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How to capture action reliably and with style

If you’re anything like me, you’ll be spending this fine Easter afternoon with family and friends, eating, laughing, and, of course, making lots and lots of photographs. At our annual Easter gathering there are an abundance of children. And children make great subjects for photography except for one problem: they don’t sit still. A moving target is one of the most difficult things to photograph. Read on for some tips that should help make things a little easier.

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Creating trails of light with a long exposure

Have you ever seen photographs of vehicle lights on the freeway or abstract images of beams of light? They’re both examples of what is called a “long exposure.” That is, a photograph with a slow (long) shutter speed. You just need two things to make these kinds of photographs:

  • a camera that allows you to manually set the shutter speed (called “Shutter Priority” mode, it is sometimes noted on cameras with the symbol “Tv”) and that allows shutter speeds longer than 1 second.
  • a stable platform to hold the camera steady

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Using fill flash to enhance natural lighting

Many people avoid flash photography because of the unnatural and unflattering look it can create. The problem comes from several factors which I’ll talk about in more detail in future articles. For now, I want to talk about a way to use your flash that can not only enhance the natural beauty of a scene, but no one will even be able to tell that a flash was used.

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Learn everything you can about your camera

If you want to get good photos, learning how to use your equipment is a must. And that doesn’t necessarily mean digging out the the owner’s manual and poring over it line by line (although, I do recommend you read it at least once). You can learn about your camera by using it. You may be thinking to yourself, “But I have a fully-automatic compact camera.” You may be surprised to find out that many compact cameras have more than one mode and many of them even have a manual mode that gives you fine-grained control over the exposure.

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