My kids were putting out Halloween decorations last year and I grabbed my camera to record the memory. We're proud to support the photography community through the Photocrati Fund, which gives $5000 grants to photographers working on humanitarian and environmental projects. We strongly recommend Imagely Hosting because we're the team behind it and it's built for photographers specifically.Read more on why it's the best web hosting for photographers and WordPress. Participate in our blog series, and share your photography with other photo enthusiasts around the world!
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So if you ever see photographs of other people’s children and think ‘I wish I could take photos like that of mine?’, well now you can. You don’t need a fancy camera or expensive lenses (although once you do go down that route your photos can step up a whole new level).
I’m also doing this post for Cathy at Netmums who asked if I had any tips to share over on the Netmums Google + photography community.
Children by their very nature are all over the place so you need to be quick to capture a moment. It’s such a simple idea, but if you photograph a child from their point of view you get a much more interesting and intimate picture.
And then do the opposite; photograph them from above to show how small they are compared to the rest of the world. You will get the best photos when you leave them to do what love because they will be totally natural. Just about the worst thing you can do when photographing children is to take an age doing it. Then sit in the background while they play or go about their business and snap away; they won’t even know you’re there. I use continuous too, it's great for when you are taking photos of more than one child at a time too.
I would say that my biggest issue with photographing my children is actually other people, grandparents namely! Changing the way you take your pictures can drastically change the way your photo looks, and the perspective of your photos plays a huge part in this. When you take pictures of a person looking directly to the lens, it can create a connection between the viewer and the subject of the photo.
If you’re taking a picture of two people, you can have them look at each other in order to establish the theme of your picture. The kind of camera you use doesn’t matter all the time, unless you rely on it to make a living.
StartLocal is an Australian business directory that has many photography courses listed Australia wide. We are always looking for more interesting and insightful photography tips and techniques to share with our readers. Photographs taken at night can provide a view of place that look spectacular when the night lights are on. To get the best from your low light shots, there are a few guidelines to follow that you may not typically follow during a daytime shot. As you will be taking photos that require a long exposure time, hand holding the camera to get a sharp image will be virtually impossible, unless you set the ISO to a very high value. If you must take that shot and you don’t have a fully extensible tripod in your back pocket then use some kind of support. If all else fails and you don’t have a tripod, or any support near by and you must get the shot then bump up the ISO.
2) ISO - Keep your ISO at 100 (or the lowest setting on your camera) to reduce colour noise.
Compact cameras will always show a lot of colour noise, for many technical reasons which I will not go into here.
You want decent sharpness and depth of field (DOF – how much is in focus), especially at night. If you need to take a hand held shot (see Tripod part earlier), then set the aperture to the widest your lens will go and focus on infinity.
When the sun just sinks below the horizon, there is about a 30 – 45 minute time line where the light in the sky is changing quite quickly (getting darker).
The street lights will start to come on and they haven’t had enough time to warm up to their orange glow!
The speed of the shutter, or how long the camera shutter stays open, should be what you use to get the exposure at night.
Recommending a starting shutter speed will depend on the time of day and the subject matter.
Set shutter speed to 1 second if at the beginning of the Blue Hour, 5 seconds if in the middle and 15 seconds if at the end of the Blue Hour. You really do need to practice these shots because what you will find is that when you look at the images on your computer, they will look darker.
There are times when you do want to, or need to, shoot at full night when the sky is black. I let the exposure burn in for just over a minute to get the London Eye and buildings as sharp objects, then I started zooming the lens, very slowly and continued zooming till the end.
The concept and steps are exactly the same as if you are taking a landscape or architectural photograph. Try and compose the view so that the light from a nearby street lamp, or other source, is falling on your portrait subject. Increase your ISO so that the shutter stays open for the least amount of time whilst still getting a decent exposure without too much colour noise and the person is relatively sharp.
By using your camera as a torch, you can light your subject or even light other foreground objects. Insects actually slow down with cooler temperatures, so if you want to make it easier on yourself take pictures early in the morning or at twilight when the temperatures are cooler. Insects can see shadows very well so never approach them from the same direction as the light casts. Anytime you’re taking pictures of wildlife -whether animals or insects- you should have a basic understanding of your subject. Insects can certainly be one of the most challenging subjects to photograph so hopefully these simple tips will help you photograph a truly eye catching image. You can produce quality shots, especially now that you know how to take good picture with a digital camera.
People believe that buying a new camera will improve their photography but the fault lies in the way they take photographs and not the camera. You should read the camera’s manual thoroughly and learn its features, buttons and their functions. In case you have adjusted you digital camera to portrait settings, set it to highest aperture settings.
January 7, 2010 by Kristen 11 Comments This post is part of an irregular series about improving your photography while using the camera you already own. One of the first things I learned when I first started getting more serious about photography was that having plenty of light is not the only key to taking good pictures. As a general rule (though there are exceptions, of course!), it’s best to put the light source behind you, so that it illuminates your subject. On a related note, this is why it’s good to take pictures when the sun is not directly overhead. I mentioned at the beginning that there are exceptions to this rule, and I’ll cover that more in another post.
But, this is a little trickier than the front lighting I’ve been advocating in this post, so if your camera and skills are limited, you are most likely to get good results by keeping the light behind you (I do have a lovely camera, and I still shoot with the light behind me at least 75% of the time!).

So, next time you get ready to take a picture, figure out where the light is coming from (window, sun, lamp), and position yourself with your back to the light. How do you keep people from looking all squinty-eyed because they were looking into the sun?
If you have to shoot during midday, try to find a shady spot to shoot in (another side of the house, by a tree, under a beach umbrella, etc). A cloudy day is often a really nice time to take pictures because the available light is soft and diffused, not harsh like bright sun.
If you must shoot with the sun behind them, then fill flash can save what would normally be an unusable shot.
First you need a good camera and then you need to learn all the advanced trigonometry and physics necessary to use said camera. Have you noticed how  sometimes they talk about the stuff in the pictures more than the people? I sat there and fooled around with my camera for a minute or two because I wanted to capture what I was remembering about my own experience as a child. We work with some of the world's leading photographers, including Michael "Nick" Nichols, Steve McCurry, Art Wolfe, and Jim Brandenburg.
If you are new here, you might want to subscribe to the RSS feed for updates on Sticky Fingers. I was still using film and patiently waiting for them to be developed at my local photography store.
It’s about being abled to look back at that photo in years to come and it have the power to transport you straight back to that time and place. You could even involve your kids involved in the process by getting them to come up with ‘poses’ or taking photographs themselves.
You could take 15 photos of one thing and find that 1 is perfect and captures the moment exactly.
Or if you’re in the house, sit your child by a large window, sit the other side of the window and use the light from there. Just be aware when framing your shot of background and if it looks unsightly, change your angle slightly to compensate.
If they’re grubbing in the dirt or playing with friends or just reading, snap a photo – and DO NOT say ‘look at the camera’ or you will totally lose the moment.
What about that curl of hair in the middle of your toddler’s forehead, or their long eyelashes, or their toes or a favorite toy? I promise you, you will forget these little things as they grow older, so snap a photo so you never forget. And sometimes you get two or three in a row that make you squeak because they're so good! My daughter is going through a phase of wanting to pull silly faces when I ask to take her photo. I have a Kodak Pulse photo frame (expensive but VERY worth it) which you can email photos to (so no memory card or dongle needed).
I never thought to get down to the childrens level either, will pass these tips onto my husband!
If you think you are not capable of taking good pictures, you may have considered taking photography courses.
Instead of shooting photos at eye level, try shooting from the hip for a change (although this can create a little bit of problem when establishing the setup of your photograph). Changing the lighting of a photo can improve it to a huge extent, creating artistic, otherworldly, or even remotely unusual effects. The bright strobe lighting illuminated the models to the level of sunlight, eliminating any and all shadows created by the models’ silhouettes against the sun.
You can start experimenting with natural lighting from indoor and outdoor lights, but when you’re ready to learn more about the more technical aspects, you can take photography courses in Melbourne, or wherever you may be based in, to improve your skills in manipulating light to your advantage. To take good pictures, one of the more important aspects you need to learn is to properly create a focus for each photo. In this sense, being out of focus is actually a method of focusing and is a completely acceptable practice in some circles.
The lights from the streets and buildings provide a unique atmosphere and highlight the subject matter.
As long shutter speeds are needed for low light photography, the colour noise will get worse over time.
For you guys with compact camera’s, look at investing in a computer program to remove as much of the noise when you download to your computer.
You may be lucky and get some colour as the light rays from the sun bounces around in the atmosphere and hits warmed gases and dust particles that scatter the light and create that sunset colour. The longer the shutter is open, the more light that the camera’s sensor will gather over time and therefore the brighter your image will be.
What I mean by that is whether you are taking an image during the blue hour or at full night, and whether the scene you are capturing is well lit overall or has very bright areas and dark areas. I will be constantly tweaking the shutter speed (slowing down or speeding up the time the shutter is open). I check the image on the back of the camera to see if it is bright enough and use a combination of the histogram and highlight alert to tell me how well the exposure is. Set your camera to Aperture Priority and let the camera meter an average for the entire scene and then use Exposure Compensation on your camera to adjust the shutter speed. The camera is tripod mounted and I change the shutter speed, aperture and ISO in this transition set to try and get the best exposures.
It is possible for the light to change slightly from the first to last shot, especially with moving clouds, so be very FAST!
There is still some interest left in the sky so you can still get away with taking the shot.
Over 3 minutes exposure time with lens zooming thrown in to make it a little more interesting.
The only difference is you have a person in the foreground of the scene which you also wish to expose well. What you should notice is that the shutter speed would need to stay open for a number of seconds to expose the background well. They should then be a little brighter than your background scene (due to the inverse square law). Still set the exposure for the background, but now you want the flash to go off at the end of the exposure time to finally light your portrait subject.
Think of this as the flash going off at the beginning of the timed exposure (first curtain) or at the end (second curtain).
The light from a flash is of a different colour temperature to incandescent or street light. Most smart phones will have an app that causes the screen to glow white and act as a torch.
Stay within the macro range and keep the camera extremely still and you’ll get some nice sharp images. That’s because most insects are sensitive to carbon dioxide and will fly or run away if you breath directly on them.
They’ll spot your shadow quickly and will be sure to take off before you even get your camera out.
By understanding their patterns of behavior and what types of plants or environments they prefer you’ll be more likely to get a good shot. Though professionals often do not use digital cameras, it doesnA?t mean that you canA?t take good shots with one.
Make sure youA?re holding the camera steady and level with the ground so that the picture does not come out blurry or slanted to one side. Imagine that your camera has three vertical lines and three horizontal lines splitting it up in equal parts like a tic-tac-toe grid.

If you have a subject, then the background should not have anything else to distract or draw attention away from the subject.
You need to know proper technique of taking photographs in order to get a good portrait rather than changing the equipment. By this you will also be able to know about the zoom button and how to use it, the flash button and even the power button.
You need to focus on the subject and so choose a plain backdrop or uncluttered background scenery. You can confront the subject before and set his or her desire mood before taking the portrait. You can read the introduction to the series in this Q&A post (just scroll down to the third question).
The quantity and quality of light is important, certainly, but it’s also essential to think about where the light is in relation to the camera. When the sun is right on top of you, it’s obviously impossible to get into a position where the light is behind you. In a nutshell, though, sometimes it works out nicely to put your subject in front of a light source. I just got started reading, and I appreciate all the little tidbits of information especially regarding living frugally.
If you approach the picture with that in mind, you will take better, more meaningful pictures of your family.
I was watching her and thinking about how great it was to be a kid, when the most important part of your day was deciding what colors to put on an egg.
Why did I reach for my camera just now and not 10 minutes ago (or not at all) then you’ll begin to take better pictures of your family immediatly.
Supporting photographers is not just a sideline activity for us, it’s one of the main missions of Photocrati.
Good vibes thrown in for free.Right from when they were little babies my kids have been used to having a camera pointed at them. Or even worse they see me snapping and then grab their own camera or phone to take their own and then ruin my shot by getting in the way or spoiling the unaware moment I was capturing. Melbourne, Brisbane, and Sydney residents have a lot of options to choose from when they want to learn photography from a professional, but you don’t have to spend a lot of money just to improve the way you take photos. These basics will become the foundation of your future in photography, even if you decide to turn the hobby into a profession once you improve your skills. If the subject is looking at a vase, for example, it can draw attention to the vase, leading the viewer to ask what it is about the vase you should focus on. This was taken late in the afternoon, so there was plenty of natural lighting to make it a decent enough photo. Of course, there was a little bit of tweaking done with the camera’s white balance settings, but the basic idea here was that proper, strategic lighting helped in making an otherwise normal photo breathtaking. Sometimes, creating a blur effect naturally by decreasing the shutter speed of your camera (something that you can’t do with traditional point and shoots, unfortunately) can actually end up emphasizing the subject of the photo. Patience really goes a long way and the lack of it can be the cause of horrible looking photos. That way you are not holding down the shutter for long periods, which reduces any shake and subsequent blur.
I change the shutter speed every two minutes or so, typically going slightly longer each time. Remember that because most of the scene will be dark, the camera will over expose so dial down by 1 stop. No one can stay perfectly still for even a second so they will appear slightly blurred as they try to stay still. When the flash goes off at the beginning of the timed exposure the camera will still be gathering picture information of the person after the flash fired. There are some exceptions to this rule as some beetles will actually freeze if you breathe on them.
You should also know if the insect you’re shooting is poisonous or dangerous as there are some types of spiders and insects with powerful or lethal venom.
All you need to know is how to take good pictures with a digital camera to take advantage of its capabilities. However, if the entire scene is what you want to capture, make sure the background is interesting. This way, the facial expression, including the lines of the face, dimples, freckles, and other details, are vividly captured. Read the manual for more information on how to operate your camera, and you?ll be on your way to becoming a good photographer. A person can take good pictures with any camera but this requires practice and applying the proper way. Which would have been great, except that I wasn’t taking a photo of the back of her head. When the sun is rising or setting, though, and is lower in the sky, it’s quite easy to put the light behind you. Looking through a photo album the faces all start to run together, it’s the things that make the memories special.
When I see this picture now it reminds me of that memory and hopefully it will do the same for my daughter one day. Think about what it felt like when you were a kid and climbed on a horse, then try to preserve that feeling for your son.
I have learned to take the silly face photo but also capture the moment immediately after where she giggles about pulling a face. But the photographer went the extra mile and secured several strobe flash units and placed them strategically behind the models.
This will result in some additional image information of the person appearing on top of the person.
If your camera focuses automatically, make sure it is at one of these points where you want the pictureA?s focus to be.
You may need to turn the flash on to eliminate shadows or to add artificial lighting when it?s darker.
If you are taking a picture of scenery, try taking it far farther away to include many elements. Remember that with a digital camera you can take many pictures and instantly edit but it consumes a lot of battery. Although you could shoot very early in the morning when the sun is just about to come over the horizon.
It will be trial and error to take a shot, check if the subject is bright enough, if not then change the exposure compensation and quickly take again. My advice is always colour balance your subject correctly and let the background turn orange.
If you hastily take pictures, you may end up wasting the opportunity to take an otherwise decent shot.
When the flash goes off at the end of the timed exposure, any low light image information that the camera has gathered of the portrait subject will be overwritten (somewhat) by the brighter person that was illuminated by the flash at the end. An alternative is to use a colour balance gel for your flash so that the light from the flash is the same temperature as your background. My technical knowledge allows me to take the picture from the proper angle with the proper light, etc, but it’s my desire to preserve the memory of my children decorating the house that leads me to create an image that is unique and so much better than a snapshot. This is a gift for my children… a memory recall button they can use 30 years from now to feel the same way I did when  I took the picture.

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