When it comes to taking better pictures (no matter what the subject or situation), it usually comes down to light. Find the better light and your pictures will improve by 100%. The other day, my kids were outside playing basketball in the driveway, so I decided to snap a few pictures of the fun. I started off shooting parallel to the hoop, so the sun (which was getting low in the sky) was to my right. I quickly realized that this was a terrible position for taking pictures. The shadows were way too harsh and the kids kept moving in and out of shade which made it impossible for me to get the right camera settings. See the four pictures below as samples of what I was getting from this position.
My solution? Simply move to a better position! I walked over to the edge of the driveway so I was facing the hoop…and the sun. Now, facing the sun for photography CAN be tricky, but if you practice, you’ll find that your images will be so much better. Less squinting. No harsh shadows. No blown out highlights on faces. It’s awesome! Another benefit of facing the sun is the beautiful backlighting that you’ll get on your subject.
If your camera is still on “auto” then this trick will work OKAY, but if you are on “manual” then the possibilities are endless. You might need to mess around with your shutter speed, your ISO, and your aperture to find the right combo, but once you get it, you will be amazed!
If your kids are moving around quite a bit like these two were, then your shutter speed will need to be pretty fast. You’ll also want to shoot with your aperture a little more closed down since getting an exact focus point on a moving target can be tricky.
If you LOVE the idea of getting your camera off “auto” and onto “manual” so you can have more control over your photos, then stay tuned to jaydub photography. I’m going to be offering a few classes on the basics of digital photography with your DSLR camera in manual mode!