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Friday, September 26, 2014

Tribute To Summer Fun: Taking Group Photos

Summarizing today's post: Summer fun with family, taking group photos, making mistakes, & happiness thru photography.

shot at 18mm, ISO 159, f/7.1, 1/250th of a sec, strobe at camera left @ 1/2.5th power
We are officially into the Fall season now. Cooler temps greet us as we walk out the door in the morning and the leaves will start turning those deep orange, yellow, & red colors very soon. So pretty. It truly is my favorite time of the year. 

Fall is the season that cameras were made for. Photographers--that have perhaps lay dormant all year--spring into action. There are just so many beautiful scenes (in the most common places) just ready to be captured! I smile just thinking about it.

Summer is also a wonderful time of the year and has provided many fun times for me and my family. Today, as we bid farewell to Summer, I wanted to share a couple of photos of our beach trip to Nags Head, NC this past July. This trip was, by far, my happiest time this season. 

And when something makes you happy, what should you do? Right. Capture the moment so you can remember it always! Happiness is elevated and extended by that beautiful little box known as the camera. Priceless it is to be able to pull up a photograph of an event 10 years afterwards and draw happiness from it. I know nothing else like it.

You have perhaps seen some photos already of our family's beach trip (see my post here). I took plenty! I wanted to share few more as we close out this season. 

Group shots can be a chore, but they pay off. I took the above shot of the family just before we left the Outer Banks and headed back home. My mood that day, as I remember, was not the best because our trip was coming to a close. However, after getting everyone together one last time perked me right up. 

Shown above are my parents, two brothers, aunt & uncle, and my wife & son. I'm at the far right side so I could have easy access to the camera (I used time delay so I could jump in too). It turned out to be a pretty nice shot I thought (even with Gavin sticking his tongue out!).

The lighting was a challenge due to the fact that it was so bright outside and I was facing full-on sun. We were on the porch which shaded us, so that helped a bunch. However the background was so bright that our faces were extremely dark without the help of flash. 

Thinking back on some of my own advice (see my post here) about shooting in full sun, I set up one strobe to camera left and set it almost to 50% of it's capacity. That's a lot, but I was trying to light a large area. [The high power setting was also necessary due to my low ISO sensitivity, where I was trying to tame the bright background.]

Thinking back, I should have brought out 2 for each side of our group. Lesson learned (poor dad... I had to "burn" him just to make some light reach over to my side). Sometimes we have to improvise as photographers, and--since I was short on equipment--I had to do the same. I wound up having to use my on-camera flash to assist in the distribution of added light. 

It was a mistake to skimp on my lighting set up, I should have packed my other strobe. But that's okay, we learn from our mistakes, that's the important thing. 

18mm, ISO 159, f/7.1, 1/250th, strobe 1/2.5
My set up was actually better for lighting a small area. Here's a better shot of just Ron (my brother) and Pinky (my sweet wife). They have always been best buds and I wanted to get a shot of them. This one turned out pretty good I thought.

I could show you more photos but I'm flat out of time for today.

I'll leave you with this thought:

Happiness is a state of mind. One thing that brings me extreme happiness is being with my family. What brings you happiness may be something different, and that's OK. 

The point is that you can amplify your happiness (and extend it) by capturing on "film" whatever it is that makes you smile. This way you can enjoy the moment forever.

Photography is awesome like that.

Thanks for reading, have a great Friday!


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