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Old Apr 29, 2009, 1:47 PM   #1
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A friend has asked me to photograph her and her jumping horse.

For the portraits (their two faces side by side pose) I'm thinking, 100mm, AP, 2.8f, flash, indoor/barn, with me about 12-15 feet away. Focus point on human face.

Does that sound about right?

Any other advice about photographing people and horses or horses? I'm somewhat concerned already about the horses reaction to a fill flash.

Faithfully yours,

FP


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Old Apr 29, 2009, 2:13 PM   #2
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Hello FaithfulPastor,

I'm afraid to comment too much as I'm just learning this stuff myself right now, but with your mention of focal length, aperture, etc . . . I came across this on-line calculator that helps you figure out depth-of-field.

http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html

Not sure if this helps you any.

Take care, yours truly,
Glen


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Old Apr 29, 2009, 6:38 PM   #3
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I think you'll find those settings leave part of the horse's face out of focus. I might suggest you take several shots - changing aperture after each. My guess would be f5.6. In reality, I think with the proper background, the background would add to, rather than distract so shallow DOF would not be necessary.
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Old Apr 29, 2009, 6:40 PM   #4
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Thanks Tactfics;

I have seen this calculator before. It does a great job of giving me the distance in which items will be in focus.

My question is more about the set up in general. Is 12 feet a good distance? Is 100mm the right focal length? 2.8F?

Should I go time value and shoot at 1/360?

That's what I don't know and would like to get some advice on. But I sure appreciate your help.

FP
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Old Apr 29, 2009, 6:42 PM   #5
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Hi John,

How far away should I be from the subjects? 10feet? 15 feet?

Thanks!!

FP
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Old Apr 30, 2009, 9:20 AM   #6
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Hello FaithfulPastor,

Is it possible to visit the location before hand? And maybe bring someone to stand-in as you take some test shots?

This would let you know what the lighting conditions might be like & how much room you have to take the picture?

You can use the set-up that you are thinking of using and see if you are getting the shot you want.

Take care, yours truly,
Glen



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Old May 1, 2009, 10:34 AM   #7
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Good Morning,

A good photographer I am not (I like landscapes since they do not move), but I am an engineer, and this sounds like a math problem, to me....

I am figuring that a person standing next to a horse, you would need a space of about lets say 4 to 5 feet wide and about 5 feet high, considering the size of the horse's head, and then some additional space so as to have some cropping area. Also, the horse's head will have a large depth to it, along with movement, so I am thinking of maybe 3 to 4 feet of depth of field.

So we now have a cube or volume of space to photograph, say 5' high by 5' wide by 4' deep and if your about 12 feet away, you can now play with a calculator to figure out a lens that would work. Take a look at the "Dimensional Field of View Calculator" (need to scroll down) at....

http://www.tawbaware.com/maxlyons/calc.htm

Select your camera's crop factor and enter some numbers...

A 100mm lens at 15 feet and a camera body with a 1.5 crop factor will image a space of 3'7" by 2'5". Probably not large enough (but maybe depending on your intentions). So you would probably need to go with a shorter lens. A 50mm lens provides 7'2" by 4'9" - much better.

Then go to the same site but another calculator called "Depth of Field Calculator" (scroll up a bit).

Using the 50mm lens, at 15 feet with an aperature of f2.8 provides a depth of field of 4'8" (13' to 17'). And f2.8 is relatively fast for low light situations. You may not need a flash (will the flash scare/spook the horse?), and just use the available natural lighting (inside or outside), or maybe turn on some lights in side - if available).

f2 would bring the DOF down to a bit larger than 3'

So it appears that 100mm lens is too much and 50mm might be better. Also, lighting may be a significant factor depending on your location, since f2 might be too shallow. The horse's color may play a factor also. A dark color in a dark location may be difficult, while a light color in a dark location may provide enough contrast. That is where everyone else comes in....

So this is just how the optics work out... hope that helps!!!!

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Old May 1, 2009, 10:40 AM   #8
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Really the math depends entirely on how the OP wants to frame the shot. Is it just the heads or is it full body? That will make a big difference. I had assumed (possibly incorrectly) that if the OP was using 100mm they were goin to be taking a head shot of the two. That framing is an important consideration. Great catch!
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Old May 1, 2009, 10:58 AM   #9
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I'm doing something like this photo I found on the net. This is not my photograph. Credits to Photopix


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Old May 1, 2009, 12:24 PM   #10
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My suggestion is -

1.use manual exposure and flash for fill

2. Set aperture initially to f4

3. Frame the shot to your liking - just leave it framed a bit loosely so you have room for 8x10 printing.

4. Take 3 shots, changing aperture from f4 to 5.6 to f8

I would never take a 2-subject photo below f4 if I could avoid it. Having the 3 shots will enable you to select how much DOF you're comfortable with. In the photo you posted, most of the horses head is not included so DOF isn't as much of a concern.




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