Getting The Best Pictures Without Being The Photographer

SilenX

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As this weekend rapidly approaches I am faced with a difficult time trying to figure out what I'm going to do for pictures when it comes to my graduation.

This weekend I'll be graduating from college with my B.S. in Electrical Engineering (woo!) and my parents will be visiting campus along with extended family to celebrate and take part in the day.

The frustrating part is me deciding how to delegate what lenses to use for my parents to take pictures of the event with. Obviously the primes will be used with my EM-5 for the IBIS and the zooms will be used by my G5 for the OIS within the lens.

Should I leave the camera bodies on "P" or iAuto? Which have you experienced the best results with when handing your bodies off to inexperienced photographers?

For obvious reasons I'll be using the Oly 75 and EM-5 for the post ceremony pictures with family. However, during the ceremony they will most likely be a ways away. Should I fit the 25 to the EM-5 for environmental shots and the 45-200 to the G5 for attempted zoom shots?

With this being such a big day I certainly want the most pictures possible to remember it by! I figured it would be better to ask than attempt to guess with my own answers. I've got until this coming Saturday for the ceremony so there should be plenty of time to get feedback and opinions before I have to make a decision.


Lets hear what you guys think! :thumbup:
 

Replytoken

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Congratulations on your upcoming graduation! I suspect that generic crowd shots will be readily available from folks (if you want/need them), so I would suggest a couple of things. First, you may want a shot of you walking and receiving your diploma if that is part of the ceremony (and it usually depends on the size of the class and school tradition). You will probably want a shot of the hat tossing if that is done (and hopefully with you in the picture). And, you will probably want shots before/after the ceremony with family and friends and fellow graduates. The latter can be posed, but are a nice remembrance. so, I would try to set up your gear so that these types of shots can be easily obtained. You might want your longest lens on the E-M5 to stabilize it since light may not readily be available to allow for adequate DOF and/or shutter speeds. The 25 on the G5 would be nice for group shots, and could also be used for crowd shots. Just some suggestions for your consideration. Raw if always great as it allows you to recover a less than ideal exposure, but that would rule out iAuto.

Have fun,

--Ken
 

Cruzan80

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I have found that iAuto on my G3 does a markedly better job setting up exposure settings than P. Maybe a scene mode if yoy want raw?

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SilenX

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RAW will be absolutely required for me. I only shoot RAW files.

I had forgotten that iAuto modes only shoot JPEG files - good catch.

Looks like I'll toss both bodies into P.

Ken - You think that the longer 45-200 lens with OIS off would be better suited on the EM-5 during the ceremony with the 25 on the G5 for group shots?
 

Gerald

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Iauto is great when there is enough light. However it gives priority - at least on my G2 - to good exposure over a good shutter speed. So there is a chance you'll end up with lots of blurry photos when it is inside. I would put it on S mode and dial in 1/60th shutter speed priority. If it's too dark, fix it in post. If it is outside, iauto.

Congratulations!
 

Replytoken

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Ken - You think that the longer 45-200 lens with OIS off would be better suited on the EM-5 during the ceremony with the 25 on the G5 for group shots?
I do. The 45-200 is a slow lens, so you are not easily going to get good shutter speeds (unless there is a lot of light), and if shot at 200mm, little bits of camera movement will easily show up. Witht he E-M5, you can crank up the ISO to 1600 or 3200, and let the IBIS help if the shutter speeds are not as high as desired. The 25 is wider and faster, and can be open wide if necessary (although you get into shallow DOF), and it is not in as much need of IS, and is less prone to show movement than a longer focal length. And bring a flash for the posed group shots just in case.

--Ken
 

speedandstyle

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There are two basic aspects to getting good photos - exposure and composition. Exposure is a science, a technical thing. Composition on the other hand is an art. It sounds like you just want the basics for your parents.

Set the bodies to Program mode if you want RAW files. Let the camera do all the settings. Without seeing the lighting I can't suggest which metering mode to use. I would recommend limiting the ISO but not sure how high since I don't have those camera models.

As for composition start with the rule of thirds. If your camera has an overlay grid for the rule of thirds turn it on. Have them position the subject on one of the third lines when composing the image. I would suggest you have them shoot a little wider and then you can crop in later for better composition and straightening.
 

Fmrvette

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SilenX;634821...The frustrating part is me deciding how to delegate what lenses to use for my parents to take pictures of the event with...[/QUOTE said:
Father: "What are you going to do after graduation?"
Son: "Cartwheels."

:biggrin:

You wanna know what I think? You probably don't :biggrin:.

Matt, how proficient are your folks with photo gear? My kids can pretty much count on the Old Man to come through with the gear and the shot; if they handed my Olympus to the Princess of the Exchequer she wouldn't have a clue - even if it was in "P" for Perfect mode. Zoom lenses would add further complications. Even small "real" cameras can be intimidating to those unfamiliar with the kit which will add pressure to your parents' day because, of course, they wouldn't want to disappoint you with poor photos.

If I was the graduate, unless my folks were pros or advanced amateurs, I would pretty much forgo the kit, use point 'n shoots or cell phones (!), order a package of the graduation photos from the University (at a slight markup, available in the Gift Shop as you're leaving), and let my folks enjoy the day without encumbering them with the task of Event Photographers.

I'm just speaking as a parent (or, as the case is, grandparent :eek:); when our oldest graduated Texas A&M I sat back, enjoyed the show and made not a single exposure. I don't remember even having a camera at the graduation. All of the photos came from other relatives carrying point 'n shoots and the photos the University supplied (for a nominal markup, available at the Gift Shop).

Give the folks the day off to enjoy watching their offspring during one of the more momentous occasions of their life; if you must have photos then pick up a couple of point 'n shoots and let 'em shoot whatever the heck they want.

That's what I think.

I warned you that you didn't want to hear it :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin:.

Best regards with some SERIOUS congratulations on getting your degree!!!

Jim
 

hazwing

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btw on the EM5 you can shoot RAW on iAuto mode. Not sure what it's like on the G5.

It's always hard to getting a non-photo-savy person to take photos in difficult conditions. I usually dial in the settings before hand or switch to iauto mode, but even then things can go wrong.

For example
-face detect focuses on the wrong face, or focuses on a random non existant face
-in low light picks too wide of an aperture and you don't get enough DOF
-on the EM5 the max iso in iauto mode is 1600, so somes it will pick too slow of a shutter speed instead of increasing to ISO 3200/6400. On P, A, S and M you can set your max ISO to higher than 1600.
-accidentally activating the manual focus 'pull back' switch on the oly 17mm 1.8 (you won't have this problem with the lens you have mentioned you have)

I think the most tricky situation is using a slow telephoto zoom in an indoor environment. Keeper rate is going to be pretty low particularly if your zoomed in at 200mm. How far away will they be from the stage, would it be possible for them to use the 75 instead? Maybe for the indoor shots, have them use the G5 with the 45-200, EM5 with 75mm, and a point and shoot if you really need the environmental shot. There's probably not much benefit in a environmental shot if you are really far away from where they are standing.

I agree with the other poster, it might be worthwhile using S mode for the indoor shots to mimise motion blur with the 45-200. Probably be okay to use the em5+75mm on iauto or P mode, since it'll give a few more stops of light with the wider aperture. You'll have to use P mode if you want your max ISO to be above 1600.

For outdoor posed shots, shouldn't be as much of a problem, I think your plan of G5 + 25mm and EM5 +75mm should be fine. Though personally I would consider something a little wider for large group shots, you might need to back up slightly to get 25mm to fit everyone in. A kit zoom might be an idea... its just easier for most people to use. Also I think 75mm would be a harder focal length for beginners to use. I'd consider the 45mm instead.

Avoid being back lit, when setting up the photos.
 

Clint

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+++ Post #8

While the graduation is a major event and important to you, sometimes it is just best to be "in the moment." So hire a professional, buy from the school, and there well probably be many on social media. Enjoy it, the memories will be with you for a lifetime, the photos will be lucky to make it 20 years.
 

arch stanton

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I can only speak for myself and my own parents - but they'd freak out and stress out if I asked them to take photos of something important with my own camera gear. Particularly given they know how much I love photography - they just wouldn't be able to enjoy the event.

Do you have any non-graduating photo-capable friends you could ask to do it for you? Assuming they'd be allowed to the event.
 

zlatko-photo

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If I was the graduate, unless my folks were pros or advanced amateurs, I would pretty much forgo the kit, use point 'n shoots or cell phones (!), order a package of the graduation photos from the University (at a slight markup, available in the Gift Shop as you're leaving), and let my folks enjoy the day without encumbering them with the task of Event Photographers.

...

Jim
I agree with Jim. The plans for two cameras + primes + zooms sounds way too complicated and like way to much work for inexperienced photographers. That's what you do when you're The Event Photographer. For parents and extended family, keep it simple & easy: one camera, one lens, one setting. Point & shoot and cell phone is fine. Forget about "The Best Pictures".

"For obvious reasons I'll be using the Oly 75 and EM-5 for the post ceremony pictures with family." — Hmmm, not so obvious to me. You plan on being so far away?
 
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I agree with others concerning using a simpler camera, the G5 is a lot of camera to hand an inexperienced user. I have never handed my G5 to an inexperienced photographer in P mode that they don't somehow accidentally change some settings or press something that causes a menu to pop up and throw them into a panic. If I hand my camera to anyone I now always put it into iA. If I am not going to be with them I also tell them that if the little blue light goes out just press the iA button to turn it on again.

The G5 can record RAW in iA mode just fine.
 

Bull Winkle

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I have asked friends who have the photog bug to join events where I was a participant and couldn't shoot.
 

gryphon1911

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I'd just give them a versatile zoom range camera, put it on auto and let them get snapshots. As others have said, be in the moment of the event, don't stress yourself or your family out trying to get images.

Enjoy the day.

If you really want portraits done, do them after the event or rent a cap/gown at a later date and do a setup then.

Sent from my GT-N5110 using Tapatalk
 
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