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Archive 2013 · lighting 100-125 people need opinions
  
 
bayvillian
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · lighting 100-125 people need opinions


Hey guys,
in a couple weeks im working an event where they requested I take a group shot inside a large hall with 100-125 people.
I've never shot or lit a photo like this before and wanted some opinions.
I was thinking getting a ladder, having them in 4 - 5 rows, using my 24-70ll, and lighting with my 2 ab800's on high light stands.
Would having an ab800 on camera left and camera right pointed at the center of the group work? Or would it be safer to try and just crank the strobes up and point them at the ceiling and bring the ambient up?
I have some time so if its needed I could buy another ab800.
Thanks for any advice



Jun 27, 2013 at 04:48 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · lighting 100-125 people need opinions


Since you've got time ... can you just go do some test shots on location in advance?

You won't need the group of people to figure out your lighting pattern / exposure sufficiency ... a couple folding chairs (same color) @ center/edge/corner of your planned arrangement should reveal your lighting with maybe one person to help for the "looking up" aspect.

Edited on Jun 27, 2013 at 05:12 PM · View previous versions



Jun 27, 2013 at 05:08 PM
bayvillian
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · lighting 100-125 people need opinions


yea, I was actually going to go there early next week to do just that. I was just seeking out opinions in the mean time to ease my mind a little


Jun 27, 2013 at 05:11 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · lighting 100-125 people need opinions


Silver umbrellas come to mind rather than bouncing off ceiling ... shorter light path, more contrast/pop, better WB control ... yet, not as harsh or subject to falloff as direct.


Jun 27, 2013 at 05:16 PM
bayvillian
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · lighting 100-125 people need opinions


do you think 57 inch umbrellas would do the trick? I was initially thinking of using them.


Jun 27, 2013 at 05:20 PM
 

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BrianO
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · lighting 100-125 people need opinions


Your idea of shooting from a ladder is a good one; you'll avoid the problem of people's heads blocking the faces of those behind them better than just rying to arrange them by height.

Getting the strobes up on tall stands will do the same thing for the light. I suggest putting one to each side of the camera, as you mentioned, but close to the camera and aimed slightly outward, rather than spread apart and aimed inward. By putting them close to the camera you'll avoid crossed shadows; everyone will have "beauty lighting" on their faces.

Big umbrellas will soften the light a bit, but I don't think they're essential for this kind of shot. Still, if you can work it from a practical standpoint then it's worth a try.



Jun 29, 2013 at 04:06 PM
Gregg Heckler
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · lighting 100-125 people need opinions


You're on the right track with the ladder and making about 4 or 5 rows. A lot of your success will depend on how much ambient light there is using only two small flashes. You'll probably need to drag your shutter to around 1/60, make everyone stand still, and crank up the ISO to get a small enough aperture for depth of field. Also note that the width of the group will probably keep you from getting your lights close enough without being in the shot. So put them up fairly high to get the back rows lit and let the light fall on the front rows. You will probably be fine using the flashes without modifiers and setting the heads to 24 or 28mm. Good luck.


Jun 29, 2013 at 07:57 PM
cgardner
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · lighting 100-125 people need opinions


In a situation like that I'd bounce if possible.

You need to consider the inverse-square fall-off from any light placed near the camera; it will light the front row brighter than the back row. Bouncing the light off the ceiling moves the apparent source of the light, the ceiling, more equidistant to all the upturned faces resulting in more even lighting. By using the longer 12" reflector or a snoot you can control the footprint of the light on the ceiling. I've used approach with my speedlights

The higher you can get above the group with the camera (a balcony is ideal) the closer to the group you can move camera and light and the more the will be looking up at the ceiling. Also the higher you get the more the frame is filled with smiling upturned faces, vs. an eye level shot where you see the bodies of the front row with a sea of disembodied heads above them. Getting high also eliminates the problem of empty space in the foreground and above the group in a landscape crop.

If possible you should visit the venue and take some test shots and find out where the outlets are if you need wall power for the AB800s.



Jun 29, 2013 at 08:26 PM
BrianO
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · lighting 100-125 people need opinions


Gregg Heckler wrote:
...A lot of your success will depend on how much ambient light there is using only two small flashes.


I wouldn't call two Alien Bees B800 strobes "small flashes." They're not Dynalite 1600 w/s packs or the like, but they're a definite step up from Speedlites.

cgardner wrote:
...You need to consider the inverse-square fall-off from any light placed near the camera; it will light the front row brighter than the back row.


With 100+ people in 4 or 5 rows, the camera and lights will likely be far enough back that the difference in intensity between the front row and back row will be negligible. Bouncing off the ceiling, on the other hand, can be problematic if the ceiling height isn't right, if it's not white, if there are beams, etc.

Unlike shooting -- for example -- a bride getting dressed, where the room is usually small and bouncing works well, I've found that for large groups in convention halls, arenas, etc. direct flash usually works better.



Jun 29, 2013 at 09:12 PM
Gregg Heckler
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · lighting 100-125 people need opinions


oops I thought I thought it was two Sb800's.


Jun 30, 2013 at 05:18 AM





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