crap, family gathering shoot

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by M&M, Feb 22, 2004.

  1. M&M

    M&M Guest

    I've been asked to shoot pictures for a family gathering (90th b-day of
    grandma). Of course I said that I don't know what I'm doing and would be
    best served by a pro.....however its either me or Uncle JimBob using his
    Vivitar P&S 35mm camera with a wimpy on-camera flash and plastic lens ;)

    Good thing is it is 45 days away so I can potentially prepare a little bit.
    I know this is a common topic but hoping for some personalized input...

    Probably indoors...outdoors if it is warm enough for grandma and not too
    harsh of lighting (or if I can find shade). Number of people will
    vary...possibly up to 20 for the big group shot.

    I have a Minolta X-700, prime lenses from 24mm to 200mm, and a shoe-mount
    Sunpak TTL-dedicated flash (guide number 120). I'm thinking Kodak 400NC for
    indoors and will bring 160NC if outdoors is an option. I also have a nice
    YashicaMat 6x6 TLR....but I'll probably leave it at home as I don't think
    16x20s will be made ;) Maybe I'll consider this though as I can use 400
    speed and get grainless 8x10s.

    I have a single tripod, and a Gossen Digiflash (reflected, incident, and
    flash meter). I plan on ordering a Minolta dedicated flash cable, and
    probably a bracket, to get the flash off-camera.

    I'd consider spending some money on some little things that can help. The
    Lumiquest Softbox grabbed my eye. Or I can get a cheap 45" white umbrella
    and a light stand. But this would probably only help for the 1-4 person
    shots. I already own a set of circular reflectors that I've never used
    (someone needs to hold them!).

    With my flash meter, I could potentially buy something like a Vivitar 283
    (with variable power) and attempt a dual-flash setup....

    I think the hardest shot would be an indoor group as the flash lighting
    would be potentially uneven if it is the main source of light.

    Any ideas?

    M&M, Feb 22, 2004
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  2. M&M

    Bob Hickey Guest

    If your flash has a GN of 120. You can easily use the YashicaMat. You'll be
    able to go inside or out and use any shutter speed you want. Exp for 1 or 2
    people will prolly be f5.6 w/ Portra or NPS 160 @100. Outside, you can use
    the sun as a back lite, set the aperture for your flash, and the shutter
    speed for your background. Inside you can use the same aperture and a slow
    shutter speed to get a little background. Make sure the MX lever is on X,
    and wire it down. Leave a little room around the sides of the frame. Labs
    routinely crop 120 and people move. You don't have to frame 120 as perfectly
    as 35 and still get a better print. If in doubt, overexpose. Keep the sun at
    their back, or guaranteed, somebody will blink or wince. Some kind of
    warming filter on the flash helps too. Warm up the people and keep the
    background cool. Bob Hickey
    Bob Hickey, Feb 23, 2004
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