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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    South East Suburbs, Melbourne, VIC
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    Question about Group Photos

    Hi All,

    I had a go at a group photo for a mate and his family and I was somewhat disappointed with the results. For privacy reasons I can't post the photo but I am hoping I might be able to get some tips on how to improve into the future to prevent any disappointing shots. I don't typically shoot portraits so it was a learning curve for me, and with 8 adults and 8 kids, there were a few people there lol.

    Thankfully I did manage to work some photoshop and fix some of the images, that said I am fairly annoyed that some I could not really fix.

    So the setting was a local park, there were some curved benches with everyone sitting on them, I would say there was about 0.5 - 0.8m between the first row and the second row, and the bench curved somewhat. In this setup, I used an external flash (on camera) with a diffuser and got enough fill-light mixed with the ambient light. I shot with a Nikon D610, and a nikkor 28 - 120mm at around 60 - 80mm focal length. my shutter speed was always at least 1/focal length (e.g. 1/60 - 1/120), and i used an aperture of f/8 and auto-ISO accordingly.

    When I look at the images, some I have shot at an angle (e.g. left of the group), and these I do see some blur in the far people, others are generally people at the edges of the group (i focused mid-group). I would have thought f/8 would have been a fairly good depth of field to allow for the photos to be sharp, should I have gone more narrow in the aperture (i avoided e.g. f/2.8 - f/4 for that reason). Secondly is there an 'optimal' shutter speed for portraits, I am wondering if having the shutter speed too slow may have contributed?

    Apologies i don't have too much to work on, but happy to answer any questions if I have not elaborated very well.
    http://www.travishale.com/
    Nik D5300+610, 18-55mm, 50-300mm, 35mm, 10.5mm, 150mm Macro, 150-600mm
    Lightroom/Photoshop CC

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    Devonport Tasmania
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    Re: Question about Group Photos

    Hard to know Trav. Without the sample picture. My best guess would be the focal length may not have allowed enough depth. 60-80 mm @ f8 is stretching the friendship a bit. Iím suggesting a wider setting may have given a better result.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    Bass Coast, Victoria
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    Re: Question about Group Photos

    Were you using 'auto focus' or focussing manually?
    If auto, the camera may be choosing an area, other than you want..
    Iíve always used manual focus when taking "wide" family shots.. and take multiple images at differing points. (With the exact same composition)
    If this still doesnít give the result you want, you could use "Focus Stacking" software to assist.
    This will require you to use a tripod, to keep the images aligned.. (Iíd recommend you always use a tripod for portraiture and other still-life type images) This will also allow you to use a larger f/stop (smaller aperture) and a slower shutter speed without camera shake...

    As closei said though, we really need a sample image to get the full story..
    Without that, itís all just a guessing game.. ��
    Mark
    NIKON NEF>Zoner Photo Studio X=JPEG

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    Re: Question about Group Photos

    Thanks Gents, i will try a higher aperture in the future. I was auto focusing, but a aingle point ao i know i did get focus, but maybe not enough DOF

    Sent from my SM-T815Y using Tapatalk
    http://www.travishale.com/
    Nik D5300+610, 18-55mm, 50-300mm, 35mm, 10.5mm, 150mm Macro, 150-600mm
    Lightroom/Photoshop CC

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Lost. Using Lr5/Affinity Photo/Pana Fz300
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    Re: Question about Group Photos

    higher (smaller) aperture is not always the better option
    could have been better to use a wider focal length -- like 35mm -- that would have far more dof . The closer the camera is to the subject the sharper the photo will seem

    Don't forget the photo on the screen at 100% is far different to the printed photo on the wall --- what we see as wrong is often not noticed by others

    generally speaking; it's better to have the groups 90 degrees to the camera --- the photo you mentioned is great when you want the 'main' person/people in sharp focus and the others not so sharp --- think a wedding photo or grandparents as the main couple.

    Don't try to be 'arty' until you have mastered people photography; in my experience people just want group photos to be well lite (flat) with everyone smiling even if they hate each other

    8 adults and 8 kids sounds spooky

    On the branches sounds interesting; however generally the bigger the group the less arty you can be; but that's not to say everyone has be in everyone else's pocket

    Now do some testing on dof with your lens and different focal lengths and apertures. Like any tool; a camera is only as good the person holding it knows how to use it. Honesty; if camera were a dangerous tool there would a lot of photographers with no arms lol --- or heads!!

    Not sure focus stacking is usable with people pics --- nor is hrd / bracketing.

    How would you go with a view camera and getting it right with one or maybe two clicks --- buggered if I could

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