Photo Corners

A   S C R A P B O O K   O F   S O L U T I O N S   F O R   T H E   P H O T O G R A P H E R

Enhancing the enjoyment of taking pictures with news that matters, features that entertain and images that delight. Published frequently.

Matinee: 'How to Take a Group Photo During the Pandemic' Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

2 October 2021

Saturday matinees long ago let us escape from the ordinary world to the island of the Swiss Family Robinson or the mutinous decks of the Bounty. Why not, we thought, escape the usual fare here with Saturday matinees of our favorite photography films?

So we're pleased to present the 416th in our series of Saturday matinees today: How to Take a Group Photo During the Pandemic.

We got a laugh out of this 28 second demonstration on taking a group photo while observing the physical distancing required to prevent transmission of Covid-19. It's not only Keystone Kops fast motion but, unlike the Kops, it's competent.

And why not?

It was produced by the SPIE & Optica student chapter at the Medical University of Vienna. Everyone in the video is a member, conducting research in optics and photonics in the Ph.D. program at the Medical University of Vienna.

Everyone. Including the photographer Pablo Eugui, who has been involved in spectroscopic imagine with spectral domain visible light optical coherence microscopy in Alzheimer's disease brain samples. Among other things.

So how did they do it?

About the 15 second mark you can see what Eugui was looking at. Not just the view down the long hallway with a single student posing but, on the floor, the spots marked for each student to stand.

Each student ran to their mark, smiled and Eugui snapped the shutter on the stationary camera. The trick is that camera. It can't move during the entire process. Not even a bump.

Oh, the other trick is to composite the individual images of each student into one final image. We took a screen shot to show you the final result:

The remarkable thing about the image, which is impossible to appreciate in its appearance in the brief video, is that the lighting did require the compositor to conjure up any cast shadows.

Because the lighting was the fluorescents from both overhead and behind, the shadow one person might otherwise have cast on another in typical side or front lighting is flooded out and the reflection on the floor is of the person behind it.

So what might have looked like an unlikely spot to pose the group turns out to be perfect. Smart kids these optical students.

BackBack to Photo Corners