Posts Tagged ‘group’

The Value of Reaching Out and Forming Photographer Communities

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Being a photographer can sometimes be a lonely prospect. Even photographers that often work with people as subjects or on crowded streets will have to put in countless hours alone, editing their work. This fact only makes it even more important for photographers to actively reach out and form communities, if not for the sake of their work then at least for the sake of their social lives and sanity. Read more…

Five Friends Take the Same Group Photo for 30 Years

Back in 1982, 19-year-old five buddies — John Wardlaw, Mark Rumer, Dallas Burney, John Molony, and John Dickson — went on vacation to Copco Lake in California and snapped a group photo (seen above). Since then, they’ve embarked on the same vacation every 5 years, staying at the same cabin, sitting on the same bench, and snapping the same photo (with identical poses and all). They’re 48-years-old now, and the tradition is still going strong.
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116 Hollywood Stars in One Group Picture

To celebrate its 100th year anniversary, Paramount Pictures gathered together 116 of Hollywood’s most famous stars for an epic group picture. Photographer Art Streiber used 57 strobes to light the scene, and spent just under 6 minutes snapping 63 frames using a Hasselblad H2 and 150mm lens.
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Apple Patent Reveals Camera Self Timer Triggered by Photographer’s Face

We’ve all seen photographers make mad dashes into group portraits, hoping to get into position before the camera’s self timer automatically snaps a photograph. Apple wants to make those a thing of the past. A new patent filed by the company (#20120057039) describes a new and smarter self-timer system that uses facial recognition in addition to the standard timer. Using a picture of the photographer’s face, the camera will wait until the shooter is in the scene before starting the countdown, ensuring that everyone in the photo has the same amount of time to put on a picture perfect smile.

(via Patently Apple via Ubergizmo)

Rewind: An Awesome Camera Feature for Perfect Group Photos

What if you could take perfect group photographs by first shooting multiple frames and then selecting the best portions of each one? Microsoft amazed us with this concept last year with its Photo Fuse technology, and now we may soon be seeing something similar coming to mobile phone cameras (and hopefully compact cameras as well). Imaging technology company Scalado gave the above demonstration at a conference earlier this month showing off Rewind, a super-useful feature that shoots a burst of full-res photos, then lets you select the best faces for each person in the image. Next up on our wishlist: Content Aware Fill.

Rewind (via GigaOM)

Making Your Group Portraits More Interesting

My college friends and I used to enjoy taking group portraits in and around the Berkeley campus.

Here’s one such photograph we took in front of Sproul Hall, where many of the iconic photographs of Vietnam protests were taken:

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Taken with a Canon 40D + 10-22mm at f/3.5, 1/4s, and ISO 1600.

While I like how this photograph turned out, I’ve discovered that I much prefer group photos in which each person is positioned in a unique location, at a unique depth, with a unique pose.

For example, here’s another photograph we took a year earlier in the courtyard of one of the dormitories:

IMG_4599

Taken with a Canon 20D + 24-70mm at f/3.2, 1/13s, and ISO 3200.

Notice how I tried to keep everyone distinct in the following elements:

  • Distance
  • Pose
  • Direction

Also, try to space out the people in the frame in a not-so-uniform way. I tried to keep each person in their own little area of the frame, at a different head level than the others. In my opinion, uniformity tends to make for boring group photos, while adding some fake randomness makes things a lot more interesting.

Here’s another photo we took the night of the first photo:

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I like this photo better than the first one, but not as much as the second one. I think it’s much more interesting and dynamic, but the lighting wasn’t done very well (we were just poor college students with a single mounted strobe). Also, unlike the first photograph, there’s too much overlap in bodies and too many heads next to each other on the same level.

Anyhow, next time you take a group photo, try to focus on making the distance, pose, and direction of each person unique and see if that spices up your portrait!