Vacation photo -I am frustrated

JPAZ

If only I knew what I was doing.....
CR Pro
Sep 8, 2012
1,049
166
Tell me what you do. I am on a beach vacation with my wife. There is a lovely sunset. I ask someone to take our photo and, as usual, we are backlit, standing in the absolute center and cut off at the knees. It always happens no matter how I dial in exposure compensation or how I set up the shot. It is almost a certainty. Then, I'll need to crop, try to lighten our faces, and fix the photo. I always think that I wish that I could take the pic of ourselves. I have, at times, used a tripod and a self timer, but on this trip I am traveling light. Even setting the camera to full auto and gently tutoring the "photographer" does not help!

Maybe I need to take one of you along on my next trip. What do you do?
 

Jim Saunders

EOS R
Sep 9, 2012
1,125
14
hhaphoto.com
JPAZ said:
Tell me what you do. I am on a beach vacation with my wife. There is a lovely sunset. I ask someone to take our photo and, as usual, we are backlit, standing in the absolute center and cut off at the knees. It always happens no matter how I dial in exposure compensation or how I set up the shot. It is almost a certainty. Then, I'll need to crop, try to lighten our faces, and fix the photo. I always think that I wish that I could take the pic of ourselves. I have, at times, used a tripod and a self timer, but on this trip I am traveling light. Even setting the camera to full auto and gently tutoring the "photographer" does not help!

Maybe I need to take one of you along on my next trip. What do you do?

A vacation in exchange for photos, you say?

...Anyway if you like beaches a lot, why not get a clamp so you can any sort of stake as a monopod and shoot with a wireless trigger?

Jim
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Mar 25, 2011
16,617
1,577
I would have the assistant stand where you will be, and get close and take a exposure reading on the face. Use spot if necessary.
Then set the camera to manual and enter the measured exposure. It will likely blow out the background, that's because the DR is not wide enough to expose a bright sky and a shaded area. Obviously, a reflector of some sort to put more light into the shaded areas would be great, but it would take a big one. Fill flash is a simpler option to even up the lighting. You will still need to experiment before you get it perfect.
 

Dylan777

EOS-1D X Mark III
Nov 17, 2011
5,514
8
P&S camera with face detection mode on is your solution. Just point and shoot ;D
 

scottkinfw

Wildlife photography is my passion
CR Pro
Handing gear to a stranger reminds me of that Chevy Chase movie where his camcorder was stolen.

Anyway, using a fill flash is a good idea. Having a stranger with no familiarity with your camera is a surefire way to get a bad pic in this difficult lighting situation.

Why don't you put it into manual, expose properly for your wife, get someone to take the pic but be zoomed out (zoom out with lens or by foot), and then crop in later. Be sure to check the pic first because people tend to cut heads and legs off.

Alternatively, let me know where you are going next time, and I may let you pay my way

sek
 

jdramirez

EOS R6
May 31, 2011
2,950
0
44
I didn't read anyone else's responses, but for a sunset photo, I'd say go with a 2nd shutter flash and maybe 1/30 of a second... maybe even 1/15 if the person has steady hands. But with a stranger... I'd say 1/30 and set everything in manual before hand. Have them use the wide angle so you can crop as you see fit.
 

tpatana

EOS 5D Mark IV
Nov 1, 2012
1,546
269
I already posted this photo at other thread, but here goes again.

It's really simple. First take practice shots with your spouse, in Manual so you set up everything. When you are happy with the settings, hand the camera to someone who'll take the picture. Especially if you go wide enough, they can't cut off your feet.

Easy.
 

Attachments

  • TERO3810-2.jpg
    TERO3810-2.jpg
    235.2 KB · Views: 1,286

jdramirez

EOS R6
May 31, 2011
2,950
0
44
tpatana said:
I already posted this photo at other thread, but here goes again.

It's really simple. First take practice shots with your spouse, in Manual so you set up everything. When you are happy with the settings, hand the camera to someone who'll take the picture. Especially if you go wide enough, they can't cut off your feet.

Easy.

So, please enlightening us about the setting...
 

JPAZ

If only I knew what I was doing.....
CR Pro
Sep 8, 2012
1,049
166
Thanks for all the replies.

It is not me who can't get the shot, it's the person to whom I hand the camera. This even happens at home at a family event (although in that case the exposure is generally OK but the composition is based on "the rule of the middle ;) ).

Here at the beach, I have my M with one lens, no flash, no tripod, and no reflector. It is just frustrating, that's all.

BTW, tpatana, nice shot. Did you use fill flash?
 

tpatana

EOS 5D Mark IV
Nov 1, 2012
1,546
269
jdramirez said:
So, please enlightening us about the setting...

Here's the settings from the exif:
Lens: EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM Shot at 24 mm
Exposure: Manual exposure, 1/100 sec, f/6.3, ISO 200
Flash: Off, Did not fire

Like I said, you have to test and see for each situation. So e.g. if you take those settings above, you should still check how it comes at your location, with your light conditions, and tune if needed.
 

tpatana

EOS 5D Mark IV
Nov 1, 2012
1,546
269
JPAZ said:
BTW, tpatana, nice shot. Did you use fill flash?

Thanks. That's one of my favorites from this year. Sometimes I get lucky :)

I though that one was with flash, I had plenty with both flash and no-flash during the week there and can't remember each situation. But the exif says no flash so I guess I have to believe that.
 

mrsfotografie

M.R.S. Fotografie www.mrsfotografie.nl
Jul 13, 2012
1,624
0
45
The Netherlands
www.mrsfotografie.nl
tpatana said:
I already posted this photo at other thread, but here goes again.

It's really simple. First take practice shots with your spouse, in Manual so you set up everything. When you are happy with the settings, hand the camera to someone who'll take the picture. Especially if you go wide enough, they can't cut off your feet.

Easy.

That, and show him/her the pic to give an idea of the desired composition. Worked for me:

2012_08_22_4073.JPG
 
I think I've only been asked a couple of times, even when I've had my gear with me. Once on a local beach witha compact (actually rock shelves and one of my favourite landscape locations) and once in Spain, when a German couple asked me to use their DSLR. With the Germans, I asked what sort of shot he wanted, then changed some settings :p. It's always a difficult one though, but you best bet is probably to look out for someone with a good DSLR and hope they actually know how to use it properly, that way you have half a chance.
 

JPAZ

If only I knew what I was doing.....
CR Pro
Sep 8, 2012
1,049
166
Yeah. I breath a slight sigh of relief when I see someone with a DSLR. I'll offer to take their pic and then they can do mine. No guarantee, but at least you have a chance!
 

RAKAMRAK

EOS RP
Aug 31, 2011
306
0
I would reduce my expectations first. Any lay person without much understanding of photography (read composition) will always put the subject in dead center of the photograph. And exposure compensation will change (I mean the base exposure will change and hence the effect of the compensation will as well) depending on how you have set up your camera to meter the scene and where your "photographer" is aiming the lens. So manual mode will be your best bet.

If I have no one with me and I want my photograph with the setting sun etc. then I simply suppress that desire. If I have a companion and I want mine and my companion's photograph with the setting sun at the background then I do the following
1. ask my companion to stand where I want him/her to be in the photograph (making sure that there is enough space on all three sides of him/her so that some cropping can be done later).
2. I take a photograph myself to get the correct exposure and then input those exposure values into the camera (after turning it into manual mode).
3. I Make sure that the correct focus box/point of the camera is selected (side ones) in manual mode (manual focus point selection, but sometimes turning the lens into manual focusing does the trick as well).
4. make a mark on the exact spot where I am standing.
5. then wait for someone whom I can ask to do the honors.
6. I request the "photographer" to stand where I am standing, and take a photo of my companion (this is the teaching part).
7. I tell the "photographer" to make sure that the "red box" is either on me or on my companion next time (generally on chest with the lens stopped down to 5.6 ot 6.3).
8. And Pray.
 

AudioGlenn

EOS RP
Aug 9, 2012
353
0
42
Irvine, CA
This is funny. (no offense to the op, I just mean that I share your grief).

We went to WPPI in Vegas with my core team (5 of us at the time) and asked someone to take our picture. Everything was set up beforehand. You would think that at a convention for wedding photographers, that we would be able to find a photographer competent enough to take the shot with proper leading lines, composition, etc.... HA no chance. We eventually found someone who was nice enough/interested enough to have a mini lesson on composition from our lead guy and we got our shot.

The point is, what was obvious to all of us as photographers was not clear to any other photographers at this convention FULL of photogs. I'd lower my expectations to avoid the frustration but be open to guiding someone through to get the shot you want. I also wouldn't expect that because someone is carrying a dSLR that they know how to use it.

Again, I feel your pain.
 
<-- start Taboola -->