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sensor

US
93 posts

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sensor Registered since 30th Oct 2011
Tue 12-Feb-13 02:33 AM

I am planning to take a picture of a group of 15 people (indoor with Flash sb600) what would be the best lens for this shot?? I am planning to position as close as I can.// thanks any tipos for this kind of project..would be really appreciated.

thanks.

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Kidkett

Campo, US
442 posts

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#1. "RE: group portait" | In response to Reply # 0

Kidkett Silver Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 09th Apr 2010
Tue 12-Feb-13 08:31 AM

I would use your 50mm @f5.6 or about and bounce the flash off the ceiling if you can. You didn’t say how many rows of people you are going to have and if you want full body pictures. You might want to shoot down on them just a little so no one is hidden from view. If the 50mm is not wide enough and you can’t get back far enough to get everyone in, then use your 24-70mm and try to keep it as close to 50mm as you can. If your ceiling is white and 8-10 feet high your bounce flash will work great. Get one or two people to take a couple of test shot before you get the group together so you’re ready to go when they are. Have fun with your shoot.

Bill

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DinoCardelli

Plantation, US
236 posts

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#2. "RE: group portait" | In response to Reply # 0

DinoCardelli Registered since 19th Oct 2010
Sat 16-Feb-13 12:14 AM | edited Sat 16-Feb-13 12:20 AM by DinoCardelli

See if you can get a simple umbrella and stand set up and use an on camera extension to fire the flash...you can go TTL and the extension on the camera will allow you to move the SB600 off camera center and reduce the redeye effect..

You can also use the Nikon CLS system and place it off camera....

There are several good videos on line on you tube on how to use the CLS system if you are unfamiliar with the system.


Be sure to set the setting to Flash with Redeye on your settings for the strobe.

(assuming you can't bounce flash it as suggested above)....

Also, for this type of portrait, depending on how important..you might want to ask around if you can get two strobes, or rent one at least ot give you better lighting coverage and depth than a single one flash....

as well, if you can't get an umbrella, consider a on camera soft box...or even a white plastic bag over the lense to soften the light if you are only able to use a single SB600..

I agree with the poster above..take several pics with the one subject before....once you get the entire group..it's going to be a nightmare hearding the cats...people hate pics...be sure you ping off at least 10-15 (min) to be sure you get everyone's eyes open, etc. etc.


dc

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spraay2236

US
152 posts

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#3. "RE: group portait" | In response to Reply # 0

spraay2236 Registered since 26th Feb 2012
Thu 21-Feb-13 04:19 PM



Taking into account room dimensions and ambient light would be important for sorting out the flash lighting. I would agree that bouncing the flash off the ceiling or or using some other method to diffuse the light is going to be key. In a small room with light colored walls and ceiling the flash can bounce and soften nicely. In a big, open room with high ceilings it's a harder thing.

I would see about having the SB600 on another tripod or stand have it fire into a reflector or a nice bright white wall behind you. I've been known to use the built-in flash as a CLS Commander and have it fire the bigger unit that's aimed at the ceiling, out of line of the actual shot. This can give pleasing lighting without generating a lot of red eye.

What lens you should use depends on how close you end up. If you're fairly close, then the 50mm is probably perfect, since it offers a normal angle of view on an FX sensor.

This sort of thing can be fun if everyone is patient and having a good time. Otherwise it's like herding cats.

SP

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sensor

US
93 posts

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#4. "RE: group portait" | In response to Reply # 3

sensor Registered since 30th Oct 2011
Fri 22-Feb-13 12:56 AM

Basically this is an informal portrait... nothing fancy..is something that the family group is right there and want to take advantage of the opportunity..but my main cocerns is about depth of field, and light ...I am planning to use the 50 mm lens but now that you mention difusing the light I don't have a difuser device which one is the best to acquire..??

thanks.

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vitalishe

Los Alamos, US
445 posts

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#5. "RE: group portait" | In response to Reply # 4

vitalishe Registered since 27th Dec 2012
Sun 14-Jul-13 04:14 PM

I don't see why you would need a diffuser if you going to bounce the flash. Small aperture will be needed indeed. You will have to line up your group in several rows, so you will need a depth of field of at least 3 feet. If you are shooting from 10 feet away at f/5.6 you get D.o.F. of about 4 feet. To be safe I would go at least to f/8 and focus on somebody 1/3 of the way into the group.

Good luck!

jrp

San Pedro Garza García, MX
38684 posts

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#6. "RE: group portait" | In response to Reply # 4

jrp Administrator JRP is one of the co-founders, has in-depth knowledge in various areas. Awarded for his contributions for the Resources Charter Member
Mon 15-Jul-13 05:20 AM | edited Tue 16-Jul-13 09:32 AM by jrp

Those gatherings may be very informal, but the occasions I always treat as precious.
For that reason I don't want to be worried about whether there is a nearby wall or not, a harsh light window on a side, a too tall ceiling, and so on.
They must "turn out nice" to deserve a place in two or three family albums.
So I always shoot with at least one flash with Gary Fong Universal Lightsphere Diffuser for interiors. If I have the time I may go up to four speedlights, all with diffusers, all in CLS, iTTL.

Here is a sample of last May, Mothers Day, right after lunch with a single flash:

Click on image to view larger version


Nikon D700, 28-70mm f/2.8D ED IF AF-S @ 35mm, f/5.6, 1/60s, ISO 400

Have a great time :-)
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km6xz

St Petersburg, RU
3559 posts

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#7. "RE: group portait" | In response to Reply # 6

km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009
Mon 15-Jul-13 11:10 AM

I do a lot of small group shots in adverse conditions and find the Lightsphere quite effective in energizing the room along a plane parallel to the floor at the height of the flash. If the room is small and you aee close to the group, you might want to reduce forward facing light a little to reduce a hotspot in the center. I do that by placing my hand up near it, with a couple fingers blocking light directly to the front. It also warms the light a little.
Do not go too wide, those on the sides will look significantly heavier, women tend to not like looking heavier when they are not. I would not go wider than 35mm which could get two rows in your distance preference.

If luck is with you, using a single on camera flash pointed up and to the rear towards the junction of the rear wall and ceiling. That can create a very large apparent source for a flattering wrap-around lighting with minimal hotspots. But that requires luck that the location is light color and can be used with a custom white balance. As JRP said, don't leave to luck. If conditions are really good for it, use the rear ceiling, if not, use diffusers like the G. Fong Lightsphere, or multiple strobes with large umbrellas or softboxes.
And do not bounce flash towards the front, you are too close so the reflected light will create dark eye sockets and harsh shadows. The reflected light needs to come in at low enough of an angle to fill the eyes.
Will this be a full length shots or primarily just upper torso? If full length, get your camera down a bit so it is below their eye level or else distortion of their lower bodies will not be appreciated, again, mostly by the women. A good rule of thumb that applies to many things but particularly photography: make the women happy and everyone is happy.
Stan
St Petersburg Russia

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ZoneV

US
3564 posts

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#8. "RE: group portait" | In response to Reply # 7

ZoneV Silver Member Nikonian since 07th Jan 2005
Mon 15-Jul-13 09:39 PM | edited Mon 15-Jul-13 09:40 PM by ZoneV

>I do a lot of small group shots in adverse conditions and
>find the Lightsphere quite effective in energizing the room
>along a plane parallel to the floor at the height of the
>flash. If the room is small and you aee close to the group,
>you might want to reduce forward facing light a little to
>reduce a hotspot in the center. I do that by placing my hand
>up near it, with a couple fingers blocking light directly to
>the front. It also warms the light a little.
>Do not go too wide, those on the sides will look significantly
>heavier, women tend to not like looking heavier when they are
>not. I would not go wider than 35mm which could get two rows
>in your distance preference.
>
>If luck is with you, using a single on camera flash pointed up
>and to the rear towards the junction of the rear wall and
>ceiling. That can create a very large apparent source for a
>flattering wrap-around lighting with minimal hotspots. But
>that requires luck that the location is light color and can be
>used with a custom white balance. As JRP said, don't leave to
>luck. If conditions are really good for it, use the rear
>ceiling, if not, use diffusers like the G. Fong Lightsphere,
>or multiple strobes with large umbrellas or softboxes.
>And do not bounce flash towards the front, you are too close
>so the reflected light will create dark eye sockets and harsh
>shadows. The reflected light needs to come in at low enough of
>an angle to fill the eyes.
>Will this be a full length shots or primarily just upper
>torso? If full length, get your camera down a bit so it is
>below their eye level or else distortion of their lower bodies
>will not be appreciated, again, mostly by the women. A good
>rule of thumb that applies to many things but particularly
>photography: make the women happy and everyone is happy.
>Stan


I second Stan's approach. But, it's not just eye sockets and women you need to be wary of. Bouncing the light upward also accentuates the degree of thinning hair on the top of a man's head. Don't do that unless there's no other option.

Nikon user since 2000

ajdooley

Waterloo, US
3330 posts

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#9. "RE: group portait" | In response to Reply # 8

ajdooley Gold Member Nikonian since 25th May 2006
Tue 16-Jul-13 09:22 AM

Al -- Hair? What hair? Maybe I should experiment with bouncing the flash off the top of my head! I agree -- as usual -- with Stan as well.

Alan
Waterloo, IL, USA
www.proimagingmidamerica.com

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ajdooley

Waterloo, US
3330 posts

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#10. "RE: group portait" | In response to Reply # 7

ajdooley Gold Member Nikonian since 25th May 2006
Tue 16-Jul-13 09:27 AM | edited Tue 16-Jul-13 09:28 AM by ajdooley

Stan - Put the women in the middle. Then they won't have any reasons to blame you! Actually, you point out several issues extremely well. I love the rear ceiling/wall idea -- if they are reasonably close and not some hideous color. Gary Fong's lite sphere s nice too. I need to get one of the collapsible ones, as the originals take up an inordinate amount of room to haul along.

Alan
Waterloo, IL, USA
www.proimagingmidamerica.com

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HighEye

US
6 posts

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#11. "RE: group portait" | In response to Reply # 0

HighEye Registered since 14th May 2013
Tue 16-Jul-13 10:17 AM

Here's a cheap trick for use with a single flash: back in the day before I had umbrellas, soft boxes, etc., I always carried in my camera bag, a largish, very white gentleman's handkerchief and a rubber band. With that, I could hand shape the cloth into a big hollow ball and rubber band it onto the front of the flash - getting a pretty good diffuser effect fast, for no $, and ultra lightweight. Setup time: fifteen seconds. Weight: almost zero. You'll be surprised how good a job this can do.

jdroach

Milwaukee, US
7013 posts

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#12. "RE: group portait" | In response to Reply # 6

jdroach Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded. John exhibits true Nikonian spirit by frequently posting images and requesting comments and critique, which he graciously accepts. He is an inspiration to all of us through constant improvement in his own work, keen observations and excellent commentary on images posted by others. Donor Ribbon. Awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Donor Ribbon awarded for his most generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 21st Mar 2009
Tue 16-Jul-13 01:05 PM

Nice image.

jdroach

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ajdooley

Waterloo, US
3330 posts

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#13. "RE: group portait" | In response to Reply # 11

ajdooley Gold Member Nikonian since 25th May 2006
Wed 17-Jul-13 04:31 PM

R.H. - And if you don't need it for a diffuser, you can always blow your nose on it in an emergency! I'll have to try this (the diffuser role!)

Alan
Waterloo, IL, USA
www.proimagingmidamerica.com

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DinoCardelli

Plantation, US
236 posts

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#14. "RE: group portait" | In response to Reply # 13

DinoCardelli Registered since 19th Oct 2010
Fri 19-Jul-13 06:15 AM | edited Fri 19-Jul-13 06:16 AM by DinoCardelli

For a quick, small Eye light...I like the Firefly by Aurora OCTABOX.

I bought the 16" they now make a 20...sets up in about 60 seconds and you an mount anystrobe, place on a stand or place in your hand....a bit tricky when it's in your hand, but, it works...

dc

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DinoCardelli

Plantation, US
236 posts

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#15. "RE: group portait" | In response to Reply # 6

DinoCardelli Registered since 19th Oct 2010
Fri 19-Jul-13 06:17 AM

JRP - ???

Why did you shoot at ISO 400 vs. standard 200 when using a flash....

dc

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G