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Thread: Taking group portraits.

  1. #1

    Default Taking group portraits.

    hi im just new in photography & here in clubsnap.. im jus wondering how can i do a group portrait with nice bokeh. I mean how to focus in a group of people and at the same time the background is blurred...I ve been trying this for quite sometime but im not successful, what happens is that im just focusing on 1 person and the rest is blured. is there any right setting for this? can please someone enlighten me on this... Tks...

  2. #2

    Default Re: Taking group portraits.

    stop down your aperture a bit more. you are shooting too wide open that's why only one person is in focus.

    if you want bokeh for the backgrd, make sure the group is relatively near to you as compared to the backgrd, and use f5.6 or so.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Taking group portraits.

    Quote Originally Posted by flashbug View Post
    stop down your aperture a bit more. you are shooting too wide open that's why only one person is in focus.

    if you want bokeh for the backgrd, make sure the group is relatively near to you as compared to the backgrd, and use f5.6 or so.
    then after that? am i going to focus on the center? for example i am taking a protrait of a two people... like wedding, in which i need to focus on the couple and bokeh on the background?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Taking group portraits.

    Quote Originally Posted by flashbug View Post
    stop down your aperture a bit more. you are shooting too wide open that's why only one person is in focus.

    if you want bokeh for the backgrd, make sure the group is relatively near to you as compared to the backgrd, and use f5.6 or so.
    then after that? am i going to focus on the center? for example i am taking a protrait of a two people... like wedding, in which i need to focus on the couple and bokeh on the background?

  5. #5
    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking group portraits.

    Just read up about the very basics: Depth of Field. The adjust your camera accordingly. DoF defines the areas that are in focus as well those that are out of focus. Bokeh is just how nice the latter areas look like. It's mainly defined by lens construction.
    Keep in mind: there are no magic settings. They all depend on the actual scene, the intended result and your equipment.
    EOS

  6. #6

    Default Re: Taking group portraits.

    Quote Originally Posted by archjeff View Post
    then after that? am i going to focus on the center? for example i am taking a protrait of a two people... like wedding, in which i need to focus on the couple and bokeh on the background?
    don't be too obsessed with bokeh. if you are close to the couple and far from the backgrd, there will naturally be bokeh. i am afraid you will need trial and error to get the depth of field correct. regarding focusing... the centre point is the most sensitive. most pple will focus on the eyes, half press the shutter to lock the focus and readjust the composition.

  7. #7
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking group portraits.

    Quote Originally Posted by archjeff View Post
    hi im just new in photography & here in clubsnap.. im jus wondering how can i do a group portrait with nice bokeh. I mean how to focus in a group of people and at the same time the background is blurred...I ve been trying this for quite sometime but im not successful, what happens is that im just focusing on 1 person and the rest is blured. is there any right setting for this? can please someone enlighten me on this... Tks...
    You need to make sure everyone's faces is more or less in the same plane of focus.

    And you adjust your DoF till you see all their faces are in focus.

    And have a background far far away.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Taking group portraits.

    For big group, you are likely to be using WA which increases the DOF. Hence unlikely to get "good" bokeh.

  9. #9
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking group portraits.

    yes, you can have a group portrait with nice blur background effect,
    #1, you need to arrange the faces of the group have the same distance with the camera focal plane, so you able to get every faces in focus with minimum aperture.
    #2, you need to place your group far away from the background, so the background to be out of focus.
    #3, you need a longer focal length lens.

    so you need to use a 200 to 300mm lens shoot the group photo from far far away in order to get what you want.

    I shoot a full length single subject in standing pose with 200mm at 15 meter away (full frame, vertical shot), so you probably need to shoot the group from 20 meter way, beside the lens, you also need a loudhailer to communicate with the group.

    hope this help
    Last edited by catchlights; 24th October 2010 at 10:32 PM.
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  10. #10

    Default Re: Taking group portraits.

    in my opinion, bokeh is desirable but overrated. just take ur grp photo against a clean and non distracting backgrd, and the focus will be on the group.
    even with the suitable DOF for your picture, if you have a distracting or terrible backgrd, all the techniques aren't going to be of much help.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Taking group portraits.

    Just two curious questions. How hard will it be to achieve "artificial bokeh" as such?
    1. take a normal group photo
    2. use manual focus to get a blurred background.
    3. crop out the group and paste onto step 2.

    or is there other smarter methods?
    Canon 550D - EF-S 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS / EF 50mm f1.8 II
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  12. #12
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking group portraits.

    Quote Originally Posted by zenix84 View Post
    Just two curious questions. How hard will it be to achieve "artificial bokeh" as such?
    1. take a normal group photo
    2. use manual focus to get a blurred background.
    3. crop out the group and paste onto step 2.

    or is there other smarter methods?
    Not hard if you know your photoshop well.

    You can even create the group photo with a background of the milky way if you want.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Taking group portraits.

    Quote Originally Posted by zenix84 View Post
    Just two curious questions. How hard will it be to achieve "artificial bokeh" as such?
    1. take a normal group photo
    2. use manual focus to get a blurred background.
    3. crop out the group and paste onto step 2.

    or is there other smarter methods?
    just use photoshop, copy image and blur it then use a mask.
    Last edited by jopel; 25th October 2010 at 09:53 AM.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Taking group portraits.

    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil123 View Post
    Not hard if you know your photoshop well.

    You can even create the group photo with a background of the milky way if you want.
    I'll second that.
    With PS, you can even add a snowy background or whatever background. It may be nicer than a bokeh.
    Cheers.
    LEW

  15. #15

    Default Re: Taking group portraits.

    i think everything lies in depth of field.

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