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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre People Talk
Thread started 30 Dec 2015 (Wednesday) 19:18
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Road ­ Dog
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St. Augustine, Florida
Dec 30, 2015 19:18 |  #1

I've got a shoot coming up in about three weeks. It's going to be about 70 people, photographed outdoors while it's still light, but after the sun has gone down.

In the past I've used speedlights, and have been only mildly pleased with the results. So, this time around, I'm considering renting something to get the job done more effectively. The problem is I don't know a whole lot about what's out there. I see Pro Foto, Alien Bees, White Lightning, etal and, right now, they're all six of one, half dozen of the other. They all kinda' look the same to me.

So, I'm looking for some recommendations for something that will do the trick. I would definitely prefer to have something using battery power, simply because I have no idea what my AC availability is going to be. I don't really need modifiers or anything, just something that'll throw a whole bunch of light over, as I said, about 70 people.

Thanks!


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gonzogolf
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Dec 30, 2015 19:27 |  #2

Are you trying to light that group with a single light?




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Road ­ Dog
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Dec 30, 2015 19:33 |  #3

gonzogolf wrote in post #17838220 (external link)
Are you trying to light that group with a single light?

Ideally, yes...


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gonzogolf
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Dec 30, 2015 19:38 |  #4

Road Dog wrote in post #17838222 (external link)
Ideally, yes...

Theres why you are bound to be unhappy with the results. The falloff from center to adge of a group that large is likely to be as much as 2 stops. You need a minimum of two lights to spread across a group that large.




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Road ­ Dog
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Dec 30, 2015 19:43 |  #5

gonzogolf wrote in post #17838226 (external link)
Theres why you are bound to be unhappy with the results. The falloff from center to adge of a group that large is likely to be as much as 2 stops. You need a minimum of two lights to spread across a group that large.

I've seen it done before. Unfortunately, I wasn't in a position to see what equipment was being used. I know it was a single strobe on a very tall light stand, though.

And, again, it's not going to be "dark", but the sun won't be around to help much, either.

What about shooting a group of, say, 40 people? I may have the option to split the single group into two groups...


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FarmerTed1971
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Dec 30, 2015 19:44 |  #6

What does your local rental shop offer? I'd start there.


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gonzogolf
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Dec 30, 2015 20:12 |  #7

Road Dog wrote in post #17838233 (external link)
I've seen it done before. Unfortunately, I wasn't in a position to see what equipment was being used. I know it was a single strobe on a very tall light stand, though.

And, again, it's not going to be "dark", but the sun won't be around to help much, either.

What about shooting a group of, say, 40 people? I may have the option to split the single group into two groups...

Alot depends on how you pose them but the issues still remain. And as for having seen it done before maybe, but physics still trumps technique.




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MalVeauX
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Post has been edited over 1 year ago by MalVeauX.
Dec 30, 2015 21:27 |  #8

Heya,

It'll be tough to light up 70 people with ambient light. It's actually easier in the dark. But in low light, but still light, ambient it's going to be hard to get an even spread. No matter what light you get, it's going to be harder and harder. Personally I think I would use speedlights myself, simply because I can employee 6 of them right away and control them remotely and just toss them on stands and use them bare and just fill the whole group from several angles and cross them so that the shadows are not hard. I have a 600ws portable strobe (Rovelight), but the only way I'd think to use it to nicely light that many people would be to create a large modifier to turn into my singular source and back it up as much as I can, like a reflective 7 foot parabolic and push it back until the light is spilling around the 70 people. In late evening it's dark enough that it should still be able to light them up from a distance with a large modifier.

The easiest way to do it is going to be to group your people up so that they take up less surface area. Rows upon rows, dense pack, rising up (think bleachers). Then you simply just raise a light high enough and at a good position to drop fill on each face. 70 people is a tough group if you don't have a mechanical set of steps or bleachers to use. Even having rows of 10 people, sitting, then kneeling, then crouching, then standing, and even behind them, the rest jumping last minute, that's only 60 people covered... lol. Just kidding about the jumping. But hey, you could...

Yea, instead of going brute force, I'd go speedlites. Lots of them. I have a fleet of 6 for these kinds of things. I use basic manual flashes (Yongnuo 560 III's with a TX560 controller, so I control them in groups and can change their output power from the controller). I have a bunch of 9 foot stands. I would just fan my lights out and just cross angles so that shadow is met with more light and just light everyone up. Bare flash. All of them on the same plane so that output distance is consistent from light to light to subject and out in front of the group. I use a portable stepping stool to get up off the ground a few feet, but you can also back a car up and stand on the trunk or something.

Also, with ambient light still present, not completely dark yet, you're mixing cold flash temps to really warm ambient temps, so it will look "flashed." You could gel some CTO's to get them closer. Or you could do it in post, if you're proficient in that. Personally I just gel my flashes. I'd probably use 1/2 CTO's (I buy 24x20" sheets of Lee filter CTO for about $7 on Amazon and cut my own strips enough to do two dozen speedlites, and my strobe, with left overs). I use double sided velcro tape to put it on my lights and hold it there.

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Road ­ Dog
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Dec 30, 2015 21:57 as a reply to MalVeauX's post |  #9

Thanks, guys; appreciate the input...!


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Echo63
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Jan 08, 2016 00:19 |  #10

I cant reccomend strobes, as i dont have much experience with them

I have used Bowens and Elinchrom, and both worked fine - i prefer the remote controlability of the Elinchroms we have at work.
If i were buying lights (i will be soon) it would be Godox AD360 or AD600 (once they are released)

When i did school groups (10-40 kids) we used a pair of Ancient Metz flashes with a glacial recycle time (8-15secs)

David Hobby (Strobist) has a few tutorials on large groups on his site.

http://strobist.blogsp​ot.com.au ...in-big-dark-room.html?m=1 (external link)

http://strobist.blogsp​ot.com.au ...erson-group-shot.html?m=1 (external link)


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Road ­ Dog
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Jan 08, 2016 23:50 |  #11

FarmerTed1971 wrote in post #17838234 (external link)
What does your local rental shop offer? I'd start there.

Rental what?

;-)a

Unfortunately, there is no local rental shop. If you Google "camera store st. augustine", you'll find that there are none. I think WalMart comes up. It's truly a sad state of affairs. The closest well-stocked store is in Orlando; 90 minutes away. The next closest is in Melbourne, which is about two hours away.

As photogenic as this town is, and considering how many photographers are in this town, you'd think there would be even a mildly decent camera store...


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Big ­ Frost
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Elgin, Illinois
Jan 09, 2016 11:08 |  #12

Grab some Yongnuo 560 I, II, III, or IV's and a 560-TX to control and trigger them and you can relatively cheaply solve your problem. Just an idea to consider.



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Road ­ Dog
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Jan 09, 2016 16:02 |  #13

Big Frost wrote in post #17851138 (external link)
Grab some Yongnuo 560 I, II, III, or IV's and a 560-TX to control and trigger them and you can relatively cheaply solve your problem. Just an idea to consider.

Yeah, I thought about that. My daughter had some Yongnuo flashes and she said they absolutely devoured batteries...


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gonzogolf
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Jan 09, 2016 16:04 |  #14

Road Dog wrote in post #17851448 (external link)
Yeah, I thought about that. My daughter had some Yongnuo flashes and she said they absolutely devoured batteries...

The YNs are much more battery efficient than older strobes, but firing any speedlite at full pop and they will eat batteries.




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LincsRP
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Joined Mar 2007
Lincolnshire,UK
Jan 09, 2016 16:17 |  #15

Road Dog wrote in post #17838210 (external link)
I've got a shoot coming up in about three weeks. It's going to be about 70 people, photographed outdoors while it's still light, but after the sun has gone down.

In the past I've used speedlights, and have been only mildly pleased with the results. So, this time around, I'm considering renting something to get the job done more effectively. The problem is I don't know a whole lot about what's out there. I see Pro Foto, Alien Bees, White Lightning, etal and, right now, they're all six of one, half dozen of the other. They all kinda' look the same to me.

So, I'm looking for some recommendations for something that will do the trick. I would definitely prefer to have something using battery power, simply because I have no idea what my AC availability is going to be. I don't really need modifiers or anything, just something that'll throw a whole bunch of light over, as I said, about 70 people.

Thanks!


As you have a 6D and 5D I'd go without any strobes etc. A static subject shouldn't pose too much problem but you will have to shoot a lot of frames to pick the one with the minimum of blinkers.

5 frames a second for about 5 seconds should get you a frame with minimum blinkers and without the hassle of strobes. Strobes make folks blink and 70 peeps in the frame is going to be a nightmare without a lot of experience.

Cleaning up noise is going to be easier than dealing with strobe shadows. Shoot cleanley exposing to the right if you're a raw shooter .


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