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Author Topic: Group photo with 16-35 and Speedlite430  (Read 3130 times)

DesiFob

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Group photo with 16-35 and Speedlite430
« on: March 07, 2012, 02:35:05 PM »
Hi All,

I just rented canon 16-35 along with speedlite430 to take some group family pictures.
Body: 7D
Setting: 8-10 people in frame, indoor evening.

what kind of setting is best for lighting.

I always shoot without flash with my 50/1.4 or with 70-200/2.8, so I am not familiar how to set the flash in short time.

what should be the ISO in AV? what is best AV 2.8or 4 or 5.6--8 for large group to use with speedlite.

Thanks for your help in advance.

DESIFOB

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Group photo with 16-35 and Speedlite430
« on: March 07, 2012, 02:35:05 PM »

Drizzt321

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Re: Group photo with 16-35 and Speedlite430
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2012, 03:25:25 PM »
Don't have the flash pointing directly at the people. Point it at the ceiling, behind you, at a nearby wall, anything to bounce the light to create a larger light source. It'll be better than on-camera, but still not great.

I'd shoot full manual, shoot a couple of test frames as people are gathering and check the exposure, background lighting (dim or bright depending on shutter speed), etc are working well. Also, if they want you in the photo (very likely), you'll need a tripod and the self-timer and/or remote release.

Above all, build in a couple of hours (or more) before you actually need to shoot, grab one or two victims...err...subjects and find a similar room to where you'll be shooting and start experimenting. Keep track of which way the flash is pointing, how high up (or down) the flash power is, etc. That way you'll have some experience shooting with it before you really need to shoot with it, and your images will come out much better.
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facedodge

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Re: Group photo with 16-35 and Speedlite430
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2012, 06:24:26 PM »
Quote
Don't have the flash pointing directly at the people. Point it at the ceiling, behind you, at a nearby wall, anything to bounce the light to create a larger light source. It'll be better than on-camera, but still not great.

I'd shoot full manual, shoot a couple of test frames as people are gathering and check the exposure, background lighting (dim or bright depending on shutter speed), etc are working well. Also, if they want you in the photo (very likely), you'll need a tripod and the self-timer and/or remote release.

Above all, build in a couple of hours (or more) before you actually need to shoot, grab one or two victims...err...subjects and find a similar room to where you'll be shooting and start experimenting. Keep track of which way the flash is pointing, how high up (or down) the flash power is, etc. That way you'll have some experience shooting with it before you really need to shoot with it, and your images will come out much better.


What this guy said... Also if you have all this figured out before everyone shows up, you'll have more time to focus on setting everyone up and getting them relaxed. No matter how textbook you make the set up, you still have to get everyone to look good.

This is good advice.
http://www.digital-photography-school.com/how-to-take-great-group-photos

Orion

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Re: Group photo with 16-35 and Speedlite430
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2012, 07:49:35 PM »
Hi All,

I just rented canon 16-35 along with speedlite430 to take some group family pictures.
Body: 7D
Setting: 8-10 people in frame, indoor evening.

what kind of setting is best for lighting.

I always shoot without flash with my 50/1.4 or with 70-200/2.8, so I am not familiar how to set the flash in short time.

what should be the ISO in AV? what is best AV 2.8or 4 or 5.6--8 for large group to use with speedlite.

Thanks for your help in advance.

DESIFOB

If you are using one flash, it is importanbt to make sure the flash is not centered towards the person in the middle or pointed towards the person nearest the flash. . .  . instead make sure that the flash is pointed to the furthest person away, on the other side. make use of some reflector and have rear curtain sync set in if you are inside and thebackground is kinda dim. Take a test shot and compensate if need be. . . .

If there is a white wall directly behind you or low white ceiling or white walls to the side (haha sounds like a crazy chamber) set the flash hight at waist level, or slightly above and have a couple of reflectors at either side. 2 flashes wouldève been best and a 3rd to be ploaced behind them, even better. . .

ISO depends partly on the flash output and how many you have . . .

the point is that ere differnt ways you can do this. . . . place the flash further away to get more widespread coverage, but that means upping the iso a bit since your flash is not that strong, etc

DesiFob

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Re: Group photo with 16-35 and Speedlite430
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2012, 02:55:19 PM »
thanks everyone for your feedback.

I tried some shots last night.. couple questions.

1) when I shoot in auto mode... 1/60  F 4.0 ISO 1600 is the configuration shows up for the pictures .. when I set everything in Manual with exact same settings... the exposure indicator is around -3... which is not good...

When I lower the speed for the the correct exposure to 0 the speed is around 1/15 too slow... and pictures are over exposed... if I lower the ISO i have to further reduce the speed...

The pictures look just fine in auto mode or in M with the settings mentioned above....  so what is wrong with the exposure?

when we use flash (430) on camera do we still try to get correct exposure?


Thanks in advanced for all your help.

Desifob

KreutzerPhotography

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Re: Group photo with 16-35 and Speedlite430
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2012, 04:54:16 PM »
thanks everyone for your feedback.

I tried some shots last night.. couple questions.

1) when I shoot in auto mode... 1/60  F 4.0 ISO 1600 is the configuration shows up for the pictures .. when I set everything in Manual with exact same settings... the exposure indicator is around -3... which is not good...

When I lower the speed for the the correct exposure to 0 the speed is around 1/15 too slow... and pictures are over exposed... if I lower the ISO i have to further reduce the speed...

The pictures look just fine in auto mode or in M with the settings mentioned above....  so what is wrong with the exposure?

when we use flash (430) on camera do we still try to get correct exposure?


Thanks in advanced for all your help.

Desifob

I believe manual mode does not account for flash. In my experience I just watch my histogram to verify proper exposure (or chimping the shot) your method of shooting in auto and reproducing the settings is not a bad place to start. Be sure to refine your settings to be sure they fit the shot well. With a group of 8 people (based on the way they are standing) try to shoot at 5.6 to get all of them in focus. Too little DOF (could?) create OOF for people standing further away.

neuroanatomist

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Re: Group photo with 16-35 and Speedlite430
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2012, 05:30:42 PM »
thanks everyone for your feedback.

I tried some shots last night.. couple questions.

1) when I shoot in auto mode... 1/60  F 4.0 ISO 1600 is the configuration shows up for the pictures .. when I set everything in Manual with exact same settings... the exposure indicator is around -3... which is not good...

When I lower the speed for the the correct exposure to 0 the speed is around 1/15 too slow... and pictures are over exposed... if I lower the ISO i have to further reduce the speed...

The pictures look just fine in auto mode or in M with the settings mentioned above....  so what is wrong with the exposure?

when we use flash (430) on camera do we still try to get correct exposure?


Nothing is wrong with the exposure.

If you're looking at the metering with the half-press of the shutter and the flash on, it will seem underexposed - the metering does not take into account the flash until you actually take the picture.  In other words, when you fully press the shutter, the flash will fire twice - the first, called the pre-flash, will be used for a combined metering of flash exposure and background, and the second will illimiunate the scene during the image (they're so close together that you often don't percieve separate flashes). 

With the flash on and Auto ISO selected, it will default to ISO 400, which is a good choice although you could use ISO 200 or 800 if you prefer to set the manually. 

What you're trying to do is balance the shutter speed to keep it high enough to freeze the people (meaning at least 1/60 s, preferably 1/100 s) but expose enough of the background to get some context.  If you use your max speed with flash (barring using of HSS, which isn't really needed/useful here), you're at 1/250 s.  In a typical indoor setting, that means almost all of the light for the exposure comes from the flash, so the edges of the scene may be a bit dark.  a wider aperture may help, too.   

Depending on the depth of field you need, and how far you are, f/2.8 might work if you're at 16mm.  For example, at 16mm f/2.8 on the 7D, if you're focused on a subjet 8 feet away, everything from 5 feet to 16 feet from your camera will be in focus - that's a reasonable DoF even at f/2.8.  You can estimate with a DoF calculator

I'd start with manual settings of ISO 400, f/4, 1/100 s and see how the histogram and scene look with a flash shot (remember - the flash will provide the light to make up for the underexposed ambient, it just won't be apparent until after the shot).

Definitely bounce the flash off the ceiling...but hopefully the ceiling is white, else you end up with a color cast in the shot.  If the ceiling is colored, head to a craft store for a large piece of white foam core, and have someone stand on a stool behind you and hold it over you at an angle, pointing the flash head up and back to bounce the light off the board (you'll have to play with the angles to get the positioning correct).
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Re: Group photo with 16-35 and Speedlite430
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2012, 05:30:42 PM »

marekjoz

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Re: Group photo with 16-35 and Speedlite430
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2012, 07:25:45 PM »
thanks everyone for your feedback.

I tried some shots last night.. couple questions.

1) when I shoot in auto mode... 1/60  F 4.0 ISO 1600 is the configuration shows up for the pictures .. when I set everything in Manual with exact same settings... the exposure indicator is around -3... which is not good...

When I lower the speed for the the correct exposure to 0 the speed is around 1/15 too slow... and pictures are over exposed... if I lower the ISO i have to further reduce the speed...

The pictures look just fine in auto mode or in M with the settings mentioned above....  so what is wrong with the exposure?

when we use flash (430) on camera do we still try to get correct exposure?

Nothing is wrong with the exposure.
(..)
.
Definitely bounce the flash off the ceiling...but hopefully the ceiling is white, else you end up with a color cast in the shot.  If the ceiling is colored, head to a craft store for a large piece of white foam core, and have someone stand on a stool behind you and hold it over you at an angle, pointing the flash head up and back to bounce the light off the board (you'll have to play with the angles to get the positioning correct).
Happily for you having 7d may help you with flash setting. Having 430 and 7d you can experiment with flash off the camera's shoe and using it a slave mastered form 7d's built in flash. You can simply find more convenient place for flash operating than on a camera. Built in flash usually tends to cast shadows and it depends usual on a distance from people to the rear wall. This configuration (7d + 430) is really nice o experiment with. If you decide to use this technique (built in flash for master and 430 for slave) you have the opportunity to use 430 as a source for ambient light (directing it on a wall or ceiling if they are white). Experimenting with proportions of light (inbuilt vs 430) you can avoid shadows but rather make people having small light reflections in eyes and not overexpose then from front. I would set proportions of lights in such a group to 4:1 or even 8:1 (430 vs built in flash). If it's difficult to cast light on ceiling on a wall (they are not white or ceiling is high or walls away like in church ) you could experiment even more trying to put your slave 430 on a chair and cover it (letting some room between then) with white tshirt or sheet. This will let you feel like having a softbox still with master in your inbuilt flash.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2012, 07:28:45 PM by marekjoz »
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Re: Group photo with 16-35 and Speedlite430
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2012, 07:25:45 PM »