Series of group photos, tips/advice/equipment question

Started Feb 26, 2011 | Discussions thread
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AdriaanMeijer
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Series of group photos, tips/advice/equipment question
Feb 26, 2011

I'm not a pro, just an amature. Once a year There's a gala-thing going on at our school all pupills dressed up and all that and they've asked me to do the photos.

Now most of that is the pupils posing alone or in couples or threesomes in dress, make-up and hairdress. I've done it twice now and I'm not satisfied.

I shoot over 200 different groups in about 3 hours time. Hard for me, hard for the camera. Also I take each shot 2 or (more often) 3 times to prevent a blink of the eye or something like that 'ruin' a shot. In LR I can check out which of these I'll keep.

I'm using my Canon 400D with the 50mm f1.8 (@ 2.5) (not the new kit or my 70-200 f4 IS) and the build in flash of the camera. Have to zoom with my feet. Have 2 4Gb memory cards and 3 battery packs and a charger.

What's not going good up till now:

  • The recharge time of the camera (flash mainly) is far too long. If I shoot 3 shots quickly I want to do it quickly, aim again and shoot. Now I must wait for seconds (2 or 3 seconds to wait can be long for a group)

  • Focussing is hard. That's why I use the 50mm, it can focus with less light than the kitlens (the IS-version) can do. Of the 240 photo groups I shot too much have not enough focus (wrongly focussed or shallow DOF). I want to enhange that.

I don't want to spend a lot of money, but some 200 Euros could be spend.

Things I've considered to improve the setting:

  • another background, could even be a cheap cloth

  • a seperate flash. Are the Metz (like 50 AF-1) any good, especially with a bounce-thing?

  • use two halogene lamps on both side to illuminate the scene, for better focus and for short shutter times. Of course I'll have to make them bounce to something like polystyren.

Are there tips you can give me, or advise. Either on setup, behaviour, whatever.

I post this both on the Canon 400D-forum as well as in the lighting forum, as each forum might have a different perspective.
Thanks for your responses.
--
All in my humble opionion of course!

If I seem to talk nonsense or you can't understand me, it's probably my English
--
All in my humble opionion of course!

If I seem to talk nonsense or you can't understand me, it's probably my English

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