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Photography Question 
Kellie M. Moats

Blurriness on a Group Shot

  PHoto is raw
PHoto is raw
© Kellie M. Moats
Canon EOS 50D Digi...
I have had to take a few group pictures and, to be on the safe side, I shoot in Auto. Now, I am not too sure this is the right thing to do because everyone always seems blurry. What am I doing wrong? Auto ... center people ... why is everyone blurry?

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9/17/2009 2:20:30 PM

Anthony L. Mancuso
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/7/2008
  What settings did the camera select? Your DOF may not have been deep enough. It looks like some of the foreground stuff is sharper than the people, so could have been a case of missed focus. Did they all come out blurry? Looks like you have some exposure issues as well - white shirts on a bright sunny day can be very challenging.

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9/17/2009 7:46:02 PM

Dennis Flanagan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/31/2005
  I can't find a good focus in this shot so it makes me think the issue is camera shake. When you have multiple rows of people like this, you also need a aperture setting that allows for the needed depth of field. f/11 is a good place to start. Another suggestion is make sure your camera's autofocus is set to single shot and not continuous focus. Find your focus point and then compose the photo in your viewfinder and finish the shot.

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9/17/2009 10:08:29 PM

Kellie M. Moats   f-stop f/4.5, 1/60 sec., ISO 400
Thank you both so much for your answers. Already feel like I know what I need to do. So, sometimes going safe isn't the way to go at all.

I agree the white shirts in the sunlight wasn't helpful either.

Now if I could only reshoot this. grrr!!!

Thank you!

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9/18/2009 4:34:43 AM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
  What lens did you use? Was your camera tripod-mounted? If the scenario comes up again, try manually focusing on the faces in the middle of the group. If your lens is a zoom, choose the middle of the zoom range over the two extremes and select an aperture somewhere in the middle (f-8 or f-11). Meter a mid-tone in the same light so your whites won't wash out as much. (...and don't forget the tripod.)

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9/20/2009 4:38:27 AM

Tammie R. Ford   Also, if using a tripod don't forget to turn OFF the vibration reduction feature on your lens (if using that kind of lens).

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9/29/2009 7:48:39 AM

Sandy Hawkins
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/17/2007

I agree with the DOF answer that Anthony pointed out and seeing that your Auto selected a DOF of 4.5 that confirms it was not a good choice for a group shot.

If you have not taken one of the BP classes it might be a real benefit for you to consider. I learned so much from some of the BP classes I took a couple years ago. I used to shoot in auto a lot, and now I would never consider it as you just don't have any control. Also learning about DOF, and how it applies to different images is so important. I use a lot of fill flash even outside, but I had to learn how to do that properly too.

Sandy :-)

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9/29/2009 11:01:14 AM

Kellie M. Moats   Thank you all so much for all your reponses and I will be testing these out soon as I gather all my kids friends at a party we will be at on Thursday.
I am signed up for a class and plan to keep taking them. Thank you all for your support.

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9/29/2009 6:14:49 PM

Anthony L. Mancuso
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/7/2008
  Good luck with it Kellie, be sure to post a couple here so we can see how you did...

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9/29/2009 6:59:30 PM

Kellie M. Moats   I will def. do that! Thanks again!

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9/30/2009 3:46:57 AM

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