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Thread: Best modifier for group/family photos?

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    Best modifier for group/family photos?

    My experience shooting with strobes is usually with individuals. I'm curious what the best modifier would be to get the most throw and spread?
    Last edited by jdphoto; 2nd December 2018 at 05:10.

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    Re: Best modifier for group/family photos?

    Mostly landscapers here...

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    Senior Member Quentin_Bargate's Avatar
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    Re: Best modifier for group/family photos?

    Quote Originally Posted by jdphoto View Post
    My experience shooting with strobes is usually with individuals. I'm curious what the best modifier would be to get the most throw and spread?
    Shallow umbrella, white or silver, reflective, not shoot through.
    Quentin Bargate
    CEO of Bargate Murray, Law Firm of the Year 2012 - 2019, Ēleading individualĒ, Chambers HNW guide, 2019, Photographer
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    Member Stan Lawrence's Avatar
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    Re: Best modifier for group/family photos?

    in my studio I used a 52in starfish....a large softbox works well....
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    Senior Member stngoldberg's Avatar
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    Re: Best modifier for group/family photos?

    Depends on the size of the group
    Iím anticipating taking a group of 32 men; I plan on seating half of them with the balance standing behind.
    I plan on using two large umbrellas to light the group, but I anticipate the aiming the lights directly at the group will result in flat light; therefore I plan on feathering the lights from one side adjusting the output so the light is evenly distributed.
    Stanley
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    Re: Best modifier for group/family photos?

    Quote Originally Posted by stngoldberg View Post
    Depends on the size of the group
    Iím anticipating taking a group of 32 men; I plan on seating half of them with the balance standing behind.
    I plan on using two large umbrellas to light the group, but I anticipate the aiming the lights directly at the group will result in flat light; therefore I plan on feathering the lights from one side adjusting the output so the light is evenly distributed.
    Stanley
    My usual go to is the elinchrom Octa, usually thatís good for 3-5/8 people, feathered of form the left, often ending up at a near 90mdeh angle away from the subject, once I need to shoot more people in one frame I actually use multiples of these and stager them in a similar angle and height to have a somewhat even spread, and some fill so I donít loose the shadows.

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    Re: Best modifier for group/family photos?

    Quote Originally Posted by stngoldberg View Post
    Depends on the size of the group
    Iím anticipating taking a group of 32 men; I plan on seating half of them with the balance standing behind.
    I plan on using two large umbrellas to light the group, but I anticipate the aiming the lights directly at the group will result in flat light; therefore I plan on feathering the lights from one side adjusting the output so the light is evenly distributed.
    Stanley
    I would not worry about "flat" lighting as opposed to simply lighting the entire group evenly, metering edge to edge. This does not sound like a type of portrait where you have dozens of lights on set to create dramatic lighting. The difficulty with "feathering" light with a large group is where the shadows fall. If the faces are close together in the group, you need to watch how shadows will cut across the next subject. If you can, a single large (or two large umbrellas close together will become a large source) light source placed well above camera axis is the easiest way to light a moderately large group without worry about cross shadows. 32 is manageable. As the group grows in size, obviously might need to widen the throw/sources but take care to knock shadows down off faces.

    Ken

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