Photography: Tips on Shutter Speeds and Water Shots

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I can feel it getting closer.

It's getting warmer, the boys are getting more and more antsy during our morning school prep, as I am most certain that they are during their school hours. The sky is brighter longer.

 

Summer is in the air. I both long for it and hesitate to embrace it. In my more honest moments, I admit that being faced with all of this energy, in the form of four growing boys, all day, every day is a bit much. But I do love being surrounded by my loves, and summer is always a time to make many memories!

It's no secret that my camera goes everywhere with me. To me, photos are one of the best things to invest my time in. They represent the life that God has given me. They are treasures that I hold dear.

I want to share a few tips on how to best capture your memories this summer. Remember, the summer of 2012 will only happen once. My boys are currently each in a stage very unique to who they are. We will never again have a summer with a 2 1/2-year-old, a 5-year-old, a 7-year-old, and a 9-year-old. That crisp fall morning when they walk through the doors of their school as a kindergartener, a second grader, and a third grader will mark the end of what I'm hoping will be a summer packed with unforgettable memories.

I want to remember.

Here are some things that I will be implementing in order to enjoy this summer, and commemorate it in photos, the best that I can.

1) {As usual} I've got to attach my camera to myself.

I try to have it with me as much as possible. It is a very nice piece of equipment, so I do try to protect it as much as possible. At the same time, I also want to use it as much as possible! I don't always keep it in its case. At times, depending on where I am going, it is just too much to bring my purse and camera bag both with me, so I will wrap my camera in a scarf or plastic bag, or both, and place it into my purse (which is actually a large bag).

Some of my favorite photos have been those spur-of-the-moment, unexpected times when I have been so grateful to have my camera by my side!

So -- remember, take your camera!

2) I've got to be willing to get uncomfortable, get dirty, and look silly. :)

To capture my kids as they are right here, right now, sometimes it is a must to get on their level.

To see things through their eyes.

35mm  1/1,250s  f/1.8

So, I have gotten down on my belly, in the dirt, up in a tree, nearly on my head ... you get the idea. :) Let's just say I am glad that I have been behind the lens in a lot of these situations.

3) Move 'em out of the direct sun.

Far too often I see people observing the beautiful summertime sun, and arranging their kids right under it.

Yes, it is pretty.

Yes, photography is all about light.

No, our best photos do not come from embracing it in its fullness. :)

Find the shade,

find an overhead umbrella,

find a little bit of roof overhang,

find some trees to filter that light,

just something to take some of the harshness from the sun off from those adorable little faces.

35mm  1/1,000  f/1.8

If it is later in the day, and the sun is lower in the sky, you can embrace it, but we are talking pretty late at night until we get to this point.(Or early in the morning, but that is hardly worth mentioning, because summer? Early morning? Hopefully those two things will not be super conducive to one another. *Fingers crossed*).

4) Fast kiddos require fast shutter speeds!

Summer evening T-ball? Swimming the day away? Running races on a fun family weekend? Dial up that shutter speed!

If you have a SLR camera, and are trying to capture those action moments, then I recommend using your shutter priority, or manual, setting. Most point and shoot cameras have an action setting, which works fairly well too.

Your exact setting will depend on the lighting conditions you are shooting in, but if you have the option of choosing shutter speed, try and stick with 1/200s and faster.

35mm  1/640s  F/1.8

I don't know about you guys, but I am on my toes with these little boys. Fast shutter speeds area a must in my life. :)

Fast shutter speeds are also a great way to capture clear, crisp water shots. We love anything having to do with water in the summertime, so it has been fun learning to get great images involving water. Stopping the action with a fast shutter speed is a great tip to remember!

135  1/1,000  f/5.6


So, charge up those cameras, dream about summer fun, and document every sweet moment! I would love to see your captures. You know I'll be sharing mine!
 
 

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