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  1. Damo88

    Damo88

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    Damen
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    Im doing a couple shoot Friday.

    I know how to control my iso and shutter speed etc, but question is, what aperture do I use to get 2 people in focus??

    I understand the wider the aperture the more blur background etc, but say if I shoot as a close up could I go down to 1.8?? I do have a 18-55mm kit lens and a 35mm 1.8g lens.


    what would be the mx aperture to use so I don't loose quality??

    please be kind guys as I am still learning and all I have had is sarcasm from people before.

    thanks
     
  2. Durbs

    Durbs

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    There's no set answer really as it depends on how light/dark the scene is (and if you're using flash), how close you are to the couple, and how the couple are standing relative to each other as these will affect how much depth of field is required, and how much light you need to properly expose the scene...

    The only suggestion really is "probably not f/1.8 and less than f/8" but even this is just a guide.

    I'm not a great portrait photographer, but generally I would have a shutter speed of at least 1/125 for posed people (higher for moving toddlers!), and keep ISO between 100-800.
     
  3. J Veitch

    J Veitch

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    James
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    Lenses usually perform better in the middle of their aperture range (for critical sharpness). Is the shoot indoors, outdoors, how are you thinking of lighting the scene? A wide aperture (low f number) will allow for selective focus that can be used to focus attention, but is less forgiving (moving the camera, or subject back and forwards can result in missed focus). Can you try out settings in the location without anyone else to get an idea what you want?
     
  4. KIPAX

    KIPAX Waldorf

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    Yes
    f4
     
  5. Photodiva

    Photodiva Foot elevated on the stool

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    or f/5.6 depending on available light.
     
  6. KIPAX

    KIPAX Waldorf

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    No..it's f4
     
  7. ryanyboy

    ryanyboy

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    You can shoot couples at large apertures just the same as you can a single person. HOWEVER you just need to take care to make sure their eyes are on the same plain of focus to the lens. For example if one has their head 6 inches further from you than the other then chances are one of them will be out of focus. Stopping down to a smaller aperture will give you more latitude (greater depth of field) but it might not give you the background blur that you want.

    The important factor is the focal length of the lens and your distance to your subject. For example if you're using a 300mm lens from 6ft F4 will likely be too shallow. Alternatively if you're using a 20mm lens from 6ft you'll find F4 to be too much with little in the way of background blur.

    Personally on your 35 1.8 I'd shoot it at around F2.2 and expect the two people to be sharp (taking into account the care I mentioned above)

    Certainly waving apertures of F4 or whatever around without full consideration of the factors I've mentioned above is no use to no-one.
     
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  8. KIPAX

    KIPAX Waldorf

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    your just trying to make an easy question and answer harder...

    It's f4 ..
     
  9. DemiLion

    DemiLion

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    Definitely f/4

    (Or maybe f/4.5 if you shoot fractionals)
     
  10. ryanyboy

    ryanyboy

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    There we go then kids. The gods have spoken and it's F4.

    To the OP (a self professed learner) I hope you can find a forum where the members will take the time to develop your understanding of the craft. As I said earlier, throwing around arbitrary F-stops like gospel won't help in any way at all. Sad times.
     
  11. fabs

    fabs They see me walkin', they hatin' Staff Member

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    Well, if the OP uses the 35mm then f4 should be about right as that should give plenty of DoF and will hopefully blur out the background but there are other factors. The distance from the subjects to the background for instance. If the OP wants to use the 18-55mm then, assuming he isn't using the 18mm end, f4 will unlikely be an option.

    Either way, stating an f number as fact is probably less than helpful.
     
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  12. gazmorton2000

    gazmorton2000

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    One of the reasons I don't get involved much on the forum (or any forum) any more, although I am sure KIPAX cannot be being 100% serious here.

    People photography, particularly couples, is about two things....people and light. Find the light, find the right people interaction and the aperture is largely irrelevant, as long as it achieves what you want it to. If I had your choice of lenses, I would stick the 35mm on and use it anywhere between wide open (depending how good it is at that) and say, F2.8. Making another assumption that you are a cropped sensor. That's all. Nothing more technical, nothing about lenses optimum sharpness (Let's shoot everything at F8.0, always).
     
  13. KIPAX

    KIPAX Waldorf

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    You can turn this into an argument all day long if you like... deep breath everyone :)

    the answer will still be

    f4
     
  14. KIPAX

    KIPAX Waldorf

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    If the op had said one person then yeagh.. but two people at f2.8 or the f2.2 thats also been banded about.. no.. not a great idea.... the op wants the background knocked out but wants both people in focus.. at the risk of one not being in the same plane as the other.. one thinner fatter.... f4 is the perfect choice for two people at the level the op is at

    1.8, 2.2 and maybe 2.8 i would say yes for one person and aim for the yes.. but two people given the info we have.. f4

    ef four :)
     
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  15. ryanyboy

    ryanyboy

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    Damen,

    Here's an example - shot with 35mm lens at F2. Both subjects pin sharp....

    [​IMG]SSSP1wms copy by Ryan Jarvis, on Flickr
     
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  16. Chaz Photos

    Chaz Photos Jack Elam

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    There is no one answer, will the couple be one in front of the other, side by side, moving or static. so many questions it is imposable to say.
    There is also the location and lighting you will have, as in daylight with or without fill flash, indoors a studio where you will have more control if using more than one light. The list goes on and on.
    With your lens, I would forget the 35mm and use the 55mm end of your kit lens and then stop down at lease a stop or two, as a starting place.
    No couples but take a look at some of my portrait work all the EXIF is on them.
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/chaz_madge/albums/72157665363476502
     
  17. DemiLion

    DemiLion

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    Cough....

    I don't know about you, but my comment was ironic and taking the mickey.

    After all, who would be stupid enough to state an aperture without knowing the shooting conditions?
     
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  18. ryanyboy

    ryanyboy

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    Which was really clever based on the fact that the OP had already said "I am still learning and all I have had is sarcasm from people before".

    Perhaps rather than trying to be clever you could have added something useful or just kept quiet....?
     
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  19. DG Phototraining

    DG Phototraining Woof

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    Lovely shot Ryan - and nicely answering the question too

    Simply put - if they are in the same plane of focus, so equi distant from you - than any aperture will do, even wide open as Ryan did here. If one is in front of the other than f2 is still ok if you want only one of them in sharp focus and the other not so, that's your artistic decision

    Just don't use f4 :D

    Unless f4 is ideal of course lol

    Dave
     
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  20. Damo88

    Damo88

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    Ryan thanks so much for the picture youve taken a really good example here.

    I will be outdoor and of course i know how to factor for lighting conditions ie if its a really bright and sunny day id use iso 100/200 and shutter speeds at 125th onwards so my image wouldnt be over exposed now i know the aperture will also factor the lighting being wider open = more light, and i woundlt shoot into direct sunlight, however i do have an external flash also if this can come into play??

    Thanks for your above commen ryan as like you said and i said, im still learning and trying my best and this is before i even attempt a shoot which is with my sister and her partner so the sarcasric comment which i stated i didnt want os no use to anyone, every one is a learner at some point and we still learn no matter how good we are.

    To everyone else im greatfull for your input and as said if you can give more advise on how maybe my external flash may come into play i have a yungnuo 565 for my nikon.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2017
  21. ryanyboy

    ryanyboy

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    Couple of points there - you say you wouldn't shoot into direct sunlight. But don't shoot with the sun behind you if you've got the couple looking at the camera. They'll just squint and the shadows will look horrible. I'd suggest you DO shoot into the sun. Ideally do the shoot towards the end of the day when you can get the sun behind the couple. With it being lower in the sky it will provide a nice rim light and they won't be squinting. You also mention keeping the shutter speed to a minimum of 1/125th. This is a good starting point but doesn't allow for any spontaneous moments. If you aim to keep your shutter speed at 1/250th you're more likely to capture any laughter and natural reactions to anything funny. In reasonable light at a wide-ish aperture you shouldn't have to worry too much about the shutter speed.

    Regarding flash - I'd suggest leaving it off. Sure you can use fill flash but I think images shot in daylight look better without that artificial ping of light. Sure you can get creative with off camera flash (using soft boxes etc) but that's a technique for another day I think. For now try to think about finding good light that you can work with, ideally with the sun not too high in the sky.

    This one was shot in horrible light but I was able to keep the sun behind the couple and the light on their faces is ok. Shot at 50mm at F2.

    [​IMG]KJ-434 by Ryan Jarvis, on Flickr

    This was shot in much better light due to it being later in the evening. But again I was keeping the sun behind them. In this case you can see the lower sun coming through the leaves and producing a lovely colour. It has also produced a rim light which you can running down the groom's back. Interestingly this one was shot in the hotel carpark with a housing estate just behind them. Shot with a 70-200 lens at 112mm and F2.8.

    [​IMG]KJ-597 by Ryan Jarvis, on Flickr
     
  22. minnnt

    minnnt

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    So f8 to f11 then?

    Awesome stuff.

    The 35 would be my choice, f1.8 to maybe a shameful f2.8 and just experiment to see what works best. I assume they know you're a learner and are willing to be patient whilst you find your flow?

    Good luck and have fun.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2017
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  23. DemiLion

    DemiLion

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    Ah. You've been promoted to moderator have you?
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2017
  24. ryanyboy

    ryanyboy

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    You really do come out with some rubbish. I can only assume you're 12 years old. In answer to your question, no I haven't become a moderator. But in a civilised society we should be able to moderate ourselves.
     
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  25. Phil V

    Phil V

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    Like a lot of learners you're confusing 'lighting conditions' with 'amount of light'.

    Photography is about light, and that doesn't mean it's about exposure values.

    Take a proper look at the images Ryan posted, 3 different 'looks' based on the position and temperature of the light.

    Now go have a look in the people section, and see how important 'light' is in the best of them.

    But more important is capturing the interaction between the couple, if you can get the emotion, F stops and light and lenses and cameras are nigh on irrelevant.
     
  26. KIPAX

    KIPAX Waldorf

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    Theres no denying that f2 will work for two people shots.. My fav lens is the 135 f2.. its just fantastic.. but you have to know how to use it.. I wouldnt advise a newbie..to use f1.8 or f2 to shoot two people this friday in a set shoot he has to do... To be safe for his level I would say... f4
     
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  27. soeren

    soeren

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    I wouldn't mind doing it with the 35 @f/1,8-2,8 shooting against the sun as explained and shown. I would think of things to use as reflective surfaces, off course with wind in mind. Newspapers, those front windscreen protectors used on cars in the winter, white on one side silver on the other etc.
     
  28. KIPAX

    KIPAX Waldorf

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    thats very brave for a beginner ?
     
  29. soeren

    soeren

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    To use something to reflect light back to the subject? Of course if it's windy things get difficult but else....
    Then it's all about what look you're after and if it's a couple chances are you won't shoot close up. If you do then that may cause problems. And I recon it's an apsc camera.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
  30. Bladerunner

    Bladerunner

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    ROBERT
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    As said above if both are facing you square on and eyes are the same distance from you then you can go pretty wide BUT I'd suggest placing them the same distance from you and shooting f4 minimum to f6.4 ....f8 if one is stood directly behind the other. If your after nice blurry back ground then consider the distance from them to the background vs your distance to them. If you can have a background 30 feet or more behind them and your doing head shots then you can get nice blur but the wider your lens focal length the harder this is
     
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  31. gazmorton2000

    gazmorton2000

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    Well, there's some good advice here from the likes of @ryanyboy and @DG Phototraining as well as @Phil V as usual, with some great examples from Ryan. (really nice, BTW Ryan). These are people who are shooting couples day in, day out. Not looking at lens charts, 100% crops and zones of ultimate sharpness. As Phil also says, even if you got one of them in focus and the other was out, does it really matter if you have caught a moment? No. I

    Couple of examples from me, all at 80mm F2.0 so a 35mm equivalent of around 50mm F1.2

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  32. Damo88

    Damo88

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    beautiful images and thanks for your input.
     
  33. ryanyboy

    ryanyboy

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    Thanks very much Gareth. Some great examples there too.

    Damen, be sure to post some of your pictures from your shoot.
     
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  34. Damo88

    Damo88

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    I will do ryan, thanks mate, in regards to my external flash, I understand the ttl plus and minus, plus means more flash exposure etc, if tomorrow is a dull cloudy day would I need my flash, or would the flash only be useful if I'm shooting into sunlight, or if harsh shadows are on my 'couples' face's?
     
  35. ryanyboy

    ryanyboy

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    I'd honestly advise you to forget about the flash. On camera flash is never a great look imho when doing couple portraits. You'll have full control over where you put the couple so try to find the best light and make sure things like harsh shadows aren't on them :)
     
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  36. Damo88

    Damo88

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    Ok mate thats sound, the flash i have is one thats detachable and i can move it around for light to bounce, ill leave it at home and concentrate on one thing at a time :)
     
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  37. tom1946

    tom1946

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    Focus on the people that you are taking on their eyes they will be in focus.
    F1.8 to f4 the background will be out of focus
    F5.6 to f16 etc will be sharp

    But then you can defocus background in Photoshop using gassiun blur.

    When I first joined a camera club back in 68 teacher was a wedding photographer and got me interested
    In portraits and I will generally use f2.8 or 4.
    In a kit lens you are restricted for fstops but your other lens you will get people sharp but background will be out of focus
    As it has at stop of 1.8

    Hope this helps!
     
  38. Damo88

    Damo88

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    Thanks so much for your input, thats very helpfull, yes thats true ive used the gassiun blur for background work in Photoshop before so i should have thought of that :)
     
  39. tom1946

    tom1946

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    No problem just dont forget camera is just a tool it what you see through your eyes that make a photograph.


    IMG_0160 copy.jpg
     
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  40. Phil V

    Phil V

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    Well don't do it again.

    It looks utterly s****, and if the advice above isn't a joke it should definitely be read as such.

    :)

    *typically a background won't be one fixed distance from the subject, depending how far it is, it'll be more out of focus, just doing the whole background with the same settings won't look convincing. So to create a background with Gaussian blur properly would take a lot of work. If you're experienced in Photoshop you might be able to do that convincingly in an hour, but 'getting it right in camera' would have taken 1/250 of a second or less. Only a complete idiot would choose doing it in PS.
     

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