Again this year I did the pictures for St. Mark’s confirmation.
Such a nice group of young adults!
Group pictures can be a challenge especially at St. Mark’s where there is a lot of back light from the windows at the front of the church. The natural light has to be balanced with the flash on the people to turn out correctly. I used 2 Alien Bees B800 strobes with 64 in white shoot through umbrellas. The strobes were placed just behind and above me to the left and the right.
Everything was shot in manual. Knowing I wanted most everything in focus I set my EF 24-105 lens to f/11. I then did a few shots without strobe to get the background reasonably bright. It worked out that 1/50 sec at ISO 400 gave me a good background. I then set the strobes at about 1/8 power and did a few test shots. The goal here is to get a good exposure without blowing out any of the details – I specifically looked at the white gowns to make sure they were properly exposed.
So the recipe here is:
- Set the camera in manual
- Set the aperture for the depth of field you desire
- Set the shutter speed and ISO to get a reasonable background exposure with the flash off
- Turn on the flash and set the flash power to light your group being careful not to over expose the highlights
Canon 5d mkIII | Canon EF24-105 f/4 L | 1/50s at f/11 | 2 Alien Bees B800 strobes at 1/8 power