We all have them, whether from our own childhood or from the momentous occasions in our children’s lives – the blurry, the dark, the overexposed, the grainy, the awkward photos. The ones where you say with frustration and dejection, “Aw, man! I missed it.” Different from the quality, heirloom pieces, created by a professional, that you hang on your walls and make into albums, every day life photography is a skill that any parent needs. In this day and age just about everyone has some sort of camera and it is common to hear the click of a shutter when a photo is snapped. This everyday practice is probably most notable during those life events that parents all too familiar with – The Dance Recital, The Birthday Party and The Sporting Event. Each of these events has its own unique set of circumstances and each require just a few notes on what you can do as a parent to capture those memories just a tad bit more skillfully and successfully. Photography is a skill and art that everyone can improve at with just a few tips.
Part 3: Play it Again Sports!
To really capture sports or action, you truly need a fast camera and lens options that are made for speed and varying light conditions. This type of gear can be pricey so if you are serious about preserving some great moments, be ready to invest. Using more budget friendly cameras, use the Fast Action setting (running guy) or Tv (Shutter priority) modes set at 1/500sec or faster. During the day set your ISO as low as possible 100-200, at night ISO 600-800. Position yourself in key spots where action is of the most interest – behind the umpire, goalie or finish line. Shooting through a fence or net can be interesting for a few shots but if it is in every image, it will be a hindrance to the action and focus. Try to set up with the sun behind you as focusing into the sun is more difficult and often results in flare and blown out images. When halftime is called or teams switch sides, move around and move to a different view. Shoot the entire play (ex. walking up to plate until done completely) because it never fails that the moment you look down to see if you “got it” is the moment when something awesome happens (home run, goal, save, etc.) and you’ve missed it. TIP: Bring an umbrella to help protect your gear if drizzly. You can also get a rain/water resistant cover for most cameras, as well. Otherwise leave the camera at home and enjoy the game. Water in electronics is usually never a good idea. Last but not least, like the dance recital, don’t lose yourself in trying to get the perfect shot at every game. Many shots end up looking the same and get lost in the shuffle of game after game. Sit back and enjoy the moments, the excitement and the joy of watching your child participate in sports. When they make a shot or do something incredible, they want to see you cheering in the stands not the lens of your camera in front of your face. It won’t last forever and the real memories exist in the enjoyment of the experience.