TPF Noob!

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    How about a halogen floodlamp? That'll solve the lighting problem.

    If you have any accessory lighting, it would help - flashguns? strobes? Anything other than a cigarette lighter perhaps?

    I'll let the snapshot gurus do the reasonable suggestions bit on this one ;)
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Lighting is important. A halogen work lamp should work fine...just make sure that you don't get someone's shadow blocking out someone else's head.

    Use your 28-90 and set the aperture to around F8. Use the DOF preview to check that everyone from front to back is in focus. If you can open up to F5.6 or F4 and still keep everyone in focus...do it.

    What would really help is a nice accessory flash. Of course a whole kit of strobes, stands, umbrellas etc. would be nice too ;).

    You want to avoid the build in flash on any camera as it will be under powered and probably cause red eye.

    If you use lamps to add lighting, you may need to correct the color. Either by using tungsten balanced film or a filter. You could let the lab try to correct the color when they make the prints though. (or scan it and do it yourself).

    That's all I can think of right now...have fun.
     
  4. elsaspet

    elsaspet TPF Noob!

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    Thank you both so much. God, this place is addicting. I bow down to you photo gods!
    Anyhoo, just took some photos of a rare Texas snow on Mr.Pets camera, and we are going to go see if we can figure out Photobucket.
    Thankyouthankyouthankyou!!!!!
     
  5. Magoo

    Magoo TPF Noob!

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    One of my back up 35mm is the older elan 7e. For that I use the 420ex or a 550ex flash on a stroboframe. You could pick up a diffuser to spread the light out when shooting. A cheap one that I love using is the sto-fen diffuser. you can usually find it for about $20-30. then you can put it on an angle to bounce off the ceiling and you have light output going in front to brighten up everyone.

    Magoo
     

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