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Old Oct 9, 2007, 8:05 AM   #1
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Hi everyone, I am planning to take pictures of my sister with her new baby using the same set up as the picture I've attached. As you can see when I photographed my brother in law, the baby 's arms are moving fast and are blurred, as were a lot of the shots I took that day. Can you give me any tips on what settings to use, bearing in mind that Im fairly new to this and am just taking my first steps in taking the camera off automatic! I am using a Fuji S9600 , many thanks
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Old Oct 9, 2007, 8:20 AM   #2
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That was using a 1/4 second shutter speed. Typically, you'd want something around 100 times as fast to prevent blur from rapid hand and foot movement.

But, you won't get that indoors without a flash in that kind of lighting.

Increase your ISO speed. That was an ISO 200 image. Each time you double your ISO speed, the camera will use shutters speeds twice as fast.

So, using ISO 800 would have gotten you shutter speeds of around 1/15 second (still far too slow to prevent blur from subject movement, but your percentage of keepers will increase). Make sure to smoothly squeeze the shutter button to help with blur from camera shake (or use a tripod).

Try not to zoom in any more than necessary, because blur from camera shake is magnified as you zoom in more. Also, your camera's lens is brighter at it's wider zoom setting. The camera would have used a slightly brighter aperture setting at it's widest zoom setting. So, not zooming in any would have probably got you up to a shutter speed close to 1/20 second at ISO 800 in that same lighting.

When you increase ISO speed, noise levels will also increase. So, you may want to use software to help later. Look into these (and they have demo/free versions available for personal use):

http://www.imagenomic.com (note that the "Community" edition is free). Here's a direct link to download it:

http://www.imagenomic.com/setup/2007...etupXP2601.exe


http://www.neatimage.com
The stand alone Neat Image trial version is free for personal use.

Take lots of photos. Be patient, prefocus with a half press of the shutter button, and try to take them when movement stops (press it the rest of the way down then). Your shutter speeds are still going to be slower than desired if there is any hand and foot movement in that lighting without a flash.

But, you will get more without blur using a higher ISO speed.

P.S.

Try to find an area with better lighting (for example, in the daytime near a window). ;-)


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Old Oct 9, 2007, 9:24 AM   #3
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thanks for your reply ,it was very helpful,I don't think I will be able to improve on the lighting as the only other place I could hand the backdrop off was the bathroom, which was very bright and on my test shots the skin tones came out very white looking.
I have some halogen(?) spot lights that I can move to different angles but again, they are very bright so I was getting a white glare.

I'll go check out those links too, Im not too worried about that side of things though as my husband works in the field of digital imaging so I'll leave that side of things to him at the moment! :-)
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Old Oct 9, 2007, 9:31 AM   #4
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I'd increase the ISO speed, don't zoom in any, and take lots of photos, trying to catch them when they're still. ;-)

If you prefocus with a half press of the shutter button and try to time it to when they're still before pressing it the rest of the way down, that can help with the percentage of keepers (since you eliminate most of the lag time if you prefocus first).

If you take some test shots and they're too bright, use a -EV setting with Exposure Compensation to get a darker exposure.

If they're too dark, use a +EV setting with Exposure Compensation to get a brighter exposure.

Shooting raw can help with White Balance (and exposure to some degree).

To help with skin tones/color casts, you can set the White Balance to the temperature of the lighting using a preset (for example tungsten/incandescent). You can also use a custom white balance in the lighting you're taking the photos in (and some white coffee filters stacked together, or almost anything white can work as a target in a pinch).

Shooting raw would give you the most flexibility (you can change it later if your settings were not just right).

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Old Oct 9, 2007, 2:56 PM   #5
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Hi again, Im not sure what you mean here

" To help with skin tones/color casts, you can set the White Balance to the temperature of the lighting using a preset (for example tungsten/incandescent). You can also use a custom white balance in the lighting you're taking the photos in (and some white coffee filters stacked together, or almost anything white can work as a target in a pinch)."|

If you have time I would appreciate a simpler explanation or could you point me in the direction of a thread that I can read up on this a bit more.
thanks again.
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Old Oct 9, 2007, 3:05 PM   #6
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Different types of lighting have a different temperature. The human eye adjusts to it but the camera may not. See this article on color temperature:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_temperature

You were using Auto White Balance for that photo, which means that the camera was trying to figure out what is supposed to be white, black, etc. It actually did a bit better than expected. But, you can still get it to look a bit better for that lighting, depending on the ambience you want for the image.

The temperature of the lighting impacts how colors are represented and tungsten type lighting may have a yellow/orange cast with many cameras.

So, you can tell the camera what kind of lighting you're shooting in to make colors more accurate (tungsten, cloudy, flourescent, sunny, etc.). These are white balance presets available with most digital cameras.

You can also set a custom white balance with your camera (and it can even memorize two different custom settings). Look it up in your camera's manual. If you use a custom white balance, you to point the camera to a photographic grey card or white card (both are neutral to a camera) and the camera captures it in the same lighting you are shooting in.

Again, almost anything white can work in a pinch. I carry white coffee filters in my camera bag, since they're not as reflective and make a better target compared to many solutions (napkins, white paper, etc.) for cameras that can be "picky" about a white balance target (some will refuse to get a reading off of some white subjects).

I'd suggest shooting in raw regardless. That way, you can more easily tweak the White Balance later if your settings are too cool or too warm for the desired colors. I personally prefer slightly warmer skin tones in tungsten lighting.

When you use a custom white balance, your camera knows what white or grey is supposed to look like and applies the same red/green/blue multipliers (which compensates for cooler or warmer lighting temperatures) to the images you take in that lighting so that colors are more accurate.

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Old Oct 9, 2007, 5:25 PM   #7
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thanks very much for taking the time out to explain in more detail,its been very helpfu.I'll go check out that link now
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