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Capturing children
I have just bought a fuji finepix s6500 and was wondering if anyone has tips on how to capture my children. They are often moving and indoors at the moment. So they just end up blurred or flashed out with red eyes!.

Tia,.

Tracy..

Comments (17)

I sometimes used a net to capture my kids, but it would sometimes be embarrassing in the supermarket. Maybe you could just teach them to "heel"..

Sorry, couldn't help it. ;>)Nothing is enough for the man to whom nothing is enough...

Comment #1

The limits of your camera will make such photographs hard to get. The best thing you can do for the blurry images is get more light. You will find outdoor pictures more acceptable. There is a "sport" mode on the camera if I remember correctly, and that will tend to give you faster shutter speeds if possible..

The flash problem is due to the proximity of the flash to the lens. "Red eye reduction" modes tend to use multiple flashes to shrink pupils before the real picture is taken and increase shutter lag as well as disturb the subjects..

You are facing the reasons some people move to DSLRs and more " advanced" cameras. There is not much you can do except learn to live with what the camera can do well. Pictures in good light will be quite nice. But working in poor light is not the strength of that camera type..

Nothing is enough for the man to whom nothing is enough...

Comment #2

More light and try to shoot at wide angle because the aperture is variable and closes down as you zoom allowing less light in..

If you are using AUTO mode the camera is probably already picking ISO 800 and 1600 a lot, if not on AUTO try these speeds, they make for decent snapshots on a S6500...

Comment #3

There is no magic, even DSLRs have trouble because basically you're shooting sports action and it requires a combination of technique and luck. Lost of luck..

If you think of it as sports photography you may find useful techniques..

And I confess my first thought was also "net". Nice people here. .

StephenG.

Pentax K100DFuji S5200Fuji E900PCLinuxOS..

Comment #4

Moogyboobles wrote:.

I have just bought a fuji finepix s6500 and was wondering if anyonehas tips on how to capture my children. They are often moving andindoors at the moment. So they just end up blurred or flashed outwith red eyes!.

Tia,.

Tracy.

Dear tracy,.

Try to arrange things so you don't need the flash: in a room well lit by daylight, near a window, etc..

Have the kids doing something "quiet" (games, toys, interacting with granny, sitting in a high-chair, etc), with the light in the right relative position..

Take up an unobtrusive location which gives you a good camera angle and "pre-focus" on the "target" child (i.e., shutter release halfway down, focus indicator on green, child re-framed). Indooors/in shade, this can all be done using the LCD on the back of the camera).

Wait for the right expression/moment and press the shutter button the rest of the way).

You may need to wait a while, even re-frame several times, but you will be surprised at the almost total lack of shutter-lag under these circumstances..

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Comment #5

Forgot to suggest you try HiSpeed mode. It won't work miracles ( and it will eat the battery ) but it may help..

StephenG.

Pentax K100DFuji S5200Fuji E900PCLinuxOS..

Comment #6

I do this same thing with dogs, the pre-focusing thing, and it works for me. These taken with my G9..

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Comment #7

Agree with most of the above with a few additions -.

1. Use the widest angle possible so your depth of field is highest and you will also have more light..

2. Use 'high speed mode' for distances greater than 3 metres. And use macro for closer distances. This will speed up your auto-focus..

3. Use shutter pre-focus (first press of shutter) in anticipation of capturing the moment..

4. Don't use Auto mode as it will set you ISO too high so you wont get the best quality shot. Use the 'P' mode which allows you to set the ISO. Set this to 400 for the best compromise in low light with or without flash..

5. Just play around with the camera and you will eventually work out it's best features..

Cheers..

Comment #8

Ahoy ! The minefield that is Depth Of Field ! .

1. Use the widest angle possible so your depth of field is highestand you will also have more light..

Not really that simple..

First, wide or long does not change the amount of light by itself. It depends on aperture. Unfortunately your first priority is shutter speed ( to freeze action ) so you are limited in your choice of aperture. It's correct to say that short zoom gives you the choice of wider apertures, but you are going to choose zoom based on compositional limits ( framing ), so it's not quite as rosy as it seems..

Note, however, that very wide apertures and very narrow apertures will reduce the sharpness of the image. Likewise there is more distortion and less sharpness at short zoom ( focal length ) than at long zoom..

This is quite usual for anything but the very best lenses, and even there there is never a perfect score all -round..

Have a look at this regarding depth of field :.

Http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html.

No-one said this was going to be easy ..

2. Use 'high speed mode' for distances greater than 3 metres. And usemacro for closer distances. This will speed up your auto-focus..

I'm not sure if Macro will speed it up - never heard this.Must try it...Macro will probably reduce your DOF even more so not so good..

I'd suggest pre-focus and then use the manual focus ring might offer higher odds than macro. Tricky technique but this is where we are at..

3. Use shutter pre-focus (first press of shutter) in anticipation ofcapturing the moment..

Yes, but allow a little reaction time because when you decide to press and when the press completes are different ( and this is not just shutter lag which is itself quite small ). You subject may not even be in frame properly when you should press..

4. Don't use Auto mode as it will set you ISO too high so you wontget the best quality shot. Use the 'P' mode which allows you to setthe ISO. Set this to 400 for the best compromise in low light with orwithout flash..

Use S mode because you can set shutter speed speed ( very important as you need to freeze action ) and this will let you set ISO, etc.If you are more ambitious use M mode and do it all.If you use P the camera will select shutter speed and you are at it's mercy.Certainly set ISO yourself and don't let the camera do it..

Agree with the 400 limit, but of course if there is no other way to get the shot - higher it is..

If you need to shoot at 800, 1600 or ( please no ) 3200, then shoot RAW and be prepared to use a good noise reduction tool on it. It's a pain, but it adds a little to your odds of getting a shot shot. NeatImage or Noise Ninja are good choices..

5. Just play around with the camera and you will eventually work out it's best features..

Perhaps a little optimistic. Read the manual - there is a lot of hidden info in there and it helps if you try things systematically..

It does seems an awful lot of effort. Couldn't we just drug them or bribe them or wait until they grow up ? .

Or perhaps ... after all ... the net ? .

StephenG.

Pentax K100DFuji S5200Fuji E900PCLinuxOS..

Comment #9

I understand the OP is using a P&S not a DSLR?.

In that case, following the pre-focusing paradigm -with the camera set in "P" (Programme Mode) should produce an adequate result..

My shot -above- was taken with a Sony Cybershot DSC-100 (P&S) in "P" mode (everything auto)...

Comment #10

You can always use a lasso tool in Photoshop.Should work...

Comment #11

My tips for photographing children:.

1. Shoot on their level. Lie (lye?) on the ground if you have to..

2. Tell the to do something and then photograph them. I.E. jump, go on the swing, etc..

3. For those fast shots. You have SHUTTER PRIORITY on your camera. Use it. Try a shutter speed of 1/250. Should be a fast enough to stop the action..

Thats all..

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Comment #12

As far as capturing kids, I have found that bear traps are a little bit of overkill, the hole dug in the ground covered with camoflauge is hard when they know the layout of the yard well, but I found that luring them in with candy attached to a trap works quite well. They go for the candy and Bang, they're hanging from an ankle, I can take as many pictures as I want, easy as pie... also works well for the kids that like to ring door bells and run. .

Anyone who actually knows me, knows that this is a joke. Everyone knows I prefer to tackle them from behind and handcuff them before they can recover.Jeremy.

Everyone's an idiot sometimes, I just advertise.A few of my feeble attempts athttp://www.jeremyrwilliams.com/coppermine orhttp://s199.photobucket.com/albums/aa203/jrw1275/..

Comment #13

Perhaps my response on the use of wide angle was a bit simplistic. What I meant was that you have more aperture range - 2.8 vs 3.5+ depending on focal length..

The S6500 is pretty sharp irrespective of aperture anyway. And if we are photographing kids - no straight edges - distortion is not an issue..

And regarding depth of field, it's all relative - distance of target versus focal length (for a given aperture setting)..

The reason for selecting 'Macro' is that in 'high speed' mode the S6500 will not focus at all below about 2-3 metres (min distance depends on focal length). Selecting Macro is just a quick way of overriding the high speed setting for close subjects without having to go through the menu system..

I have to disagree with you about the manual focus, it's too indirect and slow to respond to anything that moves. I would use it only for fixed objects and with a tripod althoufh you can use it for Macro without a tripod..

Yes, 'S' mode is better in this situation..

And I have only discovered the advantages of RAW in the last 6 months and the results in contrasty or tricky light situations are captivating - with judicious use of PP of course..

Cheers..

Comment #14

Thanks for your amusing suggestions. When I get a minute to myself I'll have get a chance to play with my camera and try them out...

Comment #15

I find my wife to be an absolutely essential accessory - seriously. When I point a camera at my kids they wander / crawl off, look bored, etc. Even the oldest gets a 'posed for the camera' deadpan look. So my wife stands behind me and gets their attention in any way she can: making faces, cavorting like a chimp, pretending to pick fleas out of my hair (they like that one), putting a toy dog on my head. Result: they sit/stand still for a few seconds and have delighted looks on their faces..

I got this trick from a pro photographer who was visiting the creche where my youngest was a few years ago (the kids were all 2 - 4). Each time, just before the shot, she perched a stuffed elephant on her head. The kids would look up and laugh and the pictures were great..

The e.g. below was taken this way..

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Best wishesMike..

Comment #16

Mine have wisened up to tricks like that now and I'm usually on my own with them. I spent this afternoon running about the garden and managed to take a few.This is my youngest boy..

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Comment #17

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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