It’s summer, and that means your kids are going to be doing all sorts of fun outdoor activities. And if you’re a parent with a camera, you probably know that capturing great photographs can be tricky.
The problem with using the auto setting on your camera is that it generally doesn’t detect fast movement, so when the shutter snaps, you get a picture full of blur. If it’s an indoor sport, it’s a hundred times trickier.
The obvious answer for capturing great child sports photos is to get a decent camera. You don’t have to go out and spend $4000 on a camera, but if you can afford an entry level DSLR like a Canon Rebel, you’ll have control over the shutter speed.
Put it onto the setting that lets you control the shutter speed (most DSLRs will still set everything automatically for you if it’s not on full manual mode), and set it to minimum of 1/250th of a second. If your camera can, I’d recommend setting it to at least 1/400th of a second. You’d be amazed how fast your kiddies can move.
If you’re shooting sports shots indoors, you may find that shooting at a speed that can freeze the action will also leave you with dark, detail-lacking photos. Your best bet is to invest in a powerful flash that will help you capture more light.
Of course, not everybody can run out and spend $800-$5000 on a new camera. There are a couple options for you.
First, most handheld cameras nowadays have a setting for sports. Make sure you use it. It will set the shutter speed to the fastest possible speed while still getting enough light. For outdoors shots, these actually do fairly well.
When it comes to indoor shots, handheld camera flashes are usually worthless because you’re too far away from the subject to have the flash matter. Instead, try to snap the shutter during less active moments, for example right after your kid has let go of the basketball or right after she’s swung the bat. There are brief moments when the body slows way down and if you can learn to capture the photos at the right time, you can trick the viewer into thinking they’re watching something at full speed.
Another option, if the sporting even is important enough to you or your child, is to go to a camera store and rent a nice camera for the day. You can usually get a really decent rental for about $50, and you’ll have memories saved forever that are far better than you otherwise would have.
And then, when you’re all done capturing the perfect photos, and you’ve uploaded them to Facebook for all of your friends and family to see, be sure to create an incredible digital scrapbook via Wendy’s Fresh Pic’d Summer Scrapbook creator.
Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing
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