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Occasional Contributor
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎12-28-2017

quick question ... shooting group portrait

[ Edited ]

Hello all,

super newbie here, just finally learning my settings other than auto Smiley Very Happy, so please be gentle...

I am taking some pictures of my friends family tomorrow, outdoors,mid day, super sunny-i'm in Vegas Smiley Happy, was wondering what are the best setings would be,,i have a Canon rebel Xs, kit lens..thank you!

Super Contributor
Posts: 187
Registered: ‎02-13-2016

Re: quick question ... shooting group portrait

Depending on the size of the group you'll probably want to shoot toward the wide end of your lens' zoom range. Use the AV mode and work around f8 or f11 to increase depth of field. The real challenge you're making for yourself is shooting in the high mid-day sun. The harsh shadows on peoples' faces  will be less than flattering and you subjects will be more prone to squinting.

Lower morning or afternoon sun will provide better lighting. If possible, get your subjects into the shade somewhere, even if it's under an awning or marquee. They'll be happier and more likely to smile and keep their eyes open. Keep the sun at your back or to the side, out of the scene. Try to find an uncluttered background. Take plenty of shots from slightly different angles and distances. Move in closer for some wider angle shots then step back and zoom in a little bit to fill the frame as needed.

At least you're not having to shoot this group in northern Indiana at the moment. Below zero and single digit temps means you can't shoot till everybody stops shivering. Robot Frustrated

Occasional Contributor
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎12-28-2017

Re: quick question ... shooting group portrait

Thank you so much for the reply!!

I was trying for a softer light, so told them later in the day, but they didnt have time then. ..And of course last two days were perfectly overcast, hah!

I will take everything into account, appreciate the advise!

Thanks Smiley Happy

Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,812
Registered: ‎12-02-2012

Re: quick question ... shooting group portrait

Shoot zoomed out leaving a LOT of extra space around the subject. If you use a wide-ish lens ( 16-24) people on the edges of the photo will be bloated. Frame loosely so you can crop the distorted edges out. 

Scott

Canon 5d mk 4, Canon 6D, EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS mk2; EF 16-35 f/2.8 L mk. III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art" EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro; EF 85mm f/1.8; EF 1.4x extender mk. 3; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS; 3x Phottix Mitros+ speedlites

Why do so many people say "FER-tographer"? Do they take "fertographs"?
Honored Contributor
Posts: 6,111
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: quick question ... shooting group portrait

Not really enough infor here. 

 

Depending upon the size of the group, you probably do not need to use an aperture narrower than f/5.6.  Depending upon the amount of background and foreground lighting, you may need exposure compensation, to expose the group properly.

 

I would definitely be inclined to use a tripod.  You should have sufficient time to pose everyone.  Remember, your lens does not have a flat focal plane.  It is more curved, than flat, with the image sensor in the center of a the circular focal plane.  Understand your available depth of field.

 

As suggested, leave some room around the edges.  You want to have some “margin” to make adjustments llike leveling the horizon.  Depending upon the lens and focal length, people can become distorted near the edges.

 

I would not put a priority on keep ISO at 100.  I would put a priority on using a fast shutter, at least 1/400.

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
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Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 4,168
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: quick question ... shooting group portrait


ScottyP wrote:

Shoot zoomed out leaving a LOT of extra space around the subject. If you use a wide-ish lens ( 16-24) people on the edges of the photo will be bloated. Frame loosely so you can crop the distorted edges out. 


Try to find a shady area where the light is less harsh. Try to use fill flash, but remember that most eyeglasses will cause glare spots. If the group is small enough that you get to worry about people's expressions or whether they have their eyes open, take at least twice as many pictures as there are members of the group.

 

If someone else insists on taking pictures too, insist that he/she stand as close to you as possible. Otherwise, some people's eyes will be pointed at the other photographer. And remind the members of the group, that if they can't see your lens, their faces will not show.

Bob
Boston, Massachusetts USA
VIP
Posts: 8,889
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: quick question ... shooting group portrait

"Try to find a shady area where the light is less harsh."

 

That is the main thing you need to do.  Never shoot people in direct Sun light.  Contrast soars with the Sun. You shouldn't need a tripod either.  Make sure everyone knows if they can not see the lens, the lens can not see them.  Either set the camera for low speed continuous shooting or take multiple shots.  Somebody will invariably have their eyes closed or yawn or some darn thing else.  Also be aware of your form factor.  2x3 is not an 8x10 photo.

 

Of course you need to set for correct exposure but a good start might be f8, 1/100, ISO 200 and AWB.

A lot less stuff for 2018 but still a lot of Canon stuff. Along with, a lot of other stuff.
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎12-28-2017

Re: quick question ... shooting group portrait

Thank you all so much for the input!!
I found some filtered light, and put them in kind if a shade..about to see what i did! Smiley Very Happy
Appreciate all the helpful advise, thanks guys!!
Super Contributor
Posts: 187
Registered: ‎02-13-2016

Re: quick question ... shooting group portrait

Be sure to post some samples... we want to see how you did!

Occasional Contributor
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎12-28-2017

Re: quick question ... shooting group portrait

They are not the best :/ 

but this is before photoshop..so i m hoping

i learned a lot today..thanks again for all the help!IMG_4292.JPGIMG_4280.JPG

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