1. William1986nikon

    William1986nikon

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    Edit My Images:
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    New to photography and using a nikond3400
    What focus mode and metering mode should be used when photographing groups shots ?
     
  2. juggler

    juggler

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    4,362
    Name:
    Simon
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    No
    1. Focusing,.. are the subjects moving or still? If still I use single point C-AF with back button focusing - which essentially works like S-AF when you let go of the button. If moving then it depends how much - at the extreme end of things I use the 3d tracking mode.

    2. Metering.. Is the lighting constant, varying or flash? If constant then I use spot metering in manual mode, aiming to have pale skin read about +1. If varying then I tend to use aperture priority & highlight protection metering in conjunction with some exposure compensation. If you don't have highlight protection then you may want matrix (evaluative) metering, but you'll need to allow for some compensation to cope with e.g. bright skies.

    If flash then it's simple, I get my handheld meter out ;)

    Apologies, that's a rather terse explanation with a LOT of jargon in it for a newbie. Don't be intimidated... just go and have a quick google then come back and ask more detailed questions!
     
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  3. Phil V

    Phil V

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    Name:
    Phil
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    What he said, except i always use eval/matrix metering. Whatever is what works for you.

    Just remember, you cant focus on more than one thing. The focus plane is a flat plane, your DoF and judgement carries you through the rest.

    For example, for a team photo, id focus about a 3rd into the group an have the DoF do the heavy lifting to keep things acceptably sharp.

    But for a wedding party, id focus on the bride, she’s the customer and has to be pin sharp and perfectly exposed.
     
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  4. William1986nikon

    William1986nikon

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    Thank you all for your advice, I understand the jargon feel like I’ve watched a thousand videos on photography just couldn’t get a straight-ish answer just not a portrait shooter but in a corner with it as a favour thank you again
     
    mrtoad and juggler like this.
  5. DG Phototraining

    DG Phototraining Woof

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    4,413
    Name:
    Dave
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    Hi @William1986nikon - welcome to TP and to Nikon too (the best brand lol)

    My groups (Weddings) are always all done in the same way - its simple, and I like simple :)

    Focusing - single point AF using the centre (best) focus point on the Bride on focus-release. If its a bigger group so people are standing behind her then I'm usually on my 35mm and f5.6 is plenty of depth of field; is its a few people in a line then I'm more likely to shoot that at f4 or even f2.8 on my 85mm, and as they are all in the same plane of focus they are all sharp enough while allowing me to lose the background a fair bit

    I tried the back-focus button and hated it. I never use continuous focus and haven't even tried tracking etc. Effectively, I still shoot in the same way I did 20 years ago before all this wonderful tech was invented, its not that I'm a Luddite, but rather its always worked for me this way and still does as I don't shoot tricky subjects

    If the Bride is moving towards me then I still use the focus-release feature rather than continuous focus as it works perfectly well anyway as Brides don't move very fast!

    Metering - eval/matrix as @Phil V said. It solves the issue of taking a metering off a Bride's skin and then thinking about how white/tanned/black she is as to how that's affecting the metering - I NEVER spot meter anything. My 'safety' feature is that I do always have the camera in review to show me the image on the back of the camera and I have Highlight Alert (Blinkies) enabled, where I aim for a hint of Blinkies on the Bride's dress around her chest/boobs. This is as perfectly reliable as I've ever managed as the camera's own jpeg (what you're looking at) shows slight blown whites when the raw file actually still has all the detail I need. Note: if the dress isn't white or very close to white I get the blinkies then dial it back a bit until they stop

    Flash metering - Blinkies - I did once own a flash-meter but never used it


    What you'll realise already in the aboth is that there's several ways of doing the same thing and the 'right' way to do it is whatever works and that you end up liking best :) Many ways to skin the old moggy :D

    Much of photography's techie side is like that - makes it all the more confusing - I mean fun lol

    Dave
     
    omens, jockwav, cargo and 2 others like this.

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