Large group lighting question

Joined
Sep 28, 2007
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6,319
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NYC
Need some advice here please. I was offered a job with a local photographer that shoots all the Lil League portraits and team photos. The backdrop being used is your typical sports stadium. I will be shooting the group/team photos. I am using 2 AB 800's. I have a 64" Silver PLM with white front diffuser. I also have a Silver and a White 45" umbrella. The is a shoot/bounce. I plan to use cross lighting like I read about here.

Would I be better off using 2 exact PLM's or 2 of the same umbrella set up's? The lights will be triggered with with my CyberSynch's

Is there a better setup light arrangement I should consider?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 
Joined
Sep 28, 2007
Messages
6,319
Location
NYC
I suggest using two of the same if possible. In your case two PLM's would be great.
I was thinking the same thing. I'm probably going to order another PLM.
That's a GREAT photo!!! The lighting looks great.

I'm STILL not sure which way I'm going though. I am also thinking about using 1 AB800 with the PLM directly behind me. I watched a tutorial from Adorama, (I think), showing different ways to light a large group.

The one light directly behind the camera at 20-24 feet with a diffuser lit up the WHOLE entire area with people at f/9. I need to test it out and see if the one AB800 will be able to achieve that.
 
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Joined
May 16, 2009
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Downey, CA
Do you know what time of day you will be shooting? Hopefully your background won't be in full sun, though an AB should have a lot more juice to tame that over a speedlight.
 
Joined
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Messages
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NYC
Do you know what time of day you will be shooting? Hopefully your background won't be in full sun, though an AB should have a lot more juice to tame that over a speedlight.
We're starting between 4:00-4:30 PM. Not sure if this shoot with be indoors or outdoors. Didn't THINK of THAT!!!! THANX!!!

I was thinking ONLY of an indoor setup, which I know some of the shoots will be.
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2007
Messages
331
Location
Milwaukee, WI
The biggest challenges I've had in large group shots are:

1. Even lighting across the group

2. Shadows cast by one person onto another.

The link above addresses that by having 2 large light sources spaced camera left and right. Keep in mind that if the lightsource is too close to either side, you will get hotspots on either end.

One thing you can do to prevent shadowing is to have the group slightly convex toward you, placing the lights at a 30° angle from the backdrop.

The one light method you refer to prevents the issue by placing the light far away from the group, making the light path about equal for all in the group. Probably will work best up high.
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2007
Messages
331
Location
Milwaukee, WI
One other thing I'll add:

A normal to slight telephoto (non-wide angle) lens compresses the group front to back nicely. You'll notice that same effect in the link posted above. Though you'll have to stand back a ways.
 
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