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Old Apr 26, 2011, 3:40 PM   #1
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Default Setting suggestions?

Hi. I own a nikon d90 w/ a 18-55 and 70-300 lenes for about a month now. I have been doing a lot of experimenting w/ S and A mode. I've fooled w/ the auto-focus and iso sensitivity. I've primarily been shooting my 2 little girls and the family pets! lol

However...my neighbor ask if I'd take first holy communion pic. at her house the morning of. Pics of her daughter and group family pics.

Also another friend of mine asked if I would come to her moms 65 bday party and take pics for her.

lol...I'm excited to do this however, I'm worried about group shots!
Will I be able to get everyone in focus? What is the best settings AF-A, AF-S, AF-C? What about auto Lock? I DON'T get that one...

I think I've been using dynamic range so far. Does this sound right?

Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks

Jen
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Old Apr 26, 2011, 8:20 PM   #2
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Jen-

Are the group shots indoors or outdoors?

Sarah Joyce
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Old Apr 26, 2011, 8:46 PM   #3
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Hi!

Both parties are on the weekend of May 14th. If the weather is nice I'm sure I'll be trying both types of shots.

ttys
Jen
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Old Apr 27, 2011, 7:28 AM   #4
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Try and take the photos outdoors as much as possible. The built-in flash isn't powerful enough to light a group and you would probably need several external flashes to light the group properly.

Get everyone in a single straight line if possible and position yourself in the middle of the line. If you must go to a double line have the front line siting or kneeling and the back line learning over the front line so the faces are in the same plane. Either case will ensure all the subjects are in the zone of focus.

Single-servo AF (AF-S) for stationary subjects
Continuous-servo AF (AF-C) for moving subjects
Single point AF so you can control the focus point, in this case the central subject's face.
Aperture-Priority Auto [A] and set f/8 .
Matrix Metering should be used in normal lighting.
ISO 200 to start. Double the ISO once or twice to keep shutter speeds 1/125s or faster.
Take a number of shots to ensure everyone's eyes are open! You might even consider Continuous Shooting mode!

Practice a bit on your family to get comfortable with the project.

Last edited by Bob Nichol; Apr 27, 2011 at 7:31 AM.
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Old Apr 27, 2011, 9:13 AM   #5
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Thanks Bob.

I'll make the adjustments and practice A flash is on my wish list!

Question about ISO sensitivity...where to set it at? Do I set ISO at 200 and use sensitivity set to Auto w/ maximum sensitivity set to (?). Or keep sensitivity OFF and bump it myself? Not letting the camera have control???

Also, I don't have post processing yet. My camera is set to vivid....should I set it to NL or SD? I wasn't thrilled w/ the color...

Thanks for your help.

Jen

Last edited by Wink11; Apr 27, 2011 at 9:22 AM.
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Old Apr 27, 2011, 10:11 AM   #6
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Try and keep the ISO at 200 unless the shutter speed drops too low to hand hold and you don't have a tripod handy. I keep the auto-ISO off for the most part and only use it when I want a specific aperture and shutter speed..

If you prefer vivid then shoot vivid. Over the years I've developed a workflow around raw and post processing so don't use those particular camera settings.
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Old Apr 27, 2011, 10:32 AM   #7
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I'm going to offer one change to Bob's advice. When shooting groups - avoid having them in a single line. Why? think about the final print - usually 4x6,5x7 or 8x10. Now, if you have everyone in a single line - in order to get everyone in the photo you end up with a LOT of empty space above and below the people. That just looks bad. Try as much as possible to keep the group in a square or rectangle shape. Any more than 4 people and you want a second row if you can (there are exceptions like wedding parties and such - but that's also why those shots are chosen with the background in mind so the background improves the shot). But for general group shooting just create a new row if it's more than 4 people. Remember though - your goal is a slight rectangle so obviously if there are 24 people, making 6 rows of 4 doesn't make sense. For example, here's a family shot. Imagine if all 6 people were side by side? You'd see a whole lot more ceiling and floor:


4 people across can still work - especially if it's not full body:
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Old Apr 27, 2011, 11:46 AM   #8
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Thank you so much! Great examples

Just for the heck of it I went through my uncles old film camera case he passed on to me? I found 2 flashes?? Both Vivitar...Auto Thyristor 26oo.D and a Zoom Thyristor 2500. I placed both on my hot shoe. I did get a flash off the 2600.d and the 2500 was very slow to warm up however it did fire. I know NOTHING about flash. The buttons on the back are manual? Don't know if these can be used on my digital slr? I may have to start a new thread? I did google the 25oo and question weather it would fry my camera? :/ It seems a little dated for me....Think that would take much experimenting. Not ruling it out either...

~~~Bob, I did try the f/8 at 200 in my back yard, I'm watching my shutter speeds. I need more practice when my little ones get home from school.

Last edited by Wink11; Apr 27, 2011 at 1:23 PM.
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Old Apr 27, 2011, 5:13 PM   #9
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Be careful with old flash units. Many of them put too much voltage on the sync contacts and could burn out the camera! See http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fl...l-cameras.html for details.
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Old Apr 28, 2011, 12:14 AM   #10
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Thanks Bob.

Good advice....

I'm gonna play w/ the settings you suggested and go from there. I don't wanna mess w/ a good camera. Baby steps....
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