First, let me say that I’m sorry I missed Friday! I’m on vacation and temporarily lost any concept of time … so, we will pretend its Friday and not quite the weekend.
Anyway, back to Friday’s tip!
If you’ve ever tried to shoot your Wild Thing in the house, you’ve probably figured out that taking shots in the house can be tricky. There are 2 major things that will irritate you faster than hearing “Mommy, I need potty!” with a full shopping cart in Wal-Mart. Those are Shadows & Blur. So, let’s talk about avoiding those enemies by using natural light while indoors. Yes Mommies, you CAN shoot a decent picture without your flash!
Enemy #1 Shadows.
Let’s talk about WHY you’re getting the shadows. So, you’ve searched the whole house for the brightest spot to plop your Wild Thing down and start shooting. Sometimes, the brightest spots are the worst. They can create hotspots and harsh shadows. You want lots of light but not lots of DIRECT light.
What can you do? First of all, you want your main source of light to be at a 45 degree angle to your Wild Thing. You might have seen a professional mention using a reflector. But let’s face it, unless you have an assistant (who by the way, would be put to better use by doing the dishes) using one to capture a Wild Thing … just isn’t realistic.
BUT if your Wild Thing likes to paint or draw, a white paper easel may help to get a nicely lit little face while they are drawing away. What has worked for me in the past, is getting my Wild Thing to play near the big bay window early to mid morning. Another trick you can try is to have them play in a white walled corner near a window. The white walls help to bounce the light around creating a softer (less shadowy) light.
And if you get the cutest shot ever that is still plagued by shadows you can try desaturating and lowering the contrast in processing to see if that saves it!
Enemy #2 Blurrrr
What about that Blur? WHY!? There are a couple of reasons. Movement will create a blurry picture. Darker conditions mean your shutter will need to be open longer (slower shutter speed), which means your subject has enough time to move or even slight movement of the camera can happen – or both.
What can you do? Steadying your camera can make a big difference. Since we all know that using a tripod is not conducive to capturing a Wild Thing, use your surroundings! Get down on the ground and steady your elbows on your knees … elbows on a table or chair … find something to lean on. I like to get on my belly with my elbows on the ground – helps to get down on their level anyway!
Another biggie that can help is to get manual! I’ve said it before mommies, get that camera in manual mode! Control the camera’s process. Play with the settings. Start with ISO 400 and the widest (lowest number) aperture and adjust your shutter speed from there. If you can’t get a shutter speed of at least 1/60, bump your ISO up and adjust shutter speed again until you get there.
Ok Mommies! Get over there and PRACTICE going “Natural in the House”!
Please feel free to email me!