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Old May 15, 2007, 6:49 AM   #1
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Going to leave question as open ended as possible so any and all advice might follow. Also, hope this is the correct area for this question.

What advice, suggestions, AH HA moments have you experienced in photography of children? Specifically, on lenses, lighting techniques and accessories.

I'm leaving it open-ended but to put my needs in context, I have two seven month old boys. (mostly close range, low lit situations) I jumped into DSLR after years of interest but with them now as my day-to-day inspiration. After 11,000+ shots, we've caught some AMAZING SHOTS, some good shots and a lot of, "Mmmm! Just missed it" shots. (Most were certainly due to low light or slight camera shake in that low light. Also, you know it, harsh external flash shots, etc, etc.)

After plenty of focus on buying "better" equipment (and subsequent lectures about techniques over equipment) I have had my AH HA moment where "it's all about the light, stupid" and understand that now very clearly. (Shot in low lit nursery throughout fall and winter months. Then, first bright warm day, put the boys in front of a bay window and... WOW! you already know how much better those shots were.) IMMEDIATELY raced out to research lighting and got one simple studio light for nursery that DOES improve shots DRAMATICALLY.

Have bought many suggested books (great concepts, great understanding of vocab and big picture) but no real "Here's what you need and how to do it" that I've seen. Love the Peterson books, as an example, but I'm just not shooting flowers in Holland if you know what I mean.

For children only... What are the best, errr, your favorite lenses and lighting accessories that make you good/better, and/or, help me eliminate those, "MMMM Just missed it" shots? I KNOW PEOPLE HATE THE "WHICH LENS" QUESTIONS BUT I STILL SEE POSTS EVERY DAY WHERE PEOPLE ARE AMAZED AT THEIR NEW PICTURES AFTER BETTER LENS PURCHASE. Also the challenge of distance with children just as much as quality. You know the shots HAVE to be quick!!! (I've gotten the light lectures. I'm in. Help there too?)

All info welcome. (For me, Canon 30d with kit lens and cheap 50mm prime. External flash on it's way.) Most of my shots are spontaneous, on the floor, in the nursery, high chair, bath tub, etc shots. Never more than 8 feet away, usually not really more than 5-6 feet and often much closer...

By the way, this site has been amazing for help, correcting misconceptions, support, etc. Thanks in advance for any and all answers.

For skeptics sighing at yet another newbie post, I'll add this...
Sure, technique first. It's the artist behind the camera, yes. It's understanding your settings and adjusting the camera for the situation.

Okay, but, what lenses, lengths, etc are your favorites for isolating boys from non-studio backgrounds. Capturing two little faces often a foot or two apart. (My simple little 50mm prime does good for one but rarely seems to capture both faces in focus)

What lighting techniques, accessories, etc are easy enough to tote around, put away and get good AH HA MOMENT types of lighting. I'd spend on several master slaves if it was the right situation...


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Old May 15, 2007, 9:56 AM   #2
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Hi, I have the 30D and use the 50mm F1.8 for situations where the light is low. I tend to shoot in natural light situations, raise the ISO and apply neat image if I have to. I also use my 60mm macro lens if the light is OK as it produces some nice sharp shots. For outdoors I like the 70-200 F4L lens, it gives you plenty of range. Photographing children can be challenging but I think if you just keep shooting you will often get a great shot among those that are not too good. as for focal length well I like to get the outdoor shots from over 100mm. I prefer natural settings and do not shoot much indoors. If I could get hold of a EF 85 F1.8 I would grab it.

This is what Ive done with the 70-200 F4 L

The 60mm macro

and the 50 F1.8

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