March 21, 2012

How to shoot a day out with the kids – the settings to use.

Blurry -- should have turned myself into a human tripod first.

You hear the giggling and you know what to do.

The kids are at the local dinosaur museum and they’ve the mummies exhibit. You have found your moment, so you reach for your camera – or cell phone camera – and...

And what? You could flip on the power switch, jam your finger down on the shutter button and hope for the best But there’s a better than average chance that your shot will be blurry, look all green or be entirely out of focus. If you’re heading out for the day, get ready beforehand – take a minute to dial in these settings for better photos.

With a Point-and-Shoot
Point-and-shoot cameras give you great creative control.


Outside? Use “Sunny.” Outside on a cloudy day? Try “Cloudy?” Inside? Take a few shots to figure out what kind of light you’re dealing with.  If you’re shooting in RAW, it’s easy to change this with your image editing program.

Shutter Speed
Set your shutter speed at 1/60 to capture slowish moving moments – 1/125th for something a little faster.

Sets automatically if you’re in Tv or S.

Outside during the day? Try 100-200. Inside or at night? 400-800.

Switch to “Landscape mode.”

Outdoor light works great – but remember that a sunny afternoon is going to make harsh light. Try to avoid flash unless your indoor pictures are still coming out super dark.

Don’t Forget!
Try to anticipate the shot and lock in your autofocus before an event happens. This makes taking the photo easier.

With a Cell Phone

We all do it – just turn on the cell phone and take the photo. Resist the temptation. Download a good program for your mobile and use the settings you see above. Oooooor you could just turn on the cell phone and take the photo. Just remember these settings:

Be somewhere bright if you can. Flash only when you must.

Anticipate! Focus on the spot where the action is happening and wait for the action to unfold.

Try using a program with a “big button,” one that allows you to tap the entire screen to take the photo.

Don’t Forget
You can “create” moments. Wait until your subject is in the right place and yell their name. They’l turn around fast, you shoot and you probably have a great picture.
Also Try
Got a “burst mode” on your software? Try that out – it takes a bunch of photos in a row, so you can be sure that one of your images doesn’t include blinking eyes, turned heads or unfortunate frowns.

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