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Old Dec 29, 2010, 9:27 AM   #1
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Default The Inlaws

This is a shot of my bride and her family. I'm married to Wendy, she's wearing the purple top.

My mother-in-law wanted a photo of all 8 children with her and her husband.

When shooting the photo, I was as far away as I could get (maybe 8 feet from me to Wendy. My back was pushing against the Christmas tree.

I wanted all faces to be in focus, so I shot at f7.1 with a 24mm (used a 24-70 2.8f Canon lens).

ISO 500 1/320 Pattern focus. My thinking here was that the higher ISO would allow me to shoot at a faster exposure and stop any movement, and get good color.

Here's the goofy thing, I used two speed lights. Both mounted on stands, both about 8 feet in the air aimed slightly downward. Each light was about 12 inches from my head. One light was on the left of me, the other on the right.

My thinking was that one light would be so close that I could not get even lighting. This was the room the mother in law wanted, so who am I to argue with her? Since I could not move the flash further back, I went with two flashes. Putting them close together was my attempt to make it look as if there was only one point of light.

So, I'm just as curious about what I might have done differently given the criteria I had to work under. Also, the ceiling is just 8 feet high. Since I'm rather tall, I can officially say I have hit my head at least once on ever light in this house that hangs from the ceiling.

I appreciate your help in doing a better job next time.

Faithfully yours,
FP
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Old Dec 29, 2010, 9:33 AM   #2
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Default Another question

I was really worried about distortion in this shot.
My two sisters in law, (the far right and far left) were my primary concern.

Does a prime lens, say a canon 24 prime give me less distortion (vignetting?) that an 24-70 f2.8 L shot at 24?

I hope I'm asking this right. Maybe you can correct the question as well as answer it

Michael
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Old Dec 29, 2010, 9:56 AM   #3
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Very nice family pick. May be somewhat dark on the people standing. Nothing that you can't correct in pp.
Distortion is different that vignetting. Check wikipedia about that.
But I'm curious: are the two men left and right twins?
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Old Dec 29, 2010, 10:26 AM   #4
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Thanks Ordo!

Yes, the "book ends" are indeed twins! They are the oldest of the 8 children. Mom had no idea she was carrying twins until the second one was delivered just moments after the first.
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Old Dec 29, 2010, 10:38 AM   #5
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So the twin on the left is Pete and the one on the right is Sneeky Pete. Its a really good family shot and very Christmas like. Whenever I used to visit my parents at the end of the evening I always got whoever was there together for a family shot like this. Over the years its neat to see how everyone changes. And then there are less and less.
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Old Dec 29, 2010, 10:40 AM   #6
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After Ordo comment, I'll rephrase my question. Would I see less distortion with a prime 24 lens than with a 24-70 lens, shot at 24? Assume the quality of both lenses is about the same and both are a high quality lens.
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Old Dec 29, 2010, 10:43 AM   #7
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Bynx, I am sad to hear your numbers are lessening. Those are difficult times.

Right now we are blessed in that our numbers are growing. Currently, there are 15 grandchildren. 3 adoptions are in process and 1 more naturally born are on their way. So next year, there should be 19 grandchildren if all goes as hoped.

Faithfully yours,
FP
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Old Dec 29, 2010, 10:58 AM   #8
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Here's something you can try in p&p:

1. Lighten shadows.
2. Darken highlights.
3. De saturate the image a little bit to render more faithful colors.
4. Sharpen the image a little bit to show on the web.

All changes "homeopathic". A quick example:


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Old Dec 29, 2010, 7:58 PM   #9
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I'm responding to my own message to try and get it back up to where folks will see it again. (Is that against the rules?)

FP
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Old Dec 30, 2010, 12:10 AM   #10
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I think my choice in lighting would have been to have the lights a bit lower, and aimed slightly up, to get more even light over both rows of people. Not to hard to adjust in PP, though - use upside down gradient filter to darken the foreground, then adjust overall exposure.
Not sure what is available for your camera, but a prime lens is generally likely to give less distortion. Zoom lenses are always compromises, whereas a prime only has to be 'tuned' for one focal length. I would look at available lenses and do some comparisons at one or more lens test websites.

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