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PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 9:50 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 11:52 am
Posts: 861
Location: Surrey, UK
Hi everyone,
I am going to be helping out at a fair coming up. I will be one of the photographers and need a bit of help. It is a portrait shoot. Anyone at the fair will be able to have there photos taken and can then purchase them (for charity).

I will be using my 550d with 18-55, tripod, shutter release and connected up to my laptop via the cable. What sort of settings should I be using and how should I use the light. We don't find out what room we will be using until the day of the event. However we have requested a very light room. What should I do if the room doesn't have great light?

No body is expecting professional photos as it is just a fun shoot for charity. But I wan't to do my best. Any advice on how to set up the photo would be great.

Thanks in advance. :)
:D :D :D :D :D :)

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Accessories: Manfrotto 055XPROB with 808RC4 head, Canon 430ex II speedlite, Lowepro Nova 180AW and Lowepro Pro Runner 450AW


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:59 am 
Hi jameswilby5,

that sounds like a fun opportunity to get a few different faces in front of your viewfinder and do something for charity at the same time!

I'd suggest Aperture priority mode, going with the largest aperture (lowest F-number) your lens allows you. The 18-55 is not super light-sensitive and the depth-of-field even at 18mm is plenty to get the face/head sharp.

If you struggle with the light - i.e. get an expose speed slower than say..1/60th of second..you may want to dial up your ISO accordingly.

If that isn't enough...i.e. if the room is too dark to allow you to get sharp (no motion blur) portraits, another lens or a flash may be in order. Using flash is a whole other deal though, so I recommend another lens before trying out flash.

Good luck with your efforts and try and think about how to direct your subjects so you don't end up with passport photos (i.e. expressionless).

Cheers :)


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 12, 2010 11:12 pm 
I'd suggest Aperture priority mode, going with the largest aperture (lowest F-number) your lens allows you. The 18-55 is not super light-sensitive and the depth-of-field even at 18mm is plenty to get the face/head sharp.

I don't think shooting at 18mm focal distance is a good idea as faces are likely to be distorted at this setting. If you can't borrow a 50mm or 85mm prime with a max 1.4f or 1.8f aperture then probably you will need to use some form of artificial lighting and your zoom lens set to 55mm and 5.6f.
Furthermore your customers are likely to want their photos straight away so that rules out shooting in raw and post-processing.
One further tip, set your camera picture style to neutral or standard, you don't want too much in-camera sharpening for portraits and too much colour saturation is rarely flattering either.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 7:49 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:57 am
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Location: Winterpeg, Manisnowba, Canada
I agree with Dave, you'll probably want to zoom into 55mm or so, but that will mean F5.6 or so! 18mm is W/A, which doesn't really work for people photography unless it's a huge group! Perhaps you should consider renting a 105mm lens (The preferred lens for portrait) that's sharp and fast, or something like a 50mm fast prime lens if there'll be more than one person per shot. You could even consider purchasing a new lens for future portraits! :)

I'd also recommend aperture priority mode, or manual if you feel like it. Just don't use auto or shutter priority, you'll want to choose the fastest lens speed possible to blur out the background! If you're shooting with a tri-pod, remember to turn off the IS (Image Stabilization) feature on the lens, IS is really only good for hand held photos. When the cam is on a tri-pod and IS is on, it may thing that something is wobbling (Don't ask why, but it happens), it will try to correct it even though nothing's happening and there'll be a blur in your photo.

Also remember to shoot in JPEG and not RAW, so that the customers can quickly get their photos like Dave mentioned.

Also remember the most IMPORTANT thing of ANY photo shoot! Have fun! :D

-Evan

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Gear: 7 Nikon Nikkor AI-S and AF-S lenses, SB-700 flash, Nikon D7000, Nikon FM, variety of accessories

"There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs."
- Ansel Adams


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:43 pm 
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Location: Salisbury, MD
I highly recommend using a reflector as well, to aid in lighting, and at least provide your customers with a portrait that looks slightly better than what they may be capable of. A cardboard panel with aluminum foil will work fine, and works great to help bounce light and fill shadows. Flash not required for this technique to be effective.

As mentioned, stick to 55. Its the best you can get out of that lens unfortunately. have fun and learn!

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:52 pm 
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@ djsfsolo I will take a look at reflectors and probably buy one if they aren't to expensive. Also I have just bought a 50mm 1.4 which arrives tomorrow :D. So I will definitely use that.
Thanks

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Camera: Canon 550D with battery grip
Lenses: Canon 24-105mm f/4L, Canon 50mm f1.4, Canon 18-55mm, Tamron 70-300mm,
Accessories: Manfrotto 055XPROB with 808RC4 head, Canon 430ex II speedlite, Lowepro Nova 180AW and Lowepro Pro Runner 450AW


Oh that is so lame, every hot girl who can aim a camera thinks she’s a photographer -Stewie Griffin


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 8:31 pm 
Anything white or silver will do as a reflector. You can make a reflector with a big cardboard with white paper on one side and aluminum foil on the other


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 10:12 pm 
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Location: Surrey, UK
Thanks timmy will definitely try that out at the weekend when I have a bit more time.

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Camera: Canon 550D with battery grip
Lenses: Canon 24-105mm f/4L, Canon 50mm f1.4, Canon 18-55mm, Tamron 70-300mm,
Accessories: Manfrotto 055XPROB with 808RC4 head, Canon 430ex II speedlite, Lowepro Nova 180AW and Lowepro Pro Runner 450AW


Oh that is so lame, every hot girl who can aim a camera thinks she’s a photographer -Stewie Griffin


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 8:42 am 
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the 50 1.4 may throw another curve ball as the dof is very narrow at wide open.
Suggest you have a practice with focusing just to get used to it. The 1.8 certainly threw me at first. ie nose is in focus but eyes not.

May want to consider spot focus and centre metering.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 5:55 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 11:52 am
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Location: Surrey, UK
thanks maxjj. I may use the 50mm at f2.8 or similar to try and prevent this. I have heard about the narrow depth of field. Hopefully once I get used to the lens I may figure out how best to counter this.

Thanks

_________________
Camera: Canon 550D with battery grip
Lenses: Canon 24-105mm f/4L, Canon 50mm f1.4, Canon 18-55mm, Tamron 70-300mm,
Accessories: Manfrotto 055XPROB with 808RC4 head, Canon 430ex II speedlite, Lowepro Nova 180AW and Lowepro Pro Runner 450AW


Oh that is so lame, every hot girl who can aim a camera thinks she’s a photographer -Stewie Griffin


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