BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Rachel Stern

How do I set my camera for children in action?

Hi! I was wondering why my pictures come out blured when I try to capture a child in action? Am I not setting my camera right f.e. my focal point is on manual focus for I want to focus on the eyes. I tried setting it on automatic but didnt change the fact that its still blurry! how about my AF mode I set it on one shot!
I hope you can help me for I can really use it!
Thanx Rachel

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1/18/2009 8:11:41 PM

Ariel Lepor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/8/2005
  There are two things that cause a blurred picture: having the lens be out-of-focus, or having the subject move when the shutter's open. Let's address both issues.

1. Focus:
When there is a moving subject, the camera has a hard time figuring out what to focus on. At high zoom (also with a wide aperture), the depth of field (DOF) also shrinks, making the possible focused part of the camera much smaller, making it much harder for the camera to focus.

To address these issues, zoom out all the way, make sure the aperture isn't too small, set the autofocus by holding the camera shutter half-way while keeping it trained on the child, and then press it down the rest of the way. Also, if you know *exactly* how far away the kid will be and if your DOF is wide enough (if you're zoomed out and have a small aperture), you could also try a manual focus.

2. Shutter speed:
When you have a moving subject, the shutter captures it the entire time the shutter is open. For a child in action, try to get the camera to be, at the very least, about 1/250s. If there's not enough light, the camera shutter speed will be slower, so you have to compensate by either using a wider aperture or a higher ISO. At high zoom, the problem is even worse because your hands could shake the camera, so again, make sure you're zoomed out.

More info on camera settings:
Camera Settings Explained: GreenLeaf Imaging blog

GreenLeaf Imaging

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1/23/2009 4:55:28 PM

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