Saturday, June 26, 2010

Cool Photographer Tip - Dave’s 'Smile Circle Group'

© 2010 David Smith www.imagebyinterface.com

Cool Photographer Tip - Dave’s 'Smile Circle Group'
Amazon girls in Sinop, Turkey
As a Vancouver BC based wedding photographer, I created a fun and creative photo technique to capture the bridal party. It became my signature wedding image for all my weddings. I would lie on the dance floor with my camera pointed up, flash on and make sure all of the bridal party were positioned above me looking down and smiling while touching heads. Here are a few examples from our Vancouver, BC Wedding Photography Web Site:












Well I modified this technique to be used in our travel photography adventures so both the photographer and the subjects can be in the shot. This works with BOTH Point and Shoot and SLR cameras and works indoors or outdoors. You can capture up to 10 people with this technique (depends on the camera lens). Here’s how it’s done.
  1. Set the camera timer to about a 10 second duration. Look for the clock/timer symbol.
    Force the flash on to lighten up the faces with strong backlighting from the sky or overhead lights. Look for the lightning bolt symbol or pull up the popup flash (or use an external dedicated strobe flash set at ETL/ATL).
  2. Set the cameras focus method to multiple point or face detection. If left on the default center spot focus setting the camera will not focus on the faces but on the sky or background
  3. Set the lens to the maximum wide angle possible to fit all people in the shot
  4. Remove the lens hood, if any, as the wide angle lens setting will cause a shadow in the lower half of the image created by the light of the flash hitting the lens hood
  5. Turn off image stabilization (don't forget to turn it on afterwards!) to avoid blurring the image whe the camera is stable on the ground
  6. Place the camera on the floor/ground pointing up.
  7. Ask your subjects to gather round the camera facing down so their heads form a ring of faces over the camera. Ask them to touch heads. This always invokes laughter and merriment.
  8. Press the shutter button, and if you want to be in the photo yourself, join the ring and encourage the group to smile, laugh, making funny faces, etc.
Notes: By placing the camera on the floor/ground you have an opportunity to get more people in the shot as it us further away from the subjects versus holding the camera while you lie down. 10 seconds later you will have created a memorable photograph. Take several shots to select a best one
Send us your best shots by email using this technique. The best ones will be featured in our next Images newsletter (See our June 2010 issue) and awarded a copy of our tutorial photography CD.
Want more? David will be leading digital camera workshops and photography classes in the Vancouver BC area this Summer and Fall or order his Digital and Travel Photography Tutorial CD online. Local and long distance Skype tutoring is also available.
© 2010 David Smith www.imagebyinterface.com. All rights reserved. Licenses for image use and content publication are available. Please share this post and links. Contact

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