Approve the Cookies
This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies and our Privacy Policy.
OK
Index  •   • New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
Guest
New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
Register to forums    Log in

 
FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 06 May 2013 (Monday) 14:30
Search threadPrev/next
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)

Large groups - crowd control - aka herding cats

 
Erik ­ S. ­ Klein
uppity vermin fan
Avatar
1,039 posts
Gallery: 10 photos
Likes: 132
Joined Jun 2009
Location: San Jose, CA
     
May 06, 2013 14:30 |  #1

I was at an event this weekend shooting my son's band competition performance. I was set up for video and, while I took a few stills, I got what I needed from that setup.

The venue was supposed to provide a professional photographer to take group shots for later sale but, due to a death in the family, the pro didn't show.

At the very last second I was asked to step in to get a group shot of our band for the families...

I think I did okay considering, but, after having this sudden experience, I have to ask: how the hell do y'all do this?

I had maybe 5-10 minutes between events to get 60 people lined up, eyes open, face front ("everyone look at the dead kitten!"), smile, nobody block anyone else, nobody in radically different lighting, etc. The band instructor was nice enough to set the kids up while I worked on the technicals and then my wife and I moved folks around a bit for a better shot. Then I had to get the shots with 3 dozen other parents clicking away with everything from SLRs to iPods.

What are your tips, tricks, shortcuts and so on for getting something like this to work?

IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8411/8711384602_081f0afc7f_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/erikklein/87113​84602/  (external link)
CMEA Group Shot F2 (external link) by ekklein1 (external link), on Flickr

NOTE: This is the quick-and-dirty post processing effort; basically just a raw conversion. I've got more to do...

Gear List
www.vintage-computer.com (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)
Luckless
Goldmember
3,064 posts
Likes: 187
Joined Mar 2012
Location: PEI, Canada
     
May 06, 2013 14:42 |  #2

Speaking far more from the subject's perspective (Haven't had a chance to do much crowd management in photography yet) I find that by far the most effective methods involve the photographer directing a few aids who then direct smaller groups. The aids can physically put a hand on someone's shoulder to get them exactly where they should be and tell the rest of the people to line up in the row with them. It works so much better than one person trying to yell at one person and having four think the photographer is talking to them.


Canon EOS 7D | EF 28 f/1.8 | EF 85 f/1.8 | EF 70-200 f/4L | EF-S 17-55 | Sigma 150-500
Flickr: Real-Luckless (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
SkipD
Cream of the Crop
Avatar
20,476 posts
Likes: 157
Joined Dec 2002
Location: Southeastern WI, USA
     
May 06, 2013 15:11 |  #3

I have a comment about the shot in the OP. The faces in front are MUCH larger than the faces in the rear. This is a perspective issue. Taking the camera back to three or four times the distance from the group and using a longer focal length to frame the group would have provided a much better balance in the sizes of the faces for the whole group.

Using a sturdy step ladder to get the camera higher also can be beneficial.


Skip Douglas
A few cameras and over 50 years behind them .....
..... but still learning all the time.

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
ejenner
Goldmember
Avatar
3,800 posts
Gallery: 81 photos
Likes: 836
Joined Nov 2011
Location: Denver, CO
     
May 06, 2013 16:11 as a reply to  @ SkipD's post |  #4

One reason I couldn't do this sort of thing for a living - too much stress when you know you HAVE to get a good shot.

A couple of things I try to do with any group shots are to use a tripod and take multiple frames in burst mode. That way I can look at the people and get eye contact and if someone blinks I can just layer the shots on top of one another and choose the best parts of each shot.

Looks like you got one with everyone looking at you which is definitely not trivial, especially with kids, but some adults seem to have a problem looking at or even towards the camera.

The perspective is unfortunate (I assume you were space-limited), but otherwise it looks really good to me.


Edward Jenner
5DIV, M6, GX1 II, Sig15mm FE, 16-35 F4,TS-E 17, TS-E 24, M11-22, M18-150 ,24-105, T45 1.8VC, 70-200 f4 IS, 70-200 2.8 vII, Sig 85 1.4, 100L, 135L, 400DOII.
http://www.flickr.com/​photos/48305795@N03/ (external link)
https://www.facebook.c​om/edward.jenner.372/p​hotos (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Erik ­ S. ­ Klein
THREAD ­ STARTER
uppity vermin fan
Avatar
1,039 posts
Gallery: 10 photos
Likes: 132
Joined Jun 2009
Location: San Jose, CA
     
May 06, 2013 16:55 |  #5

SkipD wrote in post #15903809 (external link)
I have a comment about the shot in the OP. The faces in front are MUCH larger than the faces in the rear. This is a perspective issue. Taking the camera back to three or four times the distance from the group and using a longer focal length to frame the group would have provided a much better balance in the sizes of the faces for the whole group.

Using a sturdy step ladder to get the camera higher also can be beneficial.

Agreed. I could have backed up a little, but certainly not that far. If I had it to do again I'd have gone back a bit more; as far as I could, anyway.

I had the camera as high as I could get to it.

Then again, if I had it to do again with some warning, I'd have grabbed a better venue, but honestly I was really lucky to find this spot with the shade and the steps. ;)

ejenner wrote in post #15904047 (external link)
One reason I couldn't do this sort of thing for a living - too much stress when you know you HAVE to get a good shot.

A couple of things I try to do with any group shots are to use a tripod and take multiple frames in burst mode. That way I can look at the people and get eye contact and if someone blinks I can just layer the shots on top of one another and choose the best parts of each shot.

Looks like you got one with everyone looking at you which is definitely not trivial, especially with kids, but some adults seem to have a problem looking at or even towards the camera.

The perspective is unfortunate (I assume you were space-limited), but otherwise it looks really good to me.

Yeah, I set the camera up to do a 5-shot bracket so I do have other frames to borrow from, albeit with different exposures. It's all in RAW though, so I've got room if needed. The young lady in the front left will be copied from one of those.

Thanks!


Gear List
www.vintage-computer.com (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
PhotosGuy
Moderator
Avatar
75,866 posts
Gallery: 8 photos
Likes: 2516
Joined Feb 2004
Location: Middle of Michigan
     
May 07, 2013 10:23 |  #6

Advice for taking group picture of 28 people - newbie


FrankC - 20D, RAW, Manual everything...
Classic Carz, Racing, Air Show, Flowers.
Find the light... A few Car Lighting Tips, and MOVE YOUR FEET!
Have you thought about making your own book? // Need an exposure crutch?
New Image Size Limits: Image must not exceed 1600 pixels on any side.

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Charlie
Guess What! I'm Pregnant!
16,066 posts
Gallery: 8 photos
Likes: 6153
Joined Sep 2007
     
May 07, 2013 13:39 |  #7

I recently grabbed a shot of second graders with an attention span of 0...... much different than adults. basically, I tried to overexpose for the darker toned kids (about a full stop), then take a whole burst of shots... it turned out ok.

Would be interesting on how it would stack up to the protographer's shots. would like to know for the heck of it.

I also cloned out people walking in the background, and since the principle had turned away on my favorite frame, had to clone her head back in from another frame..... yeah... not sure if anyone does that, but I did it and it was fairly seemless.


Sony A7riii/A9 - FE 12-24/4 - FE 24-240 - SY 24/2.8 - FE 28/2 - FE 35/2.8 - FE 50/1.8 - FE 85/1.8 - EF 135/1.8 Art - F 600/5.6 - CZ 100-300 - Astro Rok 14/2.8 - Tamron 17-28/2.8 - 28-75/2.8 RXD, 70-200/2.8 VC

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Erik ­ S. ­ Klein
THREAD ­ STARTER
uppity vermin fan
Avatar
1,039 posts
Gallery: 10 photos
Likes: 132
Joined Jun 2009
Location: San Jose, CA
     
May 07, 2013 14:24 |  #8

Thanks! Great stuff in there and great stuff in the links from there.

Basically, in a nutshell, crescent/semi-circle configuration for lining up the group, get up high and push 'em in close.

Getting them to listen is the trick. :)

Charlie wrote in post #15907348 (external link)
I also cloned out people walking in the background, and since the principle had turned away on my favorite frame, had to clone her head back in from another frame..... yeah... not sure if anyone does that, but I did it and it was fairly seemless.

My wife is the photoshop expert and did a bunch of cloning/fixing on the shot last night.

IMAGE: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7419/8716570693_67c5759298_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/erikklein/87165​70693/  (external link)
CMEA Group Shot F2K (external link) by ekklein1 (external link), on Flickr

Gear List
www.vintage-computer.com (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)

1,425 views & 0 likes for this thread
Large groups - crowd control - aka herding cats
FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
AAA
x 1600
y 1600

Jump to forum...   •  Rules   •  Index   •  New posts   •  RTAT   •  'Best of'   •  Gallery   •  Gear   •  Reviews   •  Member list   •  Polls   •  Image rules   •  Search   •  Password reset

Not a member yet?
Register to forums
Registered members may log in to forums and access all the features: full search, image upload, follow forums, own gear list and ratings, likes, more forums, private messaging, thread follow, notifications, own gallery, all settings, view hosted photos, own reviews, see more and do more... and all is free. Don't be a stranger - register now and start posting!


COOKIES DISCLAIMER: This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies and to our privacy policy.
Privacy policy and cookie usage info.


POWERED BY AMASS forum software 2.1forum software
version 2.1 /
code and design
by Pekka Saarinen ©
for photography-on-the.net

Latest registered member is dayuan99
872 guests, 318 members online
Simultaneous users record so far is 15144, that happened on Nov 22, 2018

Photography-on-the.net Digital Photography Forums is the website for photographers and all who love great photos, camera and post processing techniques, gear talk, discussion and sharing. Professionals, hobbyists, newbies and those who don't even own a camera -- all are welcome regardless of skill, favourite brand, gear, gender or age. Registering and usage is free.