Large Group Shot (>600pax)


kiddyduck

New Member
Feb 24, 2010
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#1
Hi experts,

I am tasked to take group shots of 600 people. The position to take the group photo is on a cargo loading bay platform + a 3m - 5m ladder. The group will be standing lower than the loading bay and orientated in a rectangular shape.

Our equipment is limited to wide angle lens of 12mm.

Any tips or things to note for such a HUGE group shot?

Do we need higher elevation?
Higher aperture? f/8 or more?

or I miss out anything?

Thanks !!
 

dingaroo

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Dec 6, 2009
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#2
From my limited experience, it seems you have to stand further back, way back, unless you can squeeze 600 people to as compact a size as possible. Understand field of view.
 

coolthought

Senior Member
Jun 23, 2008
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#3
will the image be printed? If yes, how large?

Make sure take a number shots loh, so that at least one photo will have the least amount of people with their eyes closed.... any other thing to watch out for.... beats me....
 

Jul 4, 2009
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#4
hi i am no expert.. haven't got any experience in taking such a huge group also.. but whatever i am gg to say is based on logic :)

definitely you need to stop down your f so that the dof is deep enough;

if i were you, in addition to the shot that has everyone in one frame, i will take multiple shots and stitch it together, just like in a panorama.. in that way, you can ensure IQ if you were to print it huge..

just remember to overlap sufficiently for all the shots :)

just my two cents
 

allenleonhart

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Sep 17, 2008
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#5
and tripod... if eye close, can get multipleshots with tripod and photoshop on. if cannot, borrow eye from next door neighbour during photoshop...
 

ortega

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Staff member
Nov 2, 2004
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#6
my only advice that i can think off, is to go early and do tests

set up your camera on a tripod and set end of frame markers on the ground (masking tape perhaps)
get a loud hailer to be able to direct the 600 pax
get experienced assistants
take more shots
pray for good light
 

digitalpimp

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Oct 25, 2008
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#8
Just treat it like taking a landscape photo. Aperture-Mode set to f11-16. Good, even lighting (under slightly overcast skies? Up to you.) Prop yourself a floor up in a building and have the 600 (ground floor) look up towards you to get all their faces. Use a tripod because hand-holding will ruin minute details (eyes, nose, mouth...). Take A LOT of shots using different apertures just to be extra sure you go home with something usable. And yeah, don't do pano. Stitching faces is not a good idea.:bsmilie:
 

kiddyduck

New Member
Feb 24, 2010
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#9
will the image be printed? If yes, how large?

Make sure take a number shots loh, so that at least one photo will have the least amount of people with their eyes closed.... any other thing to watch out for.... beats me....
It will be initially a digital photo for web. However, it will remain as stock photo for other uses.

and tripod... if eye close, can get multipleshots with tripod and photoshop on. if cannot, borrow eye from next door neighbour during photoshop...
Oh I was thinking to ask them to close their eyes, when camera is ready everyone open their eyes at my command!

my only advice that i can think off, is to go early and do tests

set up your camera on a tripod and set end of frame markers on the ground (masking tape perhaps)
get a loud hailer to be able to direct the 600 pax
get experienced assistants
take more shots
pray for good light
Just treat it like taking a landscape photo. Aperture-Mode set to f11-16. Good, even lighting (under slightly overcast skies? Up to you.) Prop yourself a floor up in a building and have the 600 (ground floor) look up towards you to get all their faces. Use a tripod because hand-holding will ruin minute details (eyes, nose, mouth...). Take A LOT of shots using different apertures just to be extra sure you go home with something usable. And yeah, don't do pano. Stitching faces is not a good idea.:bsmilie:

Tripod is a big problem. If i were to stand on the ladder, then tripod cannot be used.
there is no upper level to go... however the height of the loading bay platform + height of ladder should be close to 1 level?


Thanks a lot guys!
 

allenleonhart

Deregistered
Sep 17, 2008
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#10
Allen,

This is very interesting ...



I know the idea is correct, but when you are cuckoo like me right now, it sounds very funny.
hey hows ur recovery? what happened to you anyways:sweat:
 

Legoz

New Member
Mar 7, 2008
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#11
Just anyhow take. U can't see much when u blow it up anyway. Doesn't matter if its sharp or not..
 

Reportage

Senior Member
Nov 24, 2008
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#13
my tip...take the shot in the brightest condition possible. That way can use f/8~f/11 and fastest shutter speed possible to maximise dof and minimize movement blur.

take a burst of of pics rather then just one or two.

i concur on the loud hailer. Raw + jpeg recommended. raw for you to process later and jpeg for them to see through and pick on the spot if they do so wish.
 

Last edited:

sweat100

Senior Member
Jul 7, 2002
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sweat100.multiply.com
#16
I suppose you should explore other formats such as medium or large format that can give you enough resolution. 35mm is not up for the mark for such shots, seriously.
 

renzokuken

New Member
Sep 13, 2009
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#17
i'm replying base on my logic as well (have no relevant experience with your scenario at all)

hmmm i think you should take in RAW, since you'll be using an UWA, there's bought to be unsightly barrel or pincushion distortion

you might also consider using a GND or a CPL (or do HDR), if a large portion of the photo will include a very bright sky

:)

anyway, do share with us your experience after you've taken your shots!!!

what are the difficulties that you faced
and how you overcome them

let us all learn from it!!!
 

kiddyduck

New Member
Feb 24, 2010
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#18
I will be using two bodies ... 550d and d80... I got no other choice..
If can't fit 600 then no choice .. Split them 300 300... But 300 is still very challenging!

Light is my concern ... High depth + fast shutter may mean my iso setting will need to increase...

Will let you know in 2 days time... Need to recce first n see how
 

geraldkhoo

Senior Member
Jun 15, 2007
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The Tiny Red Dot
sgstrobist.blogspot.com
#19
Hi experts,

I am tasked to take group shots of 600 people. The position to take the group photo is on a cargo loading bay platform + a 3m - 5m ladder. The group will be standing lower than the loading bay and orientated in a rectangular shape.

Our equipment is limited to wide angle lens of 12mm.

Any tips or things to note for such a HUGE group shot?

Do we need higher elevation?
Higher aperture? f/8 or more?

or I miss out anything?

Thanks !!
First... let me say that I have not taken a group picture with 600 people in it... but this is the largest group I've taken...



As you can see, this is done at a cargo loading bay, and there were about 80 people there. Imagine about 8 times what is here in this pic!

A cargo loading bay does not have proper lighting, unless if it is open air. So if lighting is an issue, you will need lights, and very powerful ones, and also in multiple areas to have even lighting.

I was standing on a chair (about 0.5m). I'm not sure if an elevation of 3-5m is sufficient to capture 600 pictures in one shot. You will also find that the front people will be larger, and the back ones may look like ants.

Also, I'm not sure if a DSLR would have enough resolution to take a shot enough to recognize all the faces... and also to arrange them so as to see all the faces... how about a medium format?

What you are asked to do is a huge task and challenge... hope you figure out a way to do it. I'd like to see the pic when you have taken it :)
 

#20
This is an interesting job. Do it with gusto. :)

Your problem reminded me instantly of the Obama inauguration photograph that was circulating around about a year back.

The photo is here:
http://www.davidbergman.net/blog/ho...to-during-president-obamas-inaugural-address/

The photo was taken using Gigapan systems, involving hardware and software components. The website is here:
http://www.gigapansystems.com/

I hope the links are useful. Good luck with the project.
 

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