Lights, Camera, Action

Parenting School Years, May 2010

By Melissa W. Sais

You’ve been capturing every step of your super-star’s growth, but now, as he steals a base or goes in for a lay up, you’re left with blurred images of something that might be your kid. How to get your picture taking game back on:

Upgrade your camera. A digital SLR (single lens reflex) camera is more versatile because you can change lenses, it has higher-quality image sensors, and there’s less lag time – essential for action pics. Most have a pre-set sports mode, but the following adjustments can improve your shots even more.

Freeze the action with a fast shutter speed of 1/250 of a second or faster. If it’s set below that, you’re unlikely to stop the motion and get a clear shot.

Manage the light of notoriously dim gyms by raising the ISO sensitivity — the camera’s ability to capture light — to 1600 or more, says Jim Miotke, author of The BetterPhoto Guide to Photographing Children. Avoid using flash, as it might be distracting to the players (or even be prohibited).

Get close. Ask the coach if you can stand on the sidelines, or rent a super telephoto lens from a local camera store. Then shoot and shoot some more until you’re happy with what you see in the LCD monitor.

First appeared in Parenting School Years, May 2010.