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Old Aug 1, 2013, 2:31 PM   #1
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Default Advice before the shoot

My nephew is headed off to college in just a couple of weeks. His mother asked me to take a few family photos of them before he leaves. So in the photo will be mom & dad, 4 boys (ages 19, 15, 12 & 10) 1 daughter age 13. So I want to get 7 people total in the shot.

The tallest person in the family is the dad who is about 5 foot 9 inches tall. Mom is about 5 foot 2. The oldest boy is about the same height as dad.

Here's the setting I think is really pretty for central Indiana. Most of Indiana is corn field except for downtown Indianapolis and the Indy 500 race track.

All of the rocks have water moving over them, but I can ask them to bring dry clothes to change into if sitting on the wet rocks makes for a better photo.

I'm looking for advice on how to station the folks so it looks like a family shot, but incorporates the setting into the photo as well.

Thank you for all of your help and advice. These folks are more than family, they are dear friends as well and I pretty much get one time to get this right and I'd like to give them something worth keeping.

Faithfully yours,
FP
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Old Aug 1, 2013, 5:31 PM   #2
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How good are your photoshop skill?

1. This is a high-dynamic range setting in full sun as you can already see areas (i.e. shadow and highlight) where the camera can't capture everything). Can you pick the time of the day (late afternoon or early morning so there will be less sun? or may be an overcast day?

2. To have a decent water effect you may need to slow the shutter speed down with an ND filter, even with a polarizer on top to cut out some reflection.

3. Slowing down the shutter for the water effect create another problem for the people in the shoot... You can may be make one person sitting/staying still, but 7 at a time has a very low probability

4. You also have a problem with the foreground as to where to put the subjects (i.e. right in the water would be the best spot). From where the image is taken, the vantage point for the family IMO will be too far from the water fall... May be group them all offset to the left or right of the cascade on the camera side.


-> May be two possibilities:

a) Photoshop - Shoot the family separately from the fall/cascade with their respective different exposures and reassemble the images in PP. This may help: http://savageuniversal.com/products/...n-software-kit

b) Camera on tripod - Long exposure on a late afternoon for the background and fill the foreground with the family with strobes setup, possibly even shading the 7 subjects with some sort of cover or scrim overhead to take full effect of the artificial light:
http://photo.tutsplus.com/tutorials/...ph-waterfalls/
http://digital-photography-school.co...ous-waterfalls
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Last edited by NHL; Aug 1, 2013 at 9:59 PM.
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Old Aug 2, 2013, 10:17 AM   #3
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Default a little clarification

The photo shoot is scheduled for 7:30 pm on Sunday. I took my lunch break and went to the site and took a few photos to see what focal length lenses to bring.

It's a small pond between where I'll stand and the waterfall. So I'm thinking that the right focal length will be between 85mm and 135mm.

Hopefully, that explains the harsh, overhead sun.

To take this photo, my subjects will be facing east, I'll be shooting facing west, towards the sunset. Hopefully the trees behind the subject will put me in the same shadow as the subjects.

Thanks for the reminder of the ND filter.

FYI, when I become king of the world, every lens made by the same manufacturer that is 200mm or lower will have the same filter size.
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Old Aug 2, 2013, 10:54 AM   #4
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What are the possibilities of renting or borrowing floating chairs, and having everyone in the water? This would allow several arrangements, and probably be quite fun for the family. (spontaneous smiles are generally better than the ones you get calling for people to say 'cheese')

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Old Aug 2, 2013, 1:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FaithfulPastor View Post
Thanks for the reminder of the ND filter.

FYI, when I become king of the world, every lens made by the same manufacturer that is 200mm or lower will have the same filter size.
My take on this is too get the largest diameter filter you can afford then use step-down rings for all you lenses...

-> This also solves the vignetting problem on WA lenses in case of adjustable ND's where they can get quite thick (or in stacking a polarizer)
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