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Photography Question 
Kimberly A. Totten
 

Photographing a Large Group


I have been asked to take an outside family portrait (four families) that include 9 adults and 6 children. I have the 28-135mm Canon IS Lens and shoot with the Canon Digital Rebel. I was pretty confident with this set-up until I started reading some other questions and answers regarding large groups. Everyone seems to recommend a 50mm lens. Do you feel my lens will be adequate to make a sharp, clear picture without any distortions?


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6/9/2005 12:24:39 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  I think you'll be allright ... 15 people isn't that big of a group. You've got a good camera and a good lens. The light will be the important thing.
sam


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6/9/2005 7:03:39 PM

 
John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/27/2001
  Be wary of doing this at the wide-angle end of your lens. It's better to keep to a more "normal" focal length and back up some. Using a wide angle with group photographs can cause an unnatural looking perspective "distortion" of people near the frame edges, especially with people's heads, and especially if their heads are near the corners.


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6/10/2005 12:00:01 AM

 
Kimberly A. Totten   Thanks John and Sam for your reponse!


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6/10/2005 6:31:08 AM

 
Bunny Snow
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/16/2004
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  What I've learned when using a wide angle lens to photograph a group of people is that the people on the outside of that group look broader than the people on the inside. Unless the people are skinny, they will appear to have gained signficiant weight. And, if they are already heavy set, you might want to place them into the center of the frame, or use a "normal" lens and place your camera above the group, such as from a balcony. Have the group look up at you.

Wide angle lenses distort, especially at the edges, where they broaded the subjects, by it a mountain or a person's body. Especially with women, most of us don't desire to visually gain weight by being placed on the outside edges of a group when a wide angle lens is used to capture that image.


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6/14/2005 2:40:15 AM

 
Bunny Snow
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/16/2004
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  What I've learned when using a wide angle lens to photograph a group of people is that the people on the outside of the frame appear broader in girth than the people on the inside. Unless the people are skinny, they will appear to have gained signficiant weight. And, if they are already heavy set, you might want to place them into the center of the frame, or use a "normal" lens and place your camera above the group, such as from a balcony.

Wide angle lenses distort, especially at the edges, where they broaden the base--add girth to the subject, be it a mountain or a person's body. Especially with women, most of us don't desire to visually gain weight by being placed on the outside edges of a group when a wide angle lens is used to capture that image.


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6/14/2005 2:45:49 AM

 
Norbert Maile   Don't worry. Keep in mind that you do have a 50mm lens right now,,, and a 35 and a 100. You get the idea. set it at the highest you can, and still get everyone in the shot. It will look great.


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6/14/2005 10:38:43 PM

 
John Rhodes
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/24/2005
  Kimberly, there is an excellent article in Shutterbug magazine, april 2004.

address:

http://www.shutterbug.net/features/0404sb_howto/index.html

VR

John


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6/15/2005 10:42:40 AM

 
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