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Another Group shot - Sadly NOT PIN SHARP

Thing is, EVERY ONE KEEPS TELLING ME how great my set up is.. Canon 5d mk2, L 24-70 F2.8. Flash Gun 580 EX11, using Gary Fong defuser.
YET I can not take Great Group Shots, They are no where as near sharp compared to my standard portrait shots, which happen to be excellent quality!!!


I always shoot in RAW, I have added the details of the shot below.

Flash Gun 2+ stops. (approx 4 meters away from subjects)
Exposure Time: 1/125 sec
ISO : 1600
Focal Length : 43mm

Any thing else you need to know, please ask me.. Thanks for the help everyone...


Tags: Wedding photography Portraits and people

Voters: ShotfromaCanon,

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Can you get your ISO down to 100? Panatomic film with an ISO of 80 was always a very sharp film while TRI-x was a much faster film but grainier. The higher the ISO, the more 'noise' and a little reduced sharpness. Can you sharpen the image in photoshop or lightroom? A higher f stop (maybe 16 or 22) will also add a little sharpness with more depth of field. You'll probably need more light with maybe a slave flash.
Overall, the picture has good composure and isn't really bad at all. You sure have the camera and lens to get as good a shot as possible.

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I_SPY 8 173 United Kingdom
21 Feb 2011 11:44PM
Panatomic...? TRI-x....?
Currently I Use PS CS5, and I have not yet started to "sharpen" the images, been watching tutorials online to see the best way to sharpen images. I will try a higher F stop, but the more higher I go, the more darker the image gets... hence then I up the ISO... loosing battle here,..

Thank you for taking time to leave comments.
I_SPY 8 173 United Kingdom
21 Feb 2011 11:51PM
"....You'll probably need more light with maybe a slave flash...."
are you saying, if I add more flash lights. the images will become more shaper, since I will be reducing the ISO I guess...?
I dont know what the problem is....
I'm sorry. The tri-x and panatomic referred to old black and white film from which I learned the importance of ISO speed to the sharpness of a photo. You are correct, the lower the iso the more light you will need. However, the wider the aperture, the less depth of field and possibly the less sharpness overall you may get. The farther away the subject is the more depth of field usually helps. Do you always shoot in auto mode? Can you shoot fully in manual mode? Then you can experiment with setting your own ISO speed, shutter speed, and aperture. For example, try ISO 100, aperture at 11, and speed at 1/30. See if overall sharpness doesn't improve. You can experiment with changing the settings around a little until your results are satisfactory.
Finally, joining a camera might help a great deal in getting the basics down and I think you'll be greatly satisfied.
Good luck!
I_SPY 8 173 United Kingdom
26 Feb 2011 11:43PM
Yes I shoot fully auto, I Used to shoot Auto first, but not anymore.. ISO 100, aperture 11, speed 1/30 sounds risky for handheld, shooting a group of wedding family on a stage.. Not sure, but will try it...
I_SPY 8 173 United Kingdom
27 Feb 2011 11:02AM
Sorry - I actually shoot FULLY MANUAL!! Not Auto..
Try using a mono-pod (if not a tripod) and you should be fine.
discreetphoton 13 3.5k 20 United Kingdom
3 Mar 2011 8:57AM
I'd say that for this size, it's relatively sharp, and could easily be sharpened a little more without problems. The more pressing issue for me is that everyone - except the guy behind the bride - looks completely miserable. It's made more obvious by the space between all of the people in the shots.
Entertaining is one of the keys skills of the wedding photographer; you need to make sure that there's no "dead air" between shots. Keep people talking, not waiting, and the shots will start to look better.
If you show most people this photo, I'd wager you'd hear more comments like "it's a shame they're not smiling" than "what a shame it's not bitingly sharp". The mood is almost always more important than the technicalities when shooting weddings.
I_SPY 8 173 United Kingdom
3 Mar 2011 6:20PM
Discreetphoton Thanks for the tip!
KarenFB Plus
12 5.0k 171 England
6 Mar 2011 3:52PM
Actually my first thoughts were:-

a) What a shame there's a bulb gone on the right hand side (it unbalances the shot) and
b) What a shame that guy wore jeans to a wedding! (I would have asked him to stand behind the bride and groom, perhaps had the gent in suit and pale shirt in front to balance the other guy in suit and shirt.

Now you've pointed it out, they do look a miserable lot and apart from the bride and groom they are very casually dressed for a wedding! Is this near the end, has everyone else gone home? Perhaps they were tired!
I_SPY 8 173 United Kingdom
6 Mar 2011 6:01PM
Karen, lol... it was near the end. Thanks for the comments.. but I need help "how to take Sharper images" lol.. not on who/whats in the image. But thanks anyways.
FrankRobinson 8 84 2 United Kingdom
16 Jun 2011 2:52PM

Quote:Recording media: RAW (digital)

Quote:Currently I Use PS CS5, and I have not yet started to "sharpen" the images, been watching tutorials online to see the best way to sharpen images.

I think that this might be your problem, right there. Shooting in RAW will not give you as sharp an image straight out of camera as shooting in JPEG. Fact. Why? RAW is designed for the professional who wants to control how the image is sharpened, while the software in your camera will sharpen JEPGs automatically.

If you are shooting in RAW, you have to do some post processing, inclusing sharpening in order to make the image look good - but if you do it right, it will look far better than if you had taken a JPEG in the first place. If you are not sharpening RAW images in your post processing, you will fail.

Hope that helps.
I_SPY 8 173 United Kingdom
17 Jun 2011 12:31PM
Yes I now understand this, is there are particular way to sharpen "correctly" or is it a matter of trail and error...

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