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Community photography

Photographing groups of people #photography

I photographed the opening of Hill Top Youth Club yesterday evening. I don’t normally use photos from these events for my blog but this one gives me an opportunity to write about photographing groups. This particular type of photography has all kinds of problems. I did take a couple of test shots before I started. The room had off-white walls and so reflected plenty of light. There was some natural light but still needed the flash. For this type of shot, I usually shoot wide open using my 18 – 105mm lens and try to zoom in for a fast shutter speed of 1/100 of a second or better. There wasn’t too much room to manoeuvre so I did my best!

groups of people

Focus Points

This is local councillors with the youth workers. When you’re arranging a shot like this you obviously need the taller ones at the back and try for quite a tight shot. You have to watch the edges of the shot to make sure everyone is in the shot and try to get as many focus points on as possible. I probably had nine focus points out of eleven and took the shot. Check the shot to make sure it is a good shot. On the preview screen, it is impossible to check for minor problems. I took two shots and this one is good but a few people blinked on the other shot so try to get more than one shot. You can shoot in bursts in natural light but that doesn’t work quite so well with the flash.


Groups of people

Groups of people of different sizes offer different challenges. Rather than looking to see if you have everyone in horizontally, you have to concentrate on the vertical. This shot worked out quite well. This is the manager of the Coop store next door to the youth club who has promised to try to get them a community grant.



Outside, I had good natural light and so a fast shutter speed to capture a few spontaneous moments. Children can be very spontaneous and they’re more relaxed when having fun.


I think this shot works quite well with the pool table in the foreground. I would have liked to have been a little farther back and zoomed in more. Then the picture might have been a little sharper. The sweet spot on a 105mm lens is about 60mm.

People sometimes comment on my copyright notice on the right bottom corner of each photo. The copyright runs for 70 years after I have shuffled off this mortal coil and so some indication of who took the photo and when is important. I have no idea who will inherit the rights to my photos but to have that notice on them might be helpful. For the time being it serves to remind people that they are copyrighted so are my photos that don’t have that notice. I don’t usually charge for using them but if a national newspaper wants to use them, then there is a charge. The same applies to magazines. The notice is added automatically when I resize photos for the internet with Fotosizer.

That’s it for this week. If you would like to follow my blog just enter your email address at the top of the sidebar or follow me on Twitter for updates. There are also links on my Facebook page.

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