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07-22-2009, 11:08 AM   #1
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Kids photography

I recently bought a Pentax k-m, started off with taking pics of my kid who is just 8 months...but i am finding it difficult to get good results for indoor photography...shaky all the time...with flash its ok...not satisfied with the composition..sometimes over exposed and under exposed...Appreciate your tips on kids photography..

07-22-2009, 04:38 PM   #2
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Sample pictures would help. In general, though, indoors without flash, you need a "fast" (large maximum aperture = small f-number) lens, and you need to be shooting at that maximum aperture. The lens that comes with the camera is not well suited. You want to be at f/2.8 or below. As for exposure, a good technique is to set your exposure based on something predictable, like your feet or your hand, and then just keep that exposure when shooting your subject. This is done by using AE-L or M mode. But in order to do this, you need a decent understanding of exposure, so I'd recommend browsing your local library or whatever online resources you can find for good basic information on exposure - how meters work, the relationship between f-stop, shutter speed, and ISO, etc.
07-22-2009, 06:00 PM   #3
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Not sure if it's sold where you are but the Digital Camera World magazine May issue has a great article on Better Portraits (How to take and make beautiful baby pictures). If it is sold where you are it would be worth buying.
07-22-2009, 10:25 PM   #4
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Welcome to the forum ranjus.
There's a lot to creating beautiful baby photos. I'm not sure where you are in your photographic journey, but I'd suggest starting without flash and having the baby near a bright window, using a large aperture (the FA 50/1.4 is perfect for this) and a reasonably high ISO, as suggested earlier.

Get the perspective you need to capture the child with the depth of field you are looking for and try different things.

07-23-2009, 01:27 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by ranjus Quote
I recently bought a Pentax k-m, started off with taking pics of my kid who is just 8 months...but i am finding it difficult to get good results for indoor photography...shaky all the time...
Welcome to the forum! I also have K-m and a 7 months old daughter At the beginning it is a bit difficult to get good results. Just keep taking photos and you'll start to get better results as you gain more experience. As others have suggested get a good book to learn the basics of photography.
To avoid motion blur you need minimum 1/80 shutter speed, anything slower will probably make the child blurry (unless he/she's sleeping). The kit lens can be used (hey, I used for 4 months), but a lens with bigger aperture (F2.8, F1.4) can be more useful of course.
Just a few tips off the top of my head:
  • use the largest aperture of your lens - for the kit lens you can use F4 in 20-40mm focal lenght range
  • use auto ISO 100-1600
  • use +0.3 EV compensation (this helps to keep noise at lower level when shooting at high ISO)
  • make sure there's enough light in the room - shoot near windows without curtain, switch on room lights at the evening, etc
  • buy an external flash and use indirect flashing (bouncing flash light off the ceiling) - you don't have to worry about lightning and can keep ISO at 100-400 for minimal noise
  • take as many pictures as you can

By the way, after 1000 pictures I'm still not satisfied with composition in most of my pics. I'm usually so focused on my child and to capture that "once in a lifetime" moment that I just can't concentrate on proper composition/framing... I'm happy if I can capture the moment and not miss it (which also happens lot of times). It was much easier when she was a newborn, she didn't move much and I had enough time to set up everything
07-25-2009, 12:00 AM   #6
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Bounce flash using a manual Vivitar 285 HV.

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07-27-2009, 03:10 AM   #7
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Thanks for your valuable tips...I will post some pics I have taken soon....
08-04-2009, 10:47 AM   #8
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What everybody else said and: get down on the floor. No, that doesn't mean sit on the floor. That means, lay down on the floor. You need the camera level with or lower than the babies eyes! Oh, and have a napkin ready, drool (or even old food) is easy to ignore when you are looking at your kid, but later when you look at a otherwise cute photo, you'll probably wish it wasn't there.

(I've two and six year old boys)


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