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EM5 photoshoot help/advice needed

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by PhilS, Feb 9, 2014.

  1. PhilS

    PhilS Mu-43 Veteran

    261
    Oct 24, 2012
    Brisbane, Australia
    Phil Savory
    I shoot with an EM5 and need some advice (not sure if this is the correct place to post but here goes). I have been asked as a favour to do a family shoot of 21 people (about 3 different families of children and adults). Why did I say YES.. thats the first thing going through your mind. Well I want the experience. I plan to do the shoot at a beach from about 4-7PM, (its still light here 7ish). I have fast glass and a flash (although may not work for large groups).

    I plan to shoot a combination of just kids, just grandparents, each family and a big combo photo etc. If i shoot towards the sea, the sun will be behind me so will work well.. I can also do silhouette shot shooting into the sun.

    Can anyone give me some pointers/tips/tricks. I know its a very general question but any advice is welcome.

    Thanks

    PhilS

    .
     
  2. Lisandra

    Lisandra Mu-43 Veteran

    234
    Nov 16, 2010
    Go now, today, right now, to where youre going to and take someone with you. Bring the fl600. You want to either get as close to perfect as you can or to get a flat file that you can work on. The first one requires a lot more now how camera/exposure/flash wise, and the second one requires more PP now how. The sun behind you seems like a great idea, but more often than not youll get people squinting their eyes and it turns out very unattractive. Thats why you should go today with someone, find an angle (or perfect time) where the sun is still relatively behind you but not directly in front of the person to avoid the squinting. Then fill the shadows with flash. If youre not comfortable going outside of ttl on your flash, set a + exposure comp, as high as +2.3 or more (remember to set it to FP). Remember were fighting the sun here. I would take the 12-35, at F4 you should be fine DOF wise to get everyone in focus and still a pleasant blur of the sea without blurring everything to heck. Plus a zoom takes a LOT of pressure off the situation. I wish you had a reflective umbrella or 2 (and another flash), they are great for getting light on everyone on group shots like this.

    A lot of times what I do is put the sun behind them, but at an angle where the sun itself is just outside the frame in a corner, but not so close that it creates haze or flare, even go so far as have someone outside the frame cast a shadow over me with something, then i use a ton of fill flash for them. Youll get a file with a mountain of seemingly impossible dynamic range, and everyone well lit. A more commonly known good trade secret is to wait for that time where the sun has juuuuuust gone completely down or almost, everything will still be daylight well lit, why no sun in anybodys eyes. The bad news is you have a 15-20 minute window to shoot if youre lucky.

    But the technique works, here one right after the sun went down completely, I used the FL600 on the EM5 with the 12-35 at f2.8, ISO 200, 1/200 of a sec. I also used a flash triggered as a slave to the babys left, to get that key light on his cheek, but thats unnecessary if you want.

    10472885773_793b5bcc00_o.

    Heres one with the sun just outside the frame, and a ton of fill flash

    9099443540_d7afd5a078_b.
     
    • Like Like x 6
  3. PhilS

    PhilS Mu-43 Veteran

    261
    Oct 24, 2012
    Brisbane, Australia
    Phil Savory
    Many many Thanks Lisandra.. funnily enough I did exactly what you suggested. (had to leave work early but thats okay I work for myself) and I drove up to the beach location and spent 2 hrs there photographing a friend with my FL600r.

    1. For a large group, do you suggest a shoot through umbrella (I was thinking on buying one anyway). I was just shooting one person and the flash was 1-2 metres away and I got excellent results but with a larger group with the flash places to one side it will not light the group evenly. Also if I had the shoot through umbrella, should I use a pole and shoot from high. I will have my teenage daughter on set to help ( she does not know it yet)

    2. You wrote "Plus a zoom takes a LOT of pressure off the situation." . Can you explain what you mean please?

    3. Do you use FP to get the higher shutter speed to combat the intensity of the sun?


    Your photos above are wonderful.. great work.

    Regards

    PhilS
     
  4. Lisandra

    Lisandra Mu-43 Veteran

    234
    Nov 16, 2010
    hey there phil, thank you for the kind words

    1. A shoot through wont be really effective in this situation. They are great for softening light for 2 or 3 people, but more than that its actually bad cause it eats about 1/2 stop of light. a reflective umbrella on the other hand acts as a size modifier. The light wont be stronger, but it will spread out more and cover a bigger area. Gold lined umbrellas seem like a good idea, but they mess with your white balance.

    2. prime lenses for a one or two person shoot is fine, but its a hassle in situation with lots of people and various shots. The problem is distance, with a zoom you barely have to change distance to subject when going from 3 people to 10 people, and the less you move, the less you have to adjust flash and exposure settings. The less you have to deal with, the more you can concentrate on the shoot itself and get creative.

    3. I use FP if indeed I have too much sun coming in, to be able to use flash with higher shutter speeds. BUT, and its a big but, if your light levels are low enough that your shutter speed falls within your xsync speed (1/250 or below on the em5) turn fp OFF (regular ttl). Why? FP flash is less powerful.

    Shoot RAW and have as much fun as you can!!!
     
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  5. PhilS

    PhilS Mu-43 Veteran

    261
    Oct 24, 2012
    Brisbane, Australia
    Phil Savory
    Thanks Lisandra.. you have been a fantastic help.. I will put your advice to good use. :)
     
  6. Lisandra

    Lisandra Mu-43 Veteran

    234
    Nov 16, 2010
    youre welcome!! hey I cant wait to see a few!!!
     
  7. PhilS

    PhilS Mu-43 Veteran

    261
    Oct 24, 2012
    Brisbane, Australia
    Phil Savory
    Lisandra

    Here are some of the shots.. I was incredibly lucky to have a stormy backdrop although it it threaten to rain :).. thanks for your advise.. was a great help

    <iframe src="https://www.flickr.com/photos/95752256@N03/12899099194/player/edbb747f03" height="667" width="1000" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen></iframe>

    <iframe src="https://www.flickr.com/photos/95752256@N03/12898633455/player/426aa1da13" height="1000" width="667" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen></iframe>

    <iframe src="https://www.flickr.com/photos/95752256@N03/12898708453/player/736acd096b" height="1000" width="635" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen></iframe>
     
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  8. Lisandra

    Lisandra Mu-43 Veteran

    234
    Nov 16, 2010
    hey!! sorry for the hiatus with no reply

    Those look fantastic!!!!!!!! it doesnt get better than the 2nd one, the way the light is slightly from the side, and the overall mood there, as pro as it gets. Im very very glad you got good results. Flash is addicting once you get the hang of it!