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Thread: Photographing people with scenic backdrop

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    Photographing people with scenic backdrop

    Please pass on some tips or pointer to any online content that has good information on photographing people with scenic backdrop(eg: Two people with Taj Mahal as background or two people with Golden gate bridge as background).

    Thanks in advance!!

    SR

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Photographing people with scenic backdrop

    I think we maybe need a bit more information in terms of what the intended result has to be. Is this, for example, to be portraits with something in the background, or are they to be landscape/architectural images that include people in order to add interest?

    How important is it that the people are recognisable, or are they just an added element of the overall composition and it doesn't matter whether they are recognisable?

    Some sense of what your vision is for the final images would, I suggest, help people give you suggestions and advice.

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Photographing people with scenic backdrop

    Quote Originally Posted by ninefivepm View Post
    Please pass on some tips or pointer to any online content that has good information on photographing people with scenic backdrop(eg: Two people with Taj Mahal as background or two people with Golden gate bridge as background).

    Thanks in advance!!

    SR

    To a large extent this is "mission impossible" because you have two distinctly different subjects that are vastly different in size that you are trying to combine in one image.

    If you are shooting the structure, whether it be the Taj Mahal or Golden Gate Bridge, the people in the image will be tiny perhaps even unrecognizable.

    If you are shooting the people, to get a good image of them you will be cutting out most of the structure, and if you are shooting a portait with an appropriate lens, the background will be out of focus too.

    In either case you will be making some fairly significant trades-offs when you compose, with so-so results at best. You might be able to find a place to shoot where the object is so far in the distance that it is more or less the same relative size as the people, but sightlines like that are few and far between. You could also look at trying to do this with more than one image. This is pretty well how movies are made. The establishing shot sets the scene and there are various lead in shots that firmly establish that the following images are linked to the establishing shot.

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    Re: Photographing people with scenic backdrop

    Thank you Manfred. As you said, it looks like a difficuilt task and could not find much info either on internet. Will post if I find anything.

    Basically my intention is to phograph a person with a scenic back ground, giving 70% importance to the person and 30% importance to the background. Something like "That was a great picture of MINE and the bridge in background looks fantastic too"

  5. #5
    digitalboyhr's Avatar
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    Re: Photographing people with scenic backdrop

    If you play with perspective, it can be achieved. A huge building + a person, you can make that person bigger than building. just improve .

    as an example:

    Photographing people with scenic backdrop

    hope this helps.

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    dje's Avatar
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    Re: Photographing people with scenic backdrop

    This sounds like a typical shot you would take on holiday as a personal travel record (I've taken a few of them in my time !). Some of the issues to consider would be

    Depth of Field : If you are using a compact camera with a small sensor, this is not much of an issue as you will get a large DOF anyway. If you are using a DSLR or other larger sensor camera, you need to use an aperture of f11 or smaller if you want sufficient DOF to cover the person and the background. The other option is to use a larger aperture and have a slightly blurred background. This really depends on the scene and your judgement.

    Focus point : In most cases this would be the person.

    Light : Need good lighting on the person's face, the background is secondary - but avoid blown sky by checking exposure.

    Composition : this is probably the most important aspect and it really depends a lot on the setting. You may need the person off centre to get a decent view of the background. This is where your creativity comes in. Something like the image in the post above works for me but a typical shot of a person holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa doesn't !

    Dave

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    Re: Photographing people with scenic backdrop

    More information about your equipment would be helpful.

    However, here are a few basic thoughts.

    Basically, you have two options here.

    The simplest is use a narrow aperture, such as F14-16 approx (subject to camera/lens). Focus on the people and hope that the background remains sufficiently sharp. Or take two shots, one focused on the people and one on the background then combine them.

    That is a bit more tricky as you need a tripod and no movement of the people or anything in the background until both shots have been taken. Then you need suitable software to align both shots as layers and combine them.

    Alternatively, I suppose, you could take two shots then combine them by extracting the people, by creating a selection around them and copy. Then paste onto the background shot as a layer. This is probably how a professional would do it, providing the first option didn't work.

    But it requires a bit of skill and, of course, suitable software.

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    Re: Photographing people with scenic backdrop

    Quite a few variables I'm afraid, with light being one of the big ones. In terms of light, if you can shoot at a time of day when the sun is behind you (so it's falling on your subjects and the scene from the same direction) then the exposure of your subjects will be a lot better. Another approach is to use a flash or reflector to ensure that the subjects are exposed correctly.

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    Re: Photographing people with scenic backdrop

    Thanks all for the ideas.

    Came across the below link that has some good information on shotting specific locations.
    http://ca.myphotoscout.com/2009/02/1...cisco-pier-39/
    Planning to combine that with some techiniques to picture people to explore some good results. Planning to do the following

    -Keep the aperture value high enough to keep most of the stuff in focus and sharp when background is far and a bit isolated.

    -Keep aperture value low enough and shutter speed slow enough to focus the subject and keep the background slightly out of focus and to capture the stationary person and keep the busy sourroudning people in motion blurr(in a market, street or such busy location)

    -Keep the background in focus(or slightly out of focus) and attach the person to a significant thing in the foreground( like a person hanging on to a famous cable car with the city's lighthouse in the background)

  10. #10

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    Re: Photographing people with scenic backdrop

    How's this snap of the happy couple look?

    Photographing people with scenic backdrop

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