One of the most challenging things to capture with your camera is action. If your trying to get some nice shots of children playing in the back yard, it can be tough. Most point and shoot cameras have a sports mode in the menu system. What that does is bump up your shutter speed to try and help you freeze the action. Setting your camera in this mode will also change other setting as well. With photography you are alway giving up something to gain something else.
What you need to do is get your camera out of AUTO and take charge of your setting. Lets start with trying to get some nice shots of your child running around outside. We will start with trying to get a shape still photo of your child as they play.
First set your camera into Aperture Priority Mode. By doing this you can adjust your aperture, or F-Stop to get your shutter speed up around 250 or higher. At 250 you should be able to get a nice shot without any blurring.
Like this image of Homer Lacrosse I was in Aperture Priority Mode, and I set my aperture to 2.8 or 3.5. This means I opened up the F stop to allow more light into the camera, which then allowed the camera to raise the shutter speed to help freeze the action.
So like I was saying there are give and takes in photography, if you let more light into the camera then the camera is going to make adjustments to try and get the correct exposer. In this situation my camera raised the shutter speed to adjust for the more light that I was allowing in. Our cameras do not see in color, they try to make every scene look 18% Gray. Thats why when you make one adjustment your camera is going to change another setting to try and get the scene back to 18% gray.
Grab your camera and get out of AUTO MODE and try to get a high shutter speed by opening up your aperture. Remember the smaller the number on your aperture means the more light, bigger opening. The larger the number means the less light and smaller opening.
Above is a shot of a Flat Track motorcycle doing around 70-75 mph. I had my camera shutter speed up around 2000, and the aperture around f4, with my ISO at 200. When I pushed the shutter if froze that rider like he was sitting still.
I know this might be confusing at first, but trust me trying it and keep at it and you will see a big difference in your images.
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Next we will add ISO into the mix to help you fine tune your shots even more.
Until then take care and Just Shoot!