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Thread: Shooting Kids

  1. #1

    Default Shooting Kids

    What is the best technique to take pictures of active kids, indoor?

    My daughter is very active and never sits still for more than 1 sec. The picture i got is often blur. I've tried various setting on my 50D, high shutter speed, sports mode and even flash.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Shooting Kids

    Quote Originally Posted by jylam View Post
    What is the best technique to take pictures of active kids, indoor?

    My daughter is very active and never sits still for more than 1 sec. The picture i got is often blur. I've tried various setting on my 50D, high shutter speed, sports mode and even flash.
    To take active kids indoors, you need:

    1) Cam set to High ISO ~ ISO 400 to 800
    2) Large Aperture ~ F2.8 and below
    3) Focus set to AI Servo
    4) Use Burst mode to take the pics


  3. #3

    Default Re: Shooting Kids

    What about shutter speed? Should we set shutter speed to 1/200??

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Shooting Kids

    Quote Originally Posted by liverpool11 View Post
    What about shutter speed? Should we set shutter speed to 1/200??
    although its indoor, it still depends on the lighting inside... Try shooting in Aperture mode, and allow the shutter speed to be chosen automatically. After taking a few shots check if its the exposure u want.

    just my 2cents :]

  5. #5

    Default Re: Shooting Kids

    thanks for the advice. Will try it tmw.

    Does lens make a difference? I'm using kit lens 18-55. If I were to buy new lens what wld u recmmd?

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    Default Re: Shooting Kids

    Quote Originally Posted by jylam View Post
    thanks for the advice. Will try it tmw.

    Does lens make a difference? I'm using kit lens 18-55. If I were to buy new lens what wld u recmmd?
    A fast prime lens?

  7. #7

    Default Re: Shooting Kids

    Based on my experience, fast focusing and high shutter speed help to improve capturing of children in action. To get to fast focusing and high shutter speed, you need one or more of the followings

    -- ultrasonic based auto-focus lens (USM or AF-S or SWD or HSM type of lenses)
    -- fast auto-focus processing of DSLR bodies
    -- high shutter speed (typically more than 1/100 seconds shutter speed) to "freeze" a child action or motion
    -- big aperture lens (F2.8 or more, like F1.4 or F1.8)
    -- DSLR with high ISO capability to keep digital noise in check while photographing children in low light

    Essentially, ultrasonic based auto-focus lens and fast auto-focus processing are geared towards getting a "in-focus" shot captured upon releasing the shutter button on the camera body. Big aperture lens and high ISO capability usually help to maintain the high shutter speed mentioned earlier.

    Lastly, leave adequate empty space on each side of the photograph when photographing the child to cater for the rapid change in child's movement & unexpected actions and increase success rate in capturing the a child in action.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Shooting Kids

    Quote Originally Posted by jylam View Post
    thanks for the advice. Will try it tmw.

    Does lens make a difference? I'm using kit lens 18-55. If I were to buy new lens what wld u recmmd?
    Lens does make a difference. E.g. if you use a 50f1.4 lens, then you will probably be able to get more shots than using your kit lens which has a smaller aperture and thus you will need to boost ISO setting on your cam to get the same shutter speed. The drawback of a prime lens like the 50f1.4 is that you need to zoom using your feet meaning if your child runs towards your direction, you might have to move back quickly in the opp direction otherwise you might not be able to take the pic.

    If using Kit lens, then I would suggest using ISO 800 to test out first. The kit lens does not have a large aperture, aperture ranges from f3.5 to f5.6 if I am not mistaken.

    If you want a new lens to replace the kit lens, then probably the Tamron 17-50f2.8 lens would be a good choice.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Shooting Kids

    When you say you're using flash, I assume it's the built in flash. Often the pics turns out quite poor. If you're going to invest in something, I would suggest getting an external flash. With some diffusion or bouce, you'll get excellent indoor photos. I wouldn't worry too much about the kit lens at the moment.
    |SonyA700|T180mmf3.5|M70-210mmf4|S30mmf1.4|T17-50mmf2.8|T90mmf2.8|M5600hsdX2|

  10. #10

    Default Re: Shooting Kids

    Quote Originally Posted by sherchoo View Post
    When you say you're using flash, I assume it's the built in flash. Often the pics turns out quite poor. If you're going to invest in something, I would suggest getting an external flash. With some diffusion or bouce, you'll get excellent indoor photos. I wouldn't worry too much about the kit lens at the moment.
    I used an external flash but have not acquire the skill in using it yet. Photos appear over exposed most of the times. I think I shd try it with 'diffusion or bounce' like u mentioned.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Shooting Kids

    Quote Originally Posted by jylam View Post
    I used an external flash but have not acquire the skill in using it yet. Photos appear over exposed most of the times. I think I shd try it with 'diffusion or bounce' like u mentioned.
    try doing metering of the background, and let the flash take care of the exposure of the kid.
    u can try locking the exposure to the background using spot metering. I guess this way it should resolve the problem.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Shooting Kids

    Quote Originally Posted by ArcticFox View Post
    A fast prime lens?
    How do we know among the canon lens, which is fast and which is slow? What's the diff btwn prime and macro lens? and EF vs EF-S? I heard a bit abt L lens, are they good?

    Sorry i'm absolutely zero in this game

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    Default Re: Shooting Kids

    L lens = Luxury lens = $$

    Suggest you try these out to minimize her movement:
    1) Get a bumbo seat if she can fit in
    2) Turn on her fav DVD
    3) Give her a new toy to explore
    4) Bring her to a playground with kids bouncing seats.
    5) Standby a tripod, use a remote to trigger shuttle while you or your wife catch her attention behind the camera.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Shooting Kids

    Quote Originally Posted by jylam View Post
    How do we know among the canon lens, which is fast and which is slow? What's the diff btwn prime and macro lens? and EF vs EF-S? I heard a bit abt L lens, are they good?
    Read up here: http://photonotes.org/articles/beginner-faq/lenses.html
    Don't get confused by the term 'fast' - it can have two meanings.
    1) Focusing speed: Time to achieve focus. Lenses having ultrasonic motors (Canon: USM; Sigma: HSM) are faster here. The difference is within fractions of a second.
    2) Aperture: Maximum opening (aperture) which defines the amount of light passing through. More light passing through enables using faster shutter speed (if all other parameters are constant), hence the term 'fast lens'.
    All your questions are answered in the respective Canon documentation. Follow the link and you'll find more.

  15. #15
    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shooting Kids

    Quote Originally Posted by flashbug View Post
    try doing metering of the background, and let the flash take care of the exposure of the kid.
    u can try locking the exposure to the background using spot metering. I guess this way it should resolve the problem.
    Be careful how the flash system works. I know that Nikon has a mode where all these fill flash settings are done automatically. Canon fill flash works differently in P, Av/Tv and M mode. Also, not all cameras have spot metering. Bounce flash to ceiling with additional bounce card is a good start.
    Metering the (darker) background will result in long exposure times (in Av and Tv), good chance to get blur pictures of the child. P will set the exposure time to 1/60 fix, could be fast enough. For more finetuning use M, set the shutter to 1/100, aperture f/4 or f/5.6 and adjust the flash output (Flash Exposure Compensation). Take a few test shots and see how it goes. Try to maintain a constant distance to the child.
    Canon Flash: http://www.photonotes.org/articles/eos-flash/

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