Monday, December 16, 2013

rats, Rats, RATS...not again!

The last two years have been so disappointing!
I've tried taking photos of our family opening 
their Christmas gifts with disastrous results.
(We celebrate early each year with our kids.)
I've gotten shots like "above", embarrassing...
I rarely take photos of people indoors.  
Only four of my photos are worth showing!
Why these turned out, I don't really know.
Maybe it was earlier, before the sun shine was pouring in thou the windows.
My Canon 60 D was set on AF, Sport with no flash,
the shutter seemed to be extremely slow and 
I didn't recognize my need for a tripod, until to late...
Could my camera have gotten mixed readings?
Anyway, I'm posting the following instructions to reference
for practice using the manual setting. 
Your comments will be appreciated!

Settings for Indoor Photography:
*  Put you camera onto M for manual (this is the setting on Canon’s, not sure about other models).
*  Set you aperture to as big as it will go eg. F4.0 or F2.8.

*  Set your shutter speed to around 1/60. It is hard to shoot handheld with anything below 1/60. As a rule of thumb you should never shoot lower than your focal distance while handheld. Eg on a 50mm lense you should never shoot lower than 1/50 sec.
*  You will then need to use you external flash, if you can bounce your flash do this, if you have a catch light reflector built into your flash even better.
*  Take a few shots and see what they look like.

*  If they are not bright enough try bumping up your ISO to 200 then 400 and so on until you achieve an acceptable result.

Update 12/23/13:  Or set the camera on CA ~ you can adjust the Flash (with or without), set on AFQuick, choose how you want to shoot it (single, multi or timed), type of lighting and background blur.  Just don't resort to shooting on "action/sport" (that's what has been the problem)!  Someone told me to always shoot kids on the action/sport setting ...Wrong!
Other helpful links are  and
Next year I hope to nail it!
Happy Click'n!


  1. It just takes Lots of practice and reading...Sweet Family shots!! Don't you give up!

  2. I have a history of bad Christmas photos too. It's the darkest time of year, everyone is excited and moving quickly, and, as much as I want good pics, I don't want to miss the best moments because I'm buried in a camera settings menu. You have a lovely family. Merry Christmas.


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