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09-01-2009, 12:26 PM   #31
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Biggest thing I've learned in photography is that it's hard work to get good photos and you must have patience. Hard work in that you may have to scout a location, wait a long time, be out shooting when other stuff is going on somewhere else (dinner), and carrying around equipment wherever you go. Add to that there is much to learn and you can't learn it all in one day - hence the patience.

It's fun, but I really like Mike's term above - "Until that is learned, taking pictures is largely an exercise in frustration."

Your photos are well composed and have some nice colour and lighting in them. Getting the focus down will improve them by a large factor.

Keep shooting.

09-01-2009, 01:23 PM   #32
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No reason to change camera or lens, there is nothing wrong with them, but you could try getting some slower kids, or kids with some sort of built in SR or VR system

You have got plenty of good advice here. While the K20D can correct its own (actually your) motions so that you can manage to shoot sharp at some two steps longer times (say 1/15 second instead of 1/60th on a 50mm lens), their is no stabilizer on the kids, and they can move quite a lot in a fraction of a second. That's why you still need short exposure times on mobile subjects.

There are of course other tricks: to make them sit still...find something that interrest them enough...or have patience and wait for the moment when they do sit still...or shot severall exposures after each other, and you may be lucky to get one sharp...or learn to use motion blurr as an effect to express exactly how mobile kids are...or use a flash to freeze them in motion. Good luck!
09-01-2009, 02:46 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by Douglas_of_Sweden Quote
No reason to change camera or lens, there is nothing wrong with them, but you could try getting some slower kids, or kids with some sort of built in SR or VR system
Very funny.
But in all honesty, just like shooting insects, kids are best shot first thing in the morning or after their afternoon nap as they're getting up out of bed with slow writhing movements that are much easy to freeze on camera...

Has worked for me on more than one occasion!
09-01-2009, 11:09 PM   #34
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Ok. The pics of your kids are not bad; in fact they are quite good. We want our young children to be active and healthy and you need to use these pics to show them in action(#3 is AWSOME)! Keep playing with the camera and take LOTS of pics. No, you will not get all of them right every time. Experiment with manual focusing from time to time (especially in low light), and just SHOOT. The more you use the camera, the more it becomes your imaging friend. With a bunch of young 'uns in my camp, I can speak first hand; you just have to anticipate and shoot. Soon you will know your camera like you know the back of your hand and your camera will be that extention of your vision.

Here is a series I took. I shot way more than these as an example. The child is three now and he will say cheese and pose for me! But his attention span to taking pics is quite low; I practice with him to get the shots of him in action. I have shot over a thousand pics of him from birth till now and I have learned a lot. A lot of pics of him were blurry and a lot are in sharp focus. Just shoot shoot shoot!

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Blurry
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Less blurry
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Sharp(IMO)


Last edited by res3567; 09-01-2009 at 11:18 PM.
09-02-2009, 03:14 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Very funny.
But in all honesty, just like shooting insects, kids are best shot first thing in the morning or after their afternoon nap as they're getting up out of bed with slow writhing movements that are much easy to freeze on camera...

Has worked for me on more than one occasion!
Maybe she could try putting the kids in the fridge for a couple of hours like some folks do with insects they plan to photograph.

Just a thought.......and she could ask them if the light really does go out or not. Win-Win.
09-02-2009, 08:26 AM   #36
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Mike you kill me!! LOLOLOLOL

That was funny although I am pretty sure children services would have an issue with that.

We Canadians can stand the cold but the fridge is a little extreme

Leaf Fan .. thank you for your comments and advice .. I have to however question your hockey loyalty Just kidding .. can't really say much when our Habs suck!

Ash, I have to agree 100% with your comment!! I can't tell you how many clear shots of my older boy I have when he is sleeping!

Res3567, love your pics .. your baby is soo cute!!!! Thanks for all your tips!! I am a cameraholic .. I have taken over 7950 pics ... so much so that with all my design software (I am a graphic artist) my little imac can no longer support the load Next thing to upgrade .. my computer!!
09-02-2009, 08:29 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steffi_YUL Quote
Leaf Fan .. thank you for your comments and advice .. I have to however question your hockey loyalty Just kidding .. can't really say much when our Habs suck!
Oh, here we go with another Habitant.

You can never question a Leaf Fan's Loyalty, if you're still a fan you must be loyal.
09-02-2009, 08:55 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by Leaf Fan Quote
Oh, here we go with another Habitant.

You can never question a Leaf Fan's Loyalty, if you're still a fan you must be loyal.
LOL!!!

Forced fan I live with 3 boys!!!

09-02-2009, 12:44 PM   #39
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I figure in Canada, putting kids in the fridge might actually warm them up given the cold winter..
09-02-2009, 04:08 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steffi_YUL Quote
.. any suggestions?
Try some ancient, old world "trickery". Preset hyperfocal distance manual focusing with the lens closed down to around f:11. I still employ such methods when out shooting with my zone focusing 50s folders, or trying to catch such action shots as you describe on my DSLR.

Last edited by raymeedc; 09-03-2009 at 06:43 AM.
09-02-2009, 06:37 PM   #41
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This thread is why I have always loved this site. You have a problem you will get it solved or help in figuring out what the issue is. Glad to see all is on the road to great pictures.
09-03-2009, 01:51 AM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Very funny.
But in all honesty, just like shooting insects, kids are best shot first thing in the morning or after their afternoon nap as they're getting up out of bed with slow writhing movements that are much easy to freeze on camera...

Has worked for me on more than one occasion!
I've read that some people spray water on the insects to slow them down...but when I do that on the kids they just run faster!
09-03-2009, 05:23 AM   #43
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Some people swear by Duck Tape
09-03-2009, 06:02 AM   #44
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How about lots of turkey? I don't move so fast after ingesting a lot of tryptophan-laced turkey.
09-03-2009, 07:05 AM   #45
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Hi Steffi, welcome to the forum!

I haven't read all the posts in this thread, so please ignore my post if it has already been stated.

We have all been in your position at one point in time - so don't be discouraged. Learning to take good photos is a skill that takes practice (much like math, or playing a sport). Some people have an artistic eye from the start which gives them an edge, other's learn this eye and develop their own style over time. Most of us are the later of these two.

I'd like to pass along some info that you might find helpful.
- Point and shoot (P&S) cameras are designed to take a good photo no matter what you do. The camera does all the thinking for you - other than aiming of course. This is problematic when switching to a DSLR because all your images won't turn out how you want right away which can be discouraging. Keep in mind that you K20 is an advanced camera and it will dance for you like you've never imagined - once you learn to lead it.
- Lots of good advice here about suggested shutter speeds to avoid shake and books to get you familiar (understanding exposure is good, as are scott kelby books). These are good starting points.
- I didn't see anything posted that will help you right away though - so I thought I'd take the plunge. Here's some settings that will get you started (and ones you can build on when learning the relationship between ISO/Shutter speed/aperture, etc.

a) Turn your camera's dial to AV (leave it there). In this mode your camera will determine the correct shutter speed while you select the f stop that you like. When shooting keep an eye on the shutter speed and ensure it doesn't drop below 1.5x the focal length you are using (i.e. if at 50mm on your lens have a shutter speed of at least 1/75 or higher)

b) Set your camera's ISO to 400. This is a good all round speed that should serve you well in almost all circumstances. Learn how to adjust this after you've mastered aperture and shutter speed.

c) Set you camera's shake reduction on.

d) set your camera's metering to centre weighted (this should be the little lever on the dial). All green area is full image metering, middle one is centre weighted, and small green is spot metering.

With this set up you are good to go. Because you are using centre weighted metering (spot metering works the same too) you will need to press the AE/L button if you choose to recompose your image after you've got it in focus. This will lock the shutter speed for you so that you can recompose without throwing off the sensor as it reads another value from a different area of the scene. AE/L will typically hold for 10-30seconds (depending on what your camera is set to).

Using these steps should begin to net you some keepers right away. Continue reading and experimenting and best of luck.

I hope this info helps!

c[_]
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