Tough LARGE group photo

jepabst

EOS T7i
Aug 28, 2013
91
0
Chicago, IL
www.pabstphoto.com
One of the hardest shots I've been asked to take to date:
I had a bride this summer request to do a photo of ALL THE GUESTS during cocktail hour. I told her we'd try. I didn't make any promises. The wedding was at the Art Institute of Chicago and there is a huge atrium where cocktail hour is held. I knew I would need all the light I could get to even have a chance at getting a shot they'd be happy with. So I shot wide open with my 17-40mm at F/4.0 - then I bumped my ISO to 3200 - on the Canon 6D. I knew I could get good shots at that ISO on that camera. Then I put three Speedlites on full power in manual mode and aimed them straight up, next to me, so they could bounce off the ceiling. I use Godox VING 860C ; about equal to Canon 600EX. Keep in mind; it was pretty much DARK in the atrium at this hour. I should have taken a before/after; next time.

Here is the shot that resulted.
 

Attachments

wopbv4

EOS RP
Oct 5, 2011
210
0
Australia
Well Done !!
Very tricky circumstances, large open space, not a lot of light.
Shows that using speedlites can make a real difference.
 

Jim Saunders

EOS 6D MK II
Sep 9, 2012
1,125
13
hhaphoto.com
If I was that sly about getting a logo in I'd be awfully tempted to ask the couple if they wanted that statuary out. ;)

Jim

ETA - It is of course possible that the logo is physically present; I can't tell which.
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
Mar 25, 2011
15,112
448
Good Job. I'd take out the statue and the folk art banner, or replace it with test about the couple.


I have to photograph groups without flash, and its miserable. Then, I print them as a 4 ft banner.
 
May 8, 2013
1,853
0
Ok, I gots a total noob question to ask, having never done anything like this shot.

Could this have been shot as a pano? Is that ever a good technique for these wide group shots?

Nooblet minds want to know.
 

Jim Saunders

EOS 6D MK II
Sep 9, 2012
1,125
13
hhaphoto.com
AcutancePhotography said:
Ok, I gots a total noob question to ask, having never done anything like this shot.

Could this have been shot as a pano? Is that ever a good technique for these wide group shots?

Nooblet minds want to know.
You face the issue of people moving around between exposures.

Jim
 

Don Haines

Beware of cats with laser eyes!
Jun 4, 2012
7,759
1,002
Canada
AcutancePhotography said:
Ok, I gots a total noob question to ask, having never done anything like this shot.

Could this have been shot as a pano? Is that ever a good technique for these wide group shots?

Nooblet minds want to know.
People move.... sometimes a lot and you have them showing up in two places....
 

risc32

EOS 7D MK II
Feb 24, 2012
577
0
pabst photo? that's my beer!(and the beer of hipsters, but i don't hold that against them, or the fact that they jsut sold out to russians)

I find myself doing this from time to time, and it sounds like you told the client what i always tell them with these things. You did very well, and i'd certainly be pleased with that result. I second what Mt Spokane says, but of course there almost always seems to be room for improvement with such things. I monday morning quaterback the hell out of my work sometimes.
As for the guy talking about pano, i would have done it, but then i would have taken some single exposure stuff as a safety net. you would think that the people would know how important it is try and make it work for the photo guy, and extension the client(your friend) but people just don't behave. i don't have much faith that people can even post for a shot like this without giving me the finger, or some other sly move. maybe even pull a "Teen Wolf" type of background thing(it's a thing, google it). i wouldn't put it past many.
anyway, good work, i'm sure they will be pleased.
 

jdramirez

EOS 5D MK IV
May 31, 2011
2,944
0
42
AcutancePhotography said:
Ok, I gots a total noob question to ask, having never done anything like this shot.

Could this have been shot as a pano? Is that ever a good technique for these wide group shots?

Nooblet minds want to know.
I took a group shot of 20 kids... and that was tough, because they move without knowing it... so a hand is here... and then it is here... it is just a big pain... not to mention, I don't think the focal length was the issue... but the lighting...
 

Don Haines

Beware of cats with laser eyes!
Jun 4, 2012
7,759
1,002
Canada
jdramirez said:
AcutancePhotography said:
Ok, I gots a total noob question to ask, having never done anything like this shot.

Could this have been shot as a pano? Is that ever a good technique for these wide group shots?

Nooblet minds want to know.
I took a group shot of 20 kids... and that was tough, because they move without knowing it... so a hand is here... and then it is here... it is just a big pain... not to mention, I don't think the focal length was the issue... but the lighting...
I decided one day to try and take a panorama shot of the inside of my gazebo. The cats moved.
 

Attachments

jdramirez

EOS 5D MK IV
May 31, 2011
2,944
0
42
When you shoot a panorama... do you stand at one point and pivot or do you move parallel with the subject/wall?

I've done both, but I'm not sure if there is a preferred method when photographing something like this.

Don Haines said:
jdramirez said:
AcutancePhotography said:
Ok, I gots a total noob question to ask, having never done anything like this shot.

Could this have been shot as a pano? Is that ever a good technique for these wide group shots?

Nooblet minds want to know.
I took a group shot of 20 kids... and that was tough, because they move without knowing it... so a hand is here... and then it is here... it is just a big pain... not to mention, I don't think the focal length was the issue... but the lighting...
I decided one day to try and take a panorama shot of the inside of my gazebo. The cats moved.
 

Don Haines

Beware of cats with laser eyes!
Jun 4, 2012
7,759
1,002
Canada
jdramirez said:
When you shoot a panorama... do you stand at one point and pivot or do you move parallel with the subject/wall?

I've done both, but I'm not sure if there is a preferred method when photographing something like this.

Don Haines said:
jdramirez said:
AcutancePhotography said:
Ok, I gots a total noob question to ask, having never done anything like this shot.

Could this have been shot as a pano? Is that ever a good technique for these wide group shots?

Nooblet minds want to know.
I took a group shot of 20 kids... and that was tough, because they move without knowing it... so a hand is here... and then it is here... it is just a big pain... not to mention, I don't think the focal length was the issue... but the lighting...
I decided one day to try and take a panorama shot of the inside of my gazebo. The cats moved.
I machined myself a 90 degree bracket so I could mount the camera in portrait orientation, with lots of adjustment so that I could center the lens over the pivot point and slide the whole thing back/forth to get the pivot point under the focal point (gets rid of parallax). I mount the arrangement on a LEVEL tripod and start from there.
 

Tabor Warren Photography

I want to go shoot something with a Canon...
Feb 2, 2012
275
0
Tulsa, OK
www.photosbytabor.com
AcutancePhotography said:
Ok, I gots a total noob question to ask, having never done anything like this shot.

Could this have been shot as a pano? Is that ever a good technique for these wide group shots?

Nooblet minds want to know.
Quick answer: yes
Follow up answer: I wouldn't recommend it

The way Pabst handled it was, in my opinion spot on. Using wide angle and deep depth of field for the distance he was shooting. On panos, I typically shoot 5-8 vertically mounted shots and re-crop for a horizontal final product, or I shoot ~80 shots, as in the sample photo I posted here. When folks are moving, I may only get 3 in, but I take my time and shoot with purpose to hopefully mitigate the frequent movers. If they are standing still, I go for shots like the one linked.

I hope this helps!
-Tabor
 

Attachments

dhr90

EOS RP
Aug 1, 2013
305
0
risc32 said:
pabst photo? that's my beer!(and the beer of hipsters, but i don't hold that against them, or the fact that they jsut sold out to russians)

I find myself doing this from time to time, and it sounds like you told the client what i always tell them with these things. You did very well, and i'd certainly be pleased with that result. I second what Mt Spokane says, but of course there almost always seems to be room for improvement with such things. I monday morning quaterback the hell out of my work sometimes.
As for the guy talking about pano, i would have done it, but then i would have taken some single exposure stuff as a safety net. you would think that the people would know how important it is try and make it work for the photo guy, and extension the client(your friend) but people just don't behave. i don't have much faith that people can even post for a shot like this without giving me the finger, or some other sly move. maybe even pull a "Teen Wolf" type of background thing(it's a thing, google it). i wouldn't put it past many.
anyway, good work, i'm sure they will be pleased.
Back when I was at uni, we had quite a few group shots over the years, one guy on the course enjoyed whipping a testicle out to see if it would get noticed afterwards. One may have ended up enlarged on the wall in the department during open days for prospective students...

To the OP, you did very well given the circumstances. Did you ask the bride and groom to crouch or did they just automatically do that?
 

mackguyver

Master of Pain
Very impressive and taking a careful look at the photo, I don't know how you did it. It appears that everyone or possibly all but one person are actually looking at you, and nearly everyone appears to have their eyes open. I have a hard time getting 3 or 4 people's attention sometimes! And for it to look great, well-composed, in focus and exposed properly just make it all the more incredible.