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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 08 Nov 2007 (Thursday) 09:25
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109 people in a photograph

 
thelightofsound
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Nov 08, 2007 09:25 |  #1

my day job is doing IT for a large law firm. on of the practice groups does an annual holiday card with picture(s) of the whole group. last year they split the group into several smaller groups and i photographed them and designed a bush-league e-card that was really just an animated gif. the year before they had the group photographed as a whole. they have approached me to to it again, but graphic design is not my forte. i told them i could get the picture, but not sure if i can design the card.

so..............my question to you is what is the best way to photograph 109 people?

thanks in advance :)


--atlanta photographer michael saba (external link) - music photography (external link)

  
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Nightstalker
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Nov 08, 2007 12:25 |  #2

Get up high, 15 ft or so I'd guess, and shoot looking down?


  
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notapro
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Nov 08, 2007 12:28 |  #3

they realize that nobody will be recognizable right?
I would do something fun since the people are going to be faceless anyway. I don't know what...


Amanda

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Midlife ­ Crisis
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Nov 08, 2007 13:00 |  #4

Is it possible to get everybody outside your office building say perhaps on the sidewalk and you be in a different building window taking the pics?


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Dream ­ Merchant
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Nov 08, 2007 13:15 as a reply to  @ Midlife Crisis's post |  #5

No mention was made about location technicalities, lighting conditions or equipment restrictions, nor the tone of the photo (since it's a large law firm - does it neecd to be serious coat and tie corporate?) or budgets.

I'm not sure how to suggest anything helpful at this point since there were no requirements or restrictions mentioned, except that if you need all the faces to be recognisable, consider using (renting?) a 1Ds Mk II and use a Carl Zeiss 28mm f/2.8 lens or use rent a Hasselblad SWC or a Mamiya 6x7 with a wide lens and shoot using slow transparency film and get it scanned on a drum scanner or an Imacon.

The thing about large group shots is that the logistics alone can kill, especially if you need to see every face so a lot of pre-planning and test-shoots are needed.

I would love to try and help, but would really nedd to know more.


Editing welcome :D

  
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thelightofsound
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Nov 08, 2007 14:32 |  #6

thanks for all the input.

and @ dream merchant, you are correct, i didn't provide needed info. the location is normally one of the bit conference rooms, of which they clear everything out. there are plenty of windows to add natural lighting. it will not be coat and tie. i am not sure of the budget, but i would think there is not much of one. which is why they are having the local IT guy take the picture ;)
i do not think all of the faces need to be seen. in the past the partners and most attorneys are seated in the front row and all of the support staff of the group is pack behind them. no one really cares about this picture but one of the chairs of the practice group, so not much effort is put into it.
i doubt i will be renting anything for the shoot. if anything, i will try and get them to buy me an extra strobe ;) the picture has never been printed, so resolution is not really a huge concern. and in fact, as long as the partners faces are good, then everyone is happy.
pre-planning and test shots are about the best advise i can get at this point. i will play around with it over the next couple of days and try to devise a plan from there.

Dream Merchant wrote in post #4278438 (external link)
No mention was made about location technicalities, lighting conditions or equipment restrictions, nor the tone of the photo (since it's a large law firm - does it neecd to be serious coat and tie corporate?) or budgets.

I'm not sure how to suggest anything helpful at this point since there were no requirements or restrictions mentioned, except that if you need all the faces to be recognisable, consider using (renting?) a 1Ds Mk II and use a Carl Zeiss 28mm f/2.8 lens or use rent a Hasselblad SWC or a Mamiya 6x7 with a wide lens and shoot using slow transparency film and get it scanned on a drum scanner or an Imacon.

The thing about large group shots is that the logistics alone can kill, especially if you need to see every face so a lot of pre-planning and test-shoots are needed.

I would love to try and help, but would really nedd to know more.


--atlanta photographer michael saba (external link) - music photography (external link)

  
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irish1
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Nov 08, 2007 17:18 |  #7

Brrow someone's 10-20, stand on a ladder and get as close as you can to the people in front. And pray.


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thelightofsound
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Nov 09, 2007 09:17 as a reply to  @ irish1's post |  #8

you think a really wide angle is the way to go? it seems like most say don't go super wide. do you think that my inadequate lighting is reason to go wide and get closer?

i am thinking of getting a couple of shop lights and pointing them at large projector screens to help with the lighting


--atlanta photographer michael saba (external link) - music photography (external link)

  
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tomd
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Nov 09, 2007 09:23 |  #9

I hope it's a big conference room


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SkipD
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Nov 09, 2007 09:29 |  #10

thelightofsound wrote in post #4283341 (external link)
you think a really wide angle is the way to go? it seems like most say don't go super wide. do you think that my inadequate lighting is reason to go wide and get closer?

i am thinking of getting a couple of shop lights and pointing them at large projector screens to help with the lighting

DO NOT use any shorter focal length than you can get away with at the furthest possible (but still practical) distance from the group. That will help to avoid "distortion" of the people at the corners of the shot.

Get yourself and the camera at the top of a 6' or 8' stepladder.

If you need to add light to what's coming through the windows, make sure it is NOT any form of incandescent or fluorescent lighting. I strongly suggest using flash sources which have roughly the same color content as the sunlight.


Skip Douglas
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..... but still learning all the time.

  
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tomd
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Nov 09, 2007 09:39 |  #11

Just a thought, I've never done this but perhaps someone has first hand knowledge:

Could you take several pictures and stitch them into a pano?


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thelightofsound
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Nov 09, 2007 09:48 |  #12

SkipD wrote in post #4283399 (external link)
DO NOT use any shorter focal length than you can get away with at the furthest possible (but still practical) distance from the group. That will help to avoid "distortion" of the people at the corners of the shot.

Get yourself and the camera at the top of a 6' or 8' stepladder.

If you need to add light to what's coming through the windows, make sure it is NOT any form of incandescent or fluorescent lighting. I strongly suggest using flash sources which have roughly the same color content as the sunlight.

thanks for the input skip. that is my plan so far about distance and height. but what about the idea of bouncing a halogen light at a screen. do you think that will not work?

tomd wrote in post #4283460 (external link)
Just a thought, I've never done this but perhaps someone has first hand knowledge:

Could you take several pictures and stitch them into a pano?

i've read some instances of people doing this, but would hate to try it and it not work.


which brings up another point. it is going to be hard to get test shots of the full room before everyone shows up. then we are going to have to position everyone and i'm going to have to fire at least a couple to get everything straight. considering some of these attorneys bill $500+ per hour, i am not expecting them to sit around very long while i try different options.


--atlanta photographer michael saba (external link) - music photography (external link)

  
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SkipD
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Nov 09, 2007 11:50 |  #13

thelightofsound wrote in post #4283521 (external link)
what about the idea of bouncing a halogen light at a screen. do you think that will not work?

You want to avoid, if at all possible, mixed-color lighting. The color of halogen lights is very different from sunlight and electronic flash (which, for all practical purposes are roughly the same as each other). You'd have trouble with part of the group being lit mostly by sunlight and another by mostly the halogen light. You'd never be able to even out the coloration of the whole image.

On the other hand, if you bounced a big flash off the screen, that would be close enough to the color of the sunlight and you would not have the color problem.


Skip Douglas
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..... but still learning all the time.

  
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109 people in a photograph
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