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gregles
30th September 2010, 11:01 PM
As one of my boys plays bagpipes with a local pipe band, I have become their unofficial photographer. It is great fun, the father in law plays the bass drum, and it is a family and friends day out.:)

Most outings have been blessed with lovely weather making outdoor shots not too difficult. The band have however asked if I can do an indoor shot, no natural light, with the band fully kitted out, for Armistice Day.

Any advice more than welcome, please :D

I have the e510, 14 -54 and fl50 available. Also have the sigma 10-20 just in case. I have never used the fl50 in earnest as yet other than for outdoor macro shots.

Just to give an idea of numbers here is a shot of the band taken earlier this year. There has been an increase in numbers since then >10 more:eek:

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/Marches-Day-band-photos-and.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/27373)

Thanks in advance

Greg:)

Ross the fiddler
1st October 2010, 06:14 AM
For a start, that is a very nice photo capture of the pipe band.

My guess is you will probably need the wide angle Sigma lens & also & as you have in the outdoor shot, pipers need to have their feet shown in most shots & you probably already do it, but I would not frame them too tightly to allow for lens distortion correction & trimming.

For lighting, it would be best if there was available ceiling light but that could be hoping for too much, so if the celing is white & not a honey comb suface, I would try to bounce the light off the ceiling. With the extra wide lens you might need to use the wide angle diffuser, but the added length in the light path via the ceiling may prove not to be necessary. You will need to extract all the available light out of the flash to cover that sort of width involved & if the ceiling is not reflective enough (or just plain high) then the wide angle diffuser would be needed with the flash straight on (& maybe an added white diffuser if there is enough power to cover them all). I still strive for ideal photos at events like Scottish Country Dance socials & orchestral concerts, struggling with lighting because of the different buildings good & bad points. Don't forget that dark curtains will suck all your light up too.

Hope that helps for starters & others can give some more good advice.

PS I play Scottish fiddle & we get a little uptight when a piper decides to warm up near our Fiddlers Tent at highland gatherings, eg Bundenoon, NSW, Australia.

benvendetta
1st October 2010, 06:24 AM
Probably the most important thing with group shots such as this is being able to see everyone's face/head irrespective of the lens used. I have taken group pictures of a local dancing school and this is not easy when there are lots of giggly girls :eek: The more there are the harder it gets!
I would say try a longer rather than a shorter lens as this should help with the above. With a WA lens you will be that much closer and faces/heads will be closer together and they will be difficult to see in the viewfinder.
As has already been said by Ross the image you posted is great - just try going further back with the same lens (or even further with a longer focal length) for a bigger group.

Ross the fiddler
1st October 2010, 06:33 AM
Probably the most important thing with group shots such as this is being able to see everyone's face/head irrespective of the lens used. I have taken group pictures of a local dancing school and this is not easy when there are lots of giggly girls :eek: The more there are the harder it gets!
I would say try a longer rather than a shorter lens as this should help with the above. With a WA lens you will be that much closer and faces/heads will be closer together and they will be difficult to see in the viewfinder.
As has already been said by Ross the image you posted is great - just try going further back with the same lens (or even further with a longer focal length) for a bigger group.

That's true if there is enough room indoors & without people getting in the way, but otherwise you're left with using the lens that will serve the purpose & managing its faults such as distortion & peoples faces facing the right way etc. I wish you well, but it is a suck & see situation sometimes.

theMusicMan
1st October 2010, 07:34 AM
My only concern with a shot such as this with so many people - indoors - is that of the capability of the FL50. It is a wonderful flash unit, but I'm not sure it is powerful enough on its own to illuminate such a large area. You may need to get the use of another one off camera - in fact, two or three off camera flash units would make the job much easier.

Can you get hold of any studio lighting...?

snaarman
1st October 2010, 08:05 AM
My only concern with a shot such as this with so many people - indoors - is that of the capability of the FL50. It is a wonderful flash unit, but I'm not sure it is powerful enough on its own to illuminate such a large area. You may need to get the use of another one off camera - in fact, two or three off camera flash units would make the job much easier.

Can you get hold of any studio lighting...?

Yes, I agree. My first thoughts were "Lighting?" rather than "Lens?"

Pete

Ross the fiddler
1st October 2010, 08:35 AM
Can you describe the venue, the interior finish & size of the room. It's a bit hard to advise fully without those sort of details & I would totally agree with the suggestion for studio lighting in this situation because of the struggle to light such a large area effectively, unless the room lights are quite bright & to what standard you’re looking for. Lighting would be critical to keep the ISO on your E510 under 400. My earlier suggestions were really only for much smaller venues with a reflective ceiling which would be unusual in most public buildings. Also, will this be a staged photo shoot or a live active occasion with no time for any additional setup?

gregles
1st October 2010, 09:38 AM
Thanks for the replies fellas.

The ceiling in the venue is quite high, so I feel as you guys do that the fl50 would not cope with it. The indoor lighting is at best subdued.
It will be a staged shot Ross so there will be time to adjust.

I have never used off camera flash or studio lighting. This looks like a tricky one.

Greg

benvendetta
1st October 2010, 10:28 AM
That's true if there is enough room indoors & without people getting in the way, but otherwise you're left with using the lens that will serve the purpose & managing its faults such as distortion & peoples faces facing the right way etc. I wish you well, but it is a suck & see situation sometimes.

I misread the original post - I assumed the images would be outdoors as per the example. You will find it difficult indoors in terms of space and as John states the power of the flash unit.
I would really try and get some outdoor shots as this will be far easier, unless it is raining :eek:

Ross the fiddler
1st October 2010, 11:50 AM
Thanks for the replies fellas.

The ceiling in the venue is quite high, so I feel as you guys do that the fl50 would not cope with it. The indoor lighting is at best subdued.
It will be a staged shot Ross so there will be time to adjust.

I have never used off camera flash or studio lighting. This looks like a tricky one.

Greg

I think if it is an indoor situation like this (which I assume would be at night), then a couple of slave driven studio flashes would be best to use. The camera would need to be set to manual 160sec f8 (to start with) & ISO 100 with the camera flash set at a low output, just enough to trigger the slave flash or equally do the same with FL50 pointing up (saves any cable connections). The studio flashes would be set to match those settings (manual) for the appropriate distances & adjust the camera aperture up or down for the final exposure desired & if not close enough, the flashes can be adjusted. Experience with a flash meter will make this setup much easier. Have your camera on a tripod to have it on a good level so that doesn't have to be worried about and tell them to smile & all should be rosie. The alternative is they all have to stand very still for a long exposure.*ohwell (get out all the old props for people :D)

gregles
1st October 2010, 12:19 PM
Ok fellas I have just brass necked it and called a local wedding tog. He is a friend of a friend so I know him......a bit;)

Fingers crossed he will be able to help. If not I have plenty of time to arrange something.

I will keep you posted.

Cheers

Greg

David Gethin
2nd October 2010, 07:51 AM
Regarding the lighting I would say that you would need a minimum of two flashes for this type of shot and to follow the advice given by Strobist (David Hobby) below:

http://strobist.blogspot.com/2007/05/on-assignment-two-speedlight-group-shot.html

*chr