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Old May 27, 2007, 9:26 AM   #11
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Tim - "the best laid plans..." Actually, considering what you were up against, the picture came out quite well. At least the faces aren't all in shadow because of the overhead bright sun, and who in the picture will care about the blown-out background? They'll just be looking at the kids and the faces of their relatives.
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Old May 27, 2007, 10:30 AM   #12
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And now we share the experience: the problem is not the equipment but the subject...

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Old May 27, 2007, 12:11 PM   #13
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Hi Tim

I agree with Mtngal. Considering what you had to work with you did good.

I hope you dont mind I played with the picture I have alittle extra time on my hands this weekend, as i blew out my back yesterday. So i am stuck in the house in my chair and your Picture gave me something to do for a few mnutes.

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Old May 27, 2007, 1:12 PM   #14
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The background took a bit of sorting out to darken it down but with a touch of the gausian blur filter it emphases the subject detail - IMHO.

More time probably needs to be spent to get it just right, but it does illustrate what effects can be achieved with post processing.
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Old May 27, 2007, 9:24 PM   #15
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Thanks Harriet and Kjell, they are family, so what can you do with them? :lol: Phil, I hang out here to learn, so please feel free anytime to demonstrate something on a pic I have posted. Intrepidwalker, could you mention which tools you used to darken the background more than the subjects?

Thanks everyone,

PS: No one asked, but I am the (stunningly handsome) guy with the dark mustache on the backrow.
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Old May 27, 2007, 10:08 PM   #16
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I didn't see this posting until now. You did a nice job with the photo considering all your obstacles.

I did just want to mention a few tips I've learned from photographers we've used for two different group photos of my large family. One was the immediate family of 8 children, with spouses and I think at the time eleven grandkids, plus our parents. We did the photo in a courtyard of a hotel that had a pond with a rock garden around it. Each of the families was grouped together around the rocks so we are all there, but we are all in our own little family groups. The water was not a problem as it was shaded by the height of the hotel. The dark of the water and the light of the rocks blended quite well.

Two years ago we had a reunion with 65 people present. This photo was a little harder due to the number of people and families. We were all grouped together under a shaded tree area, but the photo was taken from the top of a truck so as not to create any shadows on faces. It also helped to keep the kids focused as they were fascinated by the fact that the photographer and her assistant were up on the truck.

This past summer we did a photo with a similar amount of people in my sister's front yard. Her yard is sloped some and the house made a nice background to the photo. We placed one row of chairs across and placed the oldest generation in the center of that row. Then, the grandchilden sat on the ground in front of that row on the side their grandparents were on, teenagers that wanted to sat in the rest of the chairs and the adults stood behind, same as the grandchildren, on the side their parents were. It worked out fairly nice. We had four cameras set up (two film and two digital due to the discussion of which was better), had each owner set up their camera the way they wanted it and had a non-family member go through and takea few shots with each of the cameras. We then did generation shots and then each of the three grandparents family shots.

Anyway, just some thoughts for next time.

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Old May 28, 2007, 6:27 AM   #17
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NonEntity1 wrote:
Intrepidwalker, could you mention which tools you used to darken the background more than the subjects?
I used Magic Lasso in Photoshop to highlight the outline around the group followed by Quick Mask to fine tune the detail where the Magic Lasso had missed things; Quick Mask also enables the awkward bits between legs to be included.

I used Select Inverse to 'grab' the background, followed by Copy, Paste to create a layer on top of the main image. This allows the background to be adjusted using a combination of Image/Levels, Image/Shadows & Highlights, Blur Filter and duplication of the background using Soft Light or whatever to darken it down to suit using the Opacity control.

I know that once the background has been selected using 'Select Inverse' it can be worked on in isolation from the main group to similar effect, BUT creating a new background layer provides greater flexibility and allows the layer to switched on/off to instantly switch between the original & enhanced background.

One thing that I've found with group shots - usually animals/birds - is that often one character is looking the wrong way or whatever and by taking a number of similar shots, it's possible to use the Clone tool to superimpose a good subject from one image onto another making all subjects looking the right way.

In the attached shot of this familyof swanswith their newly hatched cygnets, the twocygnet's on the right were actually on the left and the composition didn't appear to just how I wanted it. So I cloned the cygnets across and cropped the landscape shot to portrait format with, what I believe, is a more pleasing result.There will be a number of photographers that will possibly scorn suchactivities as the finished result is potentially 'false', but I believe that it's quite acceptable to move things around to suite uless it detracts from the nature of the shot.

Taken with a Sigma 28-135mm

Hopes this helps.

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