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Child Photography – Cool Trick

Just about everyone with children asks the question, “What’s the best way to take pictures of my kids?”

That question is really code for “What’s the easiest way I can get predictable good pictures of my kids?”

One of the problems of photographing children particularly very young children is that they are pretty mobile and can be really challenging to capture.

Unless you have a game plan

By following a few simple guidelines you’ll find that taking pictures of your kids can be a lot of fun plus you can end up with photographs that are pretty cool.

Given the fact that children are busy little creatures if you plan your photo session to take this into account and use their short attention span to your advantage you’ll be able to take photos that capture their personality.

Top secret child photography trick – “Controlled Candid”

Just because you set your camera for high speed does not mean you’ll get that perfect photo of your little one. How many times have you seen parents chasing their kid around the park and playground trying to get a neat photo they could use as a gift for family and friends?

Controlled candid is a far better technique. Essentially you set up a situation, position yourself, set your camera appropriately, and then let the situation unfold. Expressions are more spontaneous and it if you are ready it is easier to capture them. Children’s expressions are fleeting at best, so if you control the situation you are not running around looking for the expression you are just waiting for it to appear.

Camera settings

If you are looking for an artsy style photo try setting your camera on “portrait” mode and positioning your child far enough in front of the background so the background goes “soft.” For example: at the park don’t put your daughter right in front of the shrubbery because it will end up looking very flat and none artsy. However, putting her 15 to 20 feet in front of the shrubbery yields a very different look. Because of the distance the background now goes “soft” and ends up being a wash of color. Now your photo will take on a more dimensional and artsy look.

Examples

If you would like to see examples of the above techniques with actual photos from an hour at the park with a one-and-a-half year old, follow the links below.

Digital Photography Tricks – Capture the Motion of Moving Water!

The sun is shining, there’s a blue sky and a gentle breeze as you stroll leisurely through your favourite countryside location. You perceive a faint trickle of moving water in the distance, and as you move closer, you notice a winding stream. The water is dancing across the stones lying in the shallow stream. You have your camera poised, realising this is a classic opportunity to take something really wonderful. But just how do you make moving water look amazing in a photograph? This article explains some digital photography tricks to employ to make the most of this, and similar situations.

To start with, to be truly creative you will need to move away from using your automatic camera settings. Whilst the camera will do it’s best to capture what it thinks you want, it is possible that it will choose a fast shutter speed, in order to ‘freeze’ the movement. If that’s what you want to depict, then OK. But the more dramatic pictures are those where water motion is evident, and the rest of the picture is still.

A slow shutter speed will need to be chosen to show the motion of the water. The slower your shutter speed the greater the motion captured. I suggest you experiment. After a shot immediately check the results on your LCD screen. Then adjust, to a slower or faster shutter speed, until you get the shot you want. To achieve optimum results will require a shutter speed of at least 1/15 of a second, or longer. Truly smooth water should be captured if you leave the shutter open for over a second.

Using a slow shutter speed will mean that your camera needs to be absolutely still to avoid camera shake ruining the picture. The best way to establish a stable platform is to use a tripod. Another digital photography trick to utilise is to add a shutter release cable, giving you the greatest chance of eliminating camera movement during your shot. Also, set your ISO to about 100, with a small aperture, of around f/22 or f/36. A small aperture results in the slowest possible shutter speed for the ISO and light conditions.

You could also try using a digital photography trick from this list: –

* Try to get fairly close to the water you want to shoot. The blurring effect of the moving water is more noticeable if you are close up
* Experiment by photographing different types of moving water scenes (waterfalls, rivers, streams etc.)
* Revisit locations at different times of year to capture how nature has changed the look of them
* If brightly-lit conditions affect the length of shutter speed you can use, consider the addition of a polarising or neutral density filter.