Shooting Huge Group Photo

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by macluva, Sep 12, 2007.

  1. macluva

    macluva TPF Noob!

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    Hi there, I just recently picked up digital photography and I'm asked to shoot a huge group photography of 300 ppl for my Uni society.

    I've got a Canon 400D with a 10-22mm wide angle lens. Question is, how do I execute such photography shot and still have a recognizable face of everyone?

    :hail: Please pleaseee advise! :hail:


    Thank you
     
  2. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    how big will the final be?
    If it's going to be BIG, I suggest looking at getting people to hold as still as possible and making a stitch of 4 images to give a 30 or so megapixel final.
     
  3. Big Mike

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

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    Stitching a photo of people...sounds like a lot of work.

    I would just get them all together an get yourself much higher than them. If you can shoot them from a 3nd or 3rd story window or balcony, that would be idea. The idea is that you have them all looking up and you can see every-one's face. If you shoot them straight on, it would be an extremely hard task to get all their faces.

    The 10-22 is a great lens...but you have to watch out for the edges...there is a lot of distortion out there. So I would suggest that you frame the shot with the group in the middle and some extra space around them.

    Because every face will be rather small in the image, you will want to maximum the sharpness. Using a tripod will help, and make sure that you use an aperture that is small enough to get a decent DOF. Shouldn't be too much of a problem with that lens...but I would recommend F8 to be safe. Just make sure it's bright enough to get a good shutter speed.
     
  4. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    good idea for anyting dead..but with people, they are just not disciplined enough... and if they are, you mostly get frozen smiles, if smiles at all.

    The only way I could imagine this to work, is if you arrange them in maybe 3 or 4 sub-groups, whcih stand separately with some spacing in between them. then the stitching could work perfectly!
     
  5. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think you might explore the opposite approach.

    Borrow or beg a telephoto/tele-zoom and mark off a section of bleachers that will hold 300 in more or less a square and see how far back you have to go to get that area in one frame.

    The longer focal length will give compression and DOF for everyone to be in focus and you could mount your tripod on a step ladder (your uni should have a tallish one).

    Have every one look at the bottom of the ladder or tripod if you don't use the step ladder and on the count of 3/whatever they should look at the lens, give them a 1/2 sec and take the shot. (saves a lot of blinking).

    If you use a tripod, shoot in RAW and are very careful you should be able to blow this up to whatever size you like (with the appropriate software).

    Just a thought.
     
  6. Jeff Colburn

    Jeff Colburn TPF Noob!

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    With that many people you won't be able to recognize faces unless the image is big enough to go on the side of a building.

    The last time I did a shoot like this, there were about 100 people involved, and they wanted them shoulder to shoulder the width of their office building. I wound up having two rows of people standing on a gentle slope. This put the faces of the people in the back over the people in the front row. It worked out great. So you may want to see if there's a gentle slope you can use. Also, be sure to check out where the sun will be when you're shooting. Just as I had my group ready the sun popped over the top of the building, and I had to wait about 15 minutes for it to rise enough to be out of the frame.

    Have Fun,
    Jeff
     
  7. chris_arnet

    chris_arnet TPF Noob!

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    i would go as far as using a remote shutter trip also.
     

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