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I have posted an example wedding photo in my portfolio and would like advice on how to improve. This photowas taken at f2.8 at 1/640 sec at 28mm on my 24-70mm f2.8 L lens and it is not sharp. this lens seems to perform well at around 35mm at f5.6 for full length 2 people portraits but i dont seem to have mastered larger groups. Can any one advise on what i need to do to aquire a professional standard group portrait. I know i should have used a smaller aperture but what aperture? is there a better focal length to use to get everone in focus. What am i doing wrong. I have been told that it takes a special talent to focus this lens properly. kind regards james
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well I'd probably close down a few stops and lower the shutter speed to make sure the people are sharp from nose to tail
the people just seem to be stood there ramdomly, maybe best to try and organise them a little better - take a look at other wedding shots for tips.
longer focal lenths - 70 on that lens - would be more flattering than 28mm, they just are.
tripod.... if yo're at 1/200th, may not need it, but hell, it's always steadier than by hand and people will see the tripod and know you mean business.
Optimum focal length/aperture for group portraits?
How do i focus group photos properly?
They should tell you all you know. Oh, hang on....
why select f2.8 and 1/640s
you could have stopped down the lens to f8 and still had an OK shutter speed.
What iso did you select.
It worries me that you are taking peoples money for portraits and having to ask these questions to be brutely honest.
Quote: I have been told that it takes a special talent to focus this lens properly.
its all in the half press of the shutter button. It's a talent some people are born with. but i believe that with hard work and dedication, almost anyone could make it happen....
James I really feel your not up to weddings, not by a long shot as yet. Leave the dslr at home and take a point and shoot, your results will more than likely be better. Go as a guest and watch how the pro`s work.
In the mean time try taking in some of the advice offered.
Have a look at this getting started section, it will answer a lot of your questions.
Quote: It worries me that you are taking peoples money for portraits and having to ask these questions to be brutely honest.
Im not taking anyones money for thes portriats. I get paid for doing kids portraits and i am sure you shall agree that with the portraits in my portfolio i produce a good standard. i am not a wedding photographer as yet and have uploaded one of my not so good pics to get advice. im not trying to sell it. james
Quote: I get paid for doing kids portraits and i am sure you shall agree that with the portraits in my portfolio i produce a good standard.
Sadly, I'd have to disagree. I'm no portrait photographer, but the few I looked at, looked quite bland, quite soft, and lacking in contrast. But the important thing is, you're getting paid for them.
tell me james, when you took the picture at f2.8 why did you choose to use that aperture?
The 24/70 lens has a reputation in professional circles as to giving inconsistent focusing; I have long given up on this lens and I use a prime which exacts far more detail and gives much sharper and consistent focus. Although I use the 24L and 35L/1.4s, the 35/2 and 24/2.8 would still (IMO) give better results at a lesser price.
Your group demands an aperture of around f/5.6; f/2.8 in this case would give far too shallow a DOF. If you must use a zoom consider the 24/105 or the 17/40 both of which (IMO) are much better lenses in terms of consistent sharpness and more than adequate for recording detail..
As to composition I would strongly suggest looking at how others do group pictures; there are some good books out on the subject; the various organisations run seminars, as for arranging groups the finest tutor on this classic aspect of wedding photography I have come across is Martin Grahame-Dunn of the SWPP.
I dumped the 24-70 for the 24-105is and my honest opinion is that the 24-105 hammers it for quality and that extra 35 mm means you can pull back a bit for a more flattering shot.
I have never had a bad shot from the 24-105, its very bright and it has a good sharpness from corner to corner, my 24-70 was of little use until you got past f4 anyway, it was just to soft for my liking and if I need a shallow dof then the 50mm 1.8 is the tool for the job anyway
Quote: I dumped the 24-70 for the 24-105is and my honest opinion is that the 24-105 hammers it for quality and that extra 35 mm means you can pull back a bit for a more flattering shot
Well thats really going to help James, he`ll want a new lens now
I think i might change to primes. Perhaps a 35mm f2 i like this focal length and maybe get something wider as well if they are going to focus better. i may also pick up a second hand sigma 24-70mm. what does everyone think. james
Well what have you already got James ? don`t go splashing out just yet.
My equipment consists of
24-70mm f2.8 L
70-200mm f4 non is
i am considering 35mm f2 and 50mm f1.4
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