November 21, 2014, 11:52:59 AM

Author Topic: Help me compose a photo (what lenses to achieve this portrait)  (Read 1596 times)

JonB8305

  • Rebel T5i
  • ****
  • Posts: 119
    • View Profile
I would like to do an engagement photo at this location with the couple standing in the archway but I would like full view of the train tracks behind it. Should I rent a super wide angle lens like a Canon 14MM or 17mm TS-E(pretty tall tracks) or should I use my 24-70 2.8II and shoot multiple frames and use some type of pic stitch software (if so please recommend which one)
http://bizj.us/yhh3f/i/1

canon rumors FORUM


ajfotofilmagem

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1052
    • View Profile
Re: Help me compose a photo (what lenses to achieve this portrait)
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2014, 11:39:47 AM »
Lenses wider than 24mm are not suitable for shooting people because distort perspective. The only situation where 14mm would be interesting to marriage, the bride could be seen from the back, with a long tail dress. Even so, the bride's head needs to stay in the center of the frame to minimize geometric distortion near the edges of the lens.

tiger82

  • Canon 6D
  • *****
  • Posts: 392
    • View Profile
Re: Help me compose a photo (what lenses to achieve this portrait)
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2014, 12:21:23 PM »
Shoot them in front of the arch and frame the arch around their heads as much as you can.  Use a small aperture to bring the arch and tracks into view.  Illuminate the couple since they will be backlit.  I'd use a 50 or 35 lens with a FF camera, 24 or 35 with a crop body.
1D4 with 70-200 IS f/2.8L, 5D2 with 24-70 f/2.8L

mackguyver

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 3016
  • Who Dares Wins
    • View Profile
    • My Personal Work
Re: Help me compose a photo (what lenses to achieve this portrait)
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2014, 12:36:48 PM »
If you're not going to print this very large, you could use a wide angle 14mm / 16-35, etc. and put them in the middle of the frame (to avoid distortion), then crop out the bottom 1/3 to 1/2 of the photo, but given the type of photo (dramatic shot of a special memory), it needs to be high-res for a big print.  If distortion is not as much of an issue, you can get close, tilt up and have the arch & railroad converge.  Google ultra wide angle wedding photos or something like that for some examples (like this - scroll down to the three 16-35 examples).  That way you still get the full frame.

Another option is to use the TS-E 24 and the shift function to shift, rotate, and shift again for a full panoramic effect.  Or simply use shift to correct the verticals and you still have a great full frame shot.

A third option is to stitch, like you say, possibly using the Brenizer effect with a longer lens.  A lot depends on how far you can get from the arch - and if that's not the limit, communication with the couple will be an issue.

Just my 2c - there are plenty of ways to shoot this - I'd recommend trying at least 2 to 3 ways and letting the couple pick out their favorite.


distant.star

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1558
    • View Profile
    • Tracy's Shooting Gallery
Re: Help me compose a photo (what lenses to achieve this portrait)
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2014, 01:48:21 PM »
.
I don't know if you have the luxury, but if it were me, I'd go out there and do a few test shots with different focal lengths, etc.

First thing that I see is those awful black/yellow zebra stripes will have to be minimized and removed in post. Second thing in my mind is this is a picture about the people, not the background. The couple should not appear diminished by the background.

I wouldn't do anything eye-level. I'd be shooting from somewhat below (not low enough for the nose-hair view) or on a ladder looking somewhat down. Is there water below the bridge? I'd place the models several feet in front of the arch; just seems more compositionally right.

If you get a shot with the ceiling of the covered bridge visible (shooting from low) then you might think about an off-camera flash to illuminate the woodwork in the ceiling. A light hidden behind the couple would work.

Think about a wide aperture so bokeh abstracts the trestling background. Given that the background is important to you, I'd go with 35mm or wider. The tilt-shift would be great, but I wouldn't do it if I hadn't worked with one before.

Just some thoughts, for what it's worth.
Walter: Were you listening to The Dude's story? Donny: I was bowling. Walter: So you have no frame of reference here, Donny. You're like a child who wanders into the middle of a movie and wants to know...

JonB8305

  • Rebel T5i
  • ****
  • Posts: 119
    • View Profile
Re: Help me compose a photo (what lenses to achieve this portrait)
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2014, 06:18:14 PM »
If you're not going to print this very large, you could use a wide angle 14mm / 16-35, etc. and put them in the middle of the frame (to avoid distortion), then crop out the bottom 1/3 to 1/2 of the photo, but given the type of photo (dramatic shot of a special memory), it needs to be high-res for a big print.  If distortion is not as much of an issue, you can get close, tilt up and have the arch & railroad converge.  Google ultra wide angle wedding photos or something like that for some examples (like this - scroll down to the three 16-35 examples).  That way you still get the full frame.

Another option is to use the TS-E 24 and the shift function to shift, rotate, and shift again for a full panoramic effect.  Or simply use shift to correct the verticals and you still have a great full frame shot.

A third option is to stitch, like you say, possibly using the Brenizer effect with a longer lens.  A lot depends on how far you can get from the arch - and if that's not the limit, communication with the couple will be an issue.

Just my 2c - there are plenty of ways to shoot this - I'd recommend trying at least 2 to 3 ways and letting the couple pick out their favorite.

Those 16-35 shots are perfect. It was good enough to get the height of the object into the scene, the only draw back is that he had to be very far away.

My goal is to get the full height and most of the width of the train tracks, but also close enough to get good detail on the couples face.

tiger82

  • Canon 6D
  • *****
  • Posts: 392
    • View Profile
Re: Help me compose a photo (what lenses to achieve this portrait)
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2014, 06:36:58 PM »
Do test shots with a friend or two.  Pick a time when the lighting is to your advantage.  Practice staging your shot with the equipment you have.
1D4 with 70-200 IS f/2.8L, 5D2 with 24-70 f/2.8L

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Help me compose a photo (what lenses to achieve this portrait)
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2014, 06:36:58 PM »

mackguyver

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 3016
  • Who Dares Wins
    • View Profile
    • My Personal Work
Re: Help me compose a photo (what lenses to achieve this portrait)
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2014, 06:48:26 PM »
Those 16-35 shots are perfect. It was good enough to get the height of the object into the scene, the only draw back is that he had to be very far away.

My goal is to get the full height and most of the width of the train tracks, but also close enough to get good detail on the couples face.
If they were shot at 16mm, I think you'll find that they were shot from a closer distance than you might think, but I understand your concern.

tiger82's advice is good - got do some test shots, even if you have to do it alone.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2014, 09:13:46 AM by mackguyver »

Hjalmarg1

  • Canon 70D
  • ****
  • Posts: 292
  • Photo Hobbyist
    • View Profile
Re: Help me compose a photo (what lenses to achieve this portrait)
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2014, 06:42:06 AM »
.
I don't know if you have the luxury, but if it were me, I'd go out there and do a few test shots with different focal lengths, etc.

First thing that I see is those awful black/yellow zebra stripes will have to be minimized and removed in post. Second thing in my mind is this is a picture about the people, not the background. The couple should not appear diminished by the background.

I wouldn't do anything eye-level. I'd be shooting from somewhat below (not low enough for the nose-hair view) or on a ladder looking somewhat down. Is there water below the bridge? I'd place the models several feet in front of the arch; just seems more compositionally right.

If you get a shot with the ceiling of the covered bridge visible (shooting from low) then you might think about an off-camera flash to illuminate the woodwork in the ceiling. A light hidden behind the couple would work.

Think about a wide aperture so bokeh abstracts the trestling background. Given that the background is important to you, I'd go with 35mm or wider. The tilt-shift would be great, but I wouldn't do it if I hadn't worked with one before.

Just some thoughts, for what it's worth.

+1 your 24-70mm f2.8L II will do the job at these focal lens and also 50mm where distortion is less
Body: 5DIII. Prime Lenses: 15mm f2.8, 100mm f2.8L IS, 35mm f2 IS, Extender EF 2X III.
Zoom Lenses: 16-35mm f4L IS, 24-70mm f2.8L, 70-200mm f2.8L IS II. Others: Flash 580EX II, 270EX II & MR-14EX II

JonB8305

  • Rebel T5i
  • ****
  • Posts: 119
    • View Profile
Re: Help me compose a photo (what lenses to achieve this portrait)
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2014, 09:18:44 AM »
Test shot. Ended up too far away and the trees got in the way. Used 24-70 2.8 II

chasinglight

  • Canon AE-1
  • ***
  • Posts: 75
    • View Profile
Re: Help me compose a photo (what lenses to achieve this portrait)
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2014, 10:50:46 AM »
Take a look at the brenizer method. It's definitely not how the shot was originally obtained, but it may be a more suitable method for what you are trying to achieve.

http://blog.buiphotos.com/2009/07/the-brenizer-method-explained-with-directions/

privatebydesign

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2752
  • Ermintrude says "moo"
    • View Profile
Re: Help me compose a photo (what lenses to achieve this portrait)
« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2014, 09:35:23 PM »
I'd do it with a 24 TS-E on a tripod and shift up to include the train tracks, that way the couple are distortion free on the bottom edge of the frame. I'd also use an off camera light to highlight the couple and I'd underexpose the background a little to create the composition out of light and dark areas. If you have wireless flashes a gelled one in the tunnel could be good too.
Never look down on anybody, unless you are helping them up.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Help me compose a photo (what lenses to achieve this portrait)
« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2014, 09:35:23 PM »