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11/02/2008 03:58:24 PM · #1
So a friend calls me today ( she is graduating from nursing school in a few weeks) anyway 36 girls are supposed to graduate and they want someone to do a group shot of them togethernext week.. no one wants to pay what a photographer would cost here in town to come out and do that so they asked me. i informed her, uh. 36 people in 1 shot I don't know if I can even do that with the lens I have.

SO can you do that with the lens' I have? and it look decent? how hard is a groupshot like that? is that shomething i should even say okay I'll try it?
11/02/2008 04:05:36 PM · #2
I suppose you could crowd everyone together, but as you no doubt know, a wider lens would be useful here. Do you know anyone you could borrow from? Or do you have time to rent one and have it shipped? I know someone at DPC does equipment rentals.
11/02/2008 04:10:12 PM · #3
That's 4 rows of 9 people each, not too bad. You might get up on a ladder to get the shot. You might want to pose them on some nearby stairs.
11/02/2008 04:12:24 PM · #4
Is the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II the only lens you have? Your kit lens (if you have one) should be wide enough.
11/02/2008 04:18:35 PM · #5
Wow, 36 people won't pony up enough money for a shot like this? $10/each=$360... That's pretty cheap on their part and even as an amateur I'd insist on at least an honorarium of $3-5 a person for my time & effort. And how are they going to get copies? Will they be posted online for the people to download? I'd make sure you agree on the distribution issue before agreeing to anything.

I wouldn't feel to bad if you have to say no. They must know someone with a nice P&S that will get the job done for the price they want. :P
11/02/2008 04:20:30 PM · #6
I have a kit lens and with it came a macro and wide lens. they would want it done at the college which has a nice brick flower bed about a foot tall, 20-30 ft long also the nurse's buiding has a stairwell on the outside.

should I attempt it?
11/02/2008 04:23:08 PM · #7
WEll she asked me if I would do it, I said I didn't know let me think about it. she asked if I did it what would i charge and thats how I got the number of people etc. I told her I didn't know exact but no more than $10 a person. she said oh thats great no one will have a problem with that.. ... ( my question is.. hmm pony up 5-10 more each and you could have a professional here do it) but.. okay.. the 10 a person i figured would cover a 5x7 for each person and my time.. IF I DO IT..
11/02/2008 04:28:02 PM · #8
If you use your kit lens, I'd recommend leaving a little space on the sides when you compose. If you have people right up to the edge of the frame you are going to get some distortion and I'm sure no 20-something gal wants to look fat because the lens stretched her out.

Just a tip.
11/02/2008 04:29:22 PM · #9
especially since they will already look big in those white outfits!.. but thank you I never thought of that... yeah yet another reason I shouldn't probably do this....
11/02/2008 04:49:00 PM · #10
If you charge $10 per person and give me half I'll send you my 17-40 F4 ;-P
11/02/2008 04:53:04 PM · #11
hah, I was thinking $10 per person = 324 profit to go see sylvia brown so she can tell me when she comes to San Antonio on Sunday if I'll always suck at pictures or if I'll eventually get a nich for it.. hahaha
11/02/2008 05:32:37 PM · #12
From the title of your thread, I thought you were maybe looking for nice things to photograph on a trip from Utah to Ohio...
11/02/2008 05:32:38 PM · #13

What you could do is a multi-shot panaroma and then stitch the images together. Take some the normal way you would, getting back far enough to get everyone in the shot and take a few like that. Then after that way, move in closer, turn your camera vertical and stand in the middle so you can take 3 shots. One of the left third, one in the middle and one of the right third. Over lap the shots by about 25 percent. If you tell everyone to hold still and that you are going to take 3 shots, you shouldn't get enough movement to matter. How I do it is line the camera up and set focus and exposure with the middle group, push the button down half way to lock it, aim left, snap, aim in the middle, snap and aim right, snap. Just keep your camera level as you take the 3 shots. I've done a bunch of panoramas this way, free hand and they have come out great. I use Panorama Factory to stitch my images together, but there are other programs as well.

This way you can get closer and get more detail of each person's face. If you happen to be familiar with doing panoramas you could even get closer and get 4 or 5 images. The key is making sure you are covered top to bottom, which is why you turn your camera vertical, since that angle will give you move coverage above and below the group. Multi-images come in real handy for situations like this and aren't just for wide scenic shots.

Mike


11/02/2008 05:44:38 PM · #14
Originally posted by MikeJ:

What you could do is a multi-shot panaroma and then stitch the images together.

This is certainly worth a try -- you may want to download the free demo version of Autostitch to help with the stitching phase. Make sure you shoot in Manual mode so there are no exposure variations as you pan the shots.
11/02/2008 05:48:01 PM · #15
I just took a 4 generation family photo of 32 (give or take a couple) this afternoon. I used the widest I had (the 18-55) and was on a picnic table for most of the shots. I also had a couple of flashes set up to fire remotely, as we were outside and I needed some fill light.

IF you could find a staircase that looked nice, somewhere, it might be neat to organize them on that.
11/02/2008 06:25:13 PM · #16
i'm not so good at the panarama stuff... I've tried and tried of a like that we go hunting near.. actually went out this weekend and hurt my back in attempt to get some low shots of the fog omming off this morning.. now I'm layed up on the couch in pain.. lol

I will try the panoramic thing when i go out/ if I go out and do it. can i see the shot on the picnic table or if anyone else has some that would help me out could you post them? I think I am going to give it a try. I may come down on the price since I have never done it before and am by no means a pro at it.

it cost me approx .75 cents to print a 5x7 at a photo place here in town or 1.00 so send off so my cost at most would be 36-40 dollars if teachers get one. ..

but in the words of matt, I'm gonna shoot with a kit lens.. and charge for it??? lol :)
11/02/2008 06:59:47 PM · #17
If you belong to Costco, a 5x7 is $0.39. You can also post it there or at DPC Prints and let them order their own ...
11/02/2008 08:30:33 PM · #18
Don't come down on the price till you see what you come up with. You might surprise yourself and then kick yourself if they come out better than you expected. And if you do decide to lower your price, don't use the excuse because you have just a kit lens... tell them that you had so much fun that you wanted to give them a break on the price... or something like that. Save your excuses for when you really need them. :D

Good luck with the shoot.

Mike
11/02/2008 08:47:06 PM · #19
If you have Photoshop or Photoshop Elements version 6 or 7, (trial version would even do), there is a great feature for making perfect group shots. Take 2 or more photos and you can select the people who blinks or looks away and Photoshop will pull them in from the other shots. Works surprisingly well. A tripod would help but is not necessary.

Some other advice:
Try to have everyone in shadow lighting. Use a lens hood if you are in the sun.
People in the sun is quite difficult but even worse is if half the group is in sunshine and half in shadow.
Set your aperture to 11 or so for maximum sharpness. By all means try to avoid smallest and biggest aperture. Your ISO should be 100 or 200 if the light permits it.
Make them stand quite tight together or the group would be too wide.

Have them all say Whiskeeeeey after you count to 3 and you will have the widest smile on their faces.
11/02/2008 10:08:55 PM · #20
Originally posted by Pelle:

If you have Photoshop or Photoshop Elements version 6 or 7, (trial version would even do), there is a great feature for making perfect group shots. Take 2 or more photos and you can select the people who blinks or looks away and Photoshop will pull them in from the other shots. Works surprisingly well. A tripod would help but is not necessary.

Some other advice:
Try to have everyone in shadow lighting. Use a lens hood if you are in the sun.
People in the sun is quite difficult but even worse is if half the group is in sunshine and half in shadow.
Set your aperture to 11 or so for maximum sharpness. By all means try to avoid smallest and biggest aperture. Your ISO should be 100 or 200 if the light permits it.
Make them stand quite tight together or the group would be too wide.

Have them all say Whiskeeeeey after you count to 3 and you will have the widest smile on their faces.


okay i have elements and Photoshop 2 soon getting 3.. Where is this feature your talking about because i actually have a shot now I'd like to try that on

Message edited by author 2008-11-02 22:09:31.
11/02/2008 11:05:57 PM · #21
only method i know of doing that is copying and pasting from multiple pictures and then erasing/cloning the background to make it fit seamlessly. Ive done this with heads and eyes from weddings etc and it works rather well. If the heads/bodies are at different angles, you might be able to get around that with distort -> perspective. or even the lens correction thing under the distort menu as well.
11/03/2008 01:14:23 AM · #22
The feature is called Photomerge.
Check if your Photoshop version has it:

Menu
File>New>Photomerge Group Shot

Tutorial video //www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLkZn5ODTHU

Message edited by author 2008-11-03 01:19:22.
11/04/2008 08:19:10 PM · #23
Well I didn't get the picture. I logged online to myspace today and the girl who asked me had posted a picture taken with a point and shoot. oh well thank you for the help anyhow.
11/06/2008 11:46:42 PM · #24
Okay so the picture is back on.. lol

only this time they changed what they wanted.. they want me to do the ceremony for them but get there 3 hours before to do the group shot and some individuals.. for 41 people instead of 36
and then do some candid's during the ceremony in a high school auditorium.

so.. some advice??
11/08/2008 12:08:05 PM · #25
Originally posted by MikeJ:

What you could do is a multi-shot panaroma and then stitch the images together. Take some the normal way you would, getting back far enough to get everyone in the shot and take a few like that. Then after that way, move in closer, turn your camera vertical and stand in the middle so you can take 3 shots. One of the left third, one in the middle and one of the right third. Over lap the shots by about 25 percent. If you tell everyone to hold still and that you are going to take 3 shots, you shouldn't get enough movement to matter. How I do it is line the camera up and set focus and exposure with the middle group, push the button down half way to lock it, aim left, snap, aim in the middle, snap and aim right, snap. Just keep your camera level as you take the 3 shots. I've done a bunch of panoramas this way, free hand and they have come out great. I use Panorama Factory to stitch my images together, but there are other programs as well.

This way you can get closer and get more detail of each person's face. If you happen to be familiar with doing panoramas you could even get closer and get 4 or 5 images. The key is making sure you are covered top to bottom, which is why you turn your camera vertical, since that angle will give you move coverage above and below the group. Multi-images come in real handy for situations like this and aren't just for wide scenic shots.

Mike

Parallax will be an issue if you do it this way. I suggest using a tripod and taking enough pictures left to right to cover the group with a 50% overlap becasue then you can merge things so that no one is near the edge of the lens (where it distorts). Remember to use manual exposure and manual focusing, and don't change things between shots.

Note that unless you have a panoramic head on your tripod, you will still have parallax, but it will be minimal if you are 20 feet or so from the group.

Also, take a couple of shots from further away as a safety, in case the pano merge doesn't work.

Also take several shots of the same group so you can overlap them in separate layers, then erase anyone who blinks or doesn't smile, etc.

I recomend AutoPano Pro for stitching, or Hugin if you want a free stitcher. Both are more powerful than CS3

Message edited by author 2008-11-08 12:09:30.
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