Need some help--children URGENT

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by nikki2291, Jan 16, 2009.

  1. nikki2291

    nikki2291 TPF Noob!

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    Ok so I have 4 young kids coming over for the weekend tonight. I want to get some great candid shots of them. I'm not totally sure how to go about doing it though as I've never shot young (and active) kids before. Most of it will probably be inside as its to cold to go out which sucks because I dont have alot of light here unless the sun shines in the window.
    The equipment I have is:
    Canon EOS Rebel XS
    18-55 MM kit lens (with built in image stabilization).
    75-300 MM Canon UltraSonic telephoto zoom lens.

    If anyone has any tips with composition of a shot (as I do plan to pose them for some shots), settings that would allow me to shoot without flash, and maybe some tips on using and reading a histogram if it will help me when it comes to lighting. Also I need a quick brush up on shutter speed and apeture too :lol:.
    I know this is probably alot to ask but I want to get some great keeper shots of them (they're my boyfriend's kids).
    Thanks a bunch to everyone in advance =)

    ~Nikki~
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2009
  2. Beth81

    Beth81 TPF Noob!

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    My only recommendation is don't make them pose for every picture. I think all natural is the way to go when it comes to kids....
     
  3. rufus5150

    rufus5150 TPF Noob!

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    Take lots of shots with plenty of light. Kids are in motion. Without a flash, you'll need to aim for 125-200 shutter speed unless you want a lot of blur. The IS won't help you much with this. Get the camera out early so they get used to it being around and interact with them.
     
  4. nikki2291

    nikki2291 TPF Noob!

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    Oh yea for sure, I agree. I don't plan on posing them alot, I just want maybe 4 or 5 pics with them posed.

    Ok, I dont have a whole lot of light, but I do have a lamp that is quiet bright without the shade on. If the shutter speed should be on 125-200, what should the apeture be? Should I turn the ISO up? Or just leave it on Auto. I will definitly get the camera out tonight, should I get right down on the floor with them and play while I take pictures do you think? And which would be better. Me getting on the floor with them, with the 55MM kit lens, or just staying out of the way, with the 300MM telephoto?
    Thank you so much for helping me!
     
  5. Rrr3319

    Rrr3319 TPF Noob!

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    I would suggest turning on every light that you can, sometimes it will look like it's nice and bright in the room but if you have a somewhat quick shutter speed you'll have dark pictures, so get all the lights on that you can.

    It sounds to me like you're a little unsure of manual settings, so if I were you, I would probably at least set your camera to aperture priority or shutter priority so that you have a little less to worry about as far as settings go.

    As far as the lenses, I say use them both. Get down on the ground and take some shots at kid-level, but also put on the big lens and get some shots from a little farther back. That way, they'll just be playing together and not noticing that you're taking pictures of them.

    Bottom line: have fun and take TONS of pictures. :D (post some for us when you get them done)
     
  6. rufus5150

    rufus5150 TPF Noob!

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    I said aim for 125-200. If the lighting conditions aren't amenable to that, you won't be able to use them, but that range should stop a good amount of motion. I'm not sure a bare lightbulb would be good, but might be worth a try. Chances are even though you and I'd perceive that light as 'bright', your camera may have a completely different opinion.

    As far as what ISO and aperture, whatever it takes to get a proper exposure and get the DOF you want. (I'm not sure how to better state that, honestly. Let your meter be your guide.)

    I only shoot 50mm prime (with rare exception for wide-angle stuff) so I can't really help you on the 'with the kids' or 'way on the outside'. I've no choice but to be in the fray.

    Regardless of distance, get down on their level.
     
  7. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    With the lenses you have you will have to use flash which will spoil them if you only have the popup flash, don't use your 300mm you won't get any keepers because your shutter speed will have to be above 1/300
    Do you have a compact mirror if so use it to bounce the flash off the ceiling or make a defuser for it
     
  8. haglersp

    haglersp TPF Noob!

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    have the aperature as wide as it will go to take in more light. i find that shooting indoors without flash you need to put the ISO on 1600 if you are using a fast shutterspeed. also be sure to put the white balance on either auto or incandescent
     
  9. ~Stella~

    ~Stella~ TPF Noob!

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    Figure out which window lets in morning sun and use that one to pose them by for your posed shots - open up all the blinds/curtains that you can. Natural light is going to be heads and tails above lamp light or pop-up flash. Or take them outside (one at a time, to minimize exposure) and try that.

    Especially for younger kids, I would strongly suggest doing any posed/portrait shots as individual shots to start out. Multiple kids magnifies your difficulty many times over.

    With 4 kids indoors, your posed shots are going to turn out better than your candids. People may not like that, but it's true, unless they are older children, and even then, with mediocre lighting.... I'd save the candids/unposed shots for when you can get them outdoors playing in good light in nice surroundings, like at a park/backyard.

    Consider using reflectors to bounce the light around their faces - I have cheap white foamboard that works surprisingly well, but you can use anything white - I've used a sheet draped over a chair and the white top of a plastic storage box and both worked just fine.

    If you can face them out the window (be careful not to shadow them with your body of course) you can ask them to look out the window for bird/airplanes/clouds and that gets them looking in the right direction for a few minutes. Someone behind them with a cheap little laser light can point it where they need to look and that works well too.

    Get good and close to them - I've never regretted getting too close, only not getting close enough.
     
  10. nikki2291

    nikki2291 TPF Noob!

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    I am a little unsure, I just got this camera a few days ago and still havent figured out all the settings on it. I used to have a Pentax *ist DL DSLR but it wasnt as high up as the Canon. So now I got this one and there is more settings to it.
    They will probably still know that I am taking pictures of them because my telephoto lens is quiet loud when it comes to AF. Although I think I will try to use MF more so I get used to using it.
    I will definitly take a whole lot of pictures. My 4G card holds 873 JPGs so I will probably end up filling that card each day they're here.
    I will post some of the pictures for sure, because I am definitly going to want C&C on them.
    Thank you for your help.

    ~Nikki~
     
  11. Samanax

    Samanax TPF Noob!

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  12. bradsperry

    bradsperry TPF Noob!

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    my experience when shooting children (and adults for that matter) is set your camera up for consecutive shots and fill your card, download and edit out the ones you don't want. if your looking for candid shots, the best will come from natural light. every time the flash goes off, the children will be curious about what it is you have and how it works .... basically, they're going to be curious kids and be by you and to close to the camera.
    as for iso, i've shot indoors (from accross the room and out of kids minds), with custom w/b on the canon 75-300, in a well lit room @ iso 200 -400 and the photos were acceptable. before the children come over, do test shots w/ the lenses you plan on using. make notes of what f stops and exposures give you action stopping shutter speeds w/ each lens. i myself prefer shooting candids with my 75 - 300. the 55 leaves to much dead space for a candid unless your "in their face" close and it doesn't make for good candids.
    lol ...... i don't even try posing kids anymore and all the photos that get the best reactions are my candids.
     

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