Shooting with Your Hands Full
Photographing a toddler takes lots of patience and lots of misses. But with tenacity, one can capture amazing images like this I captured this morning in our backyard. Using one hand to hold the Canon 5D and the other hand grasping the 580 EX Speedlite connected via sync cord to the camera, things came together for this portrait of my son. The flash is in high-speed sync mode for a 1/1000 second shutter speed to compete with the sun that is producing a nice flare on my son's face. While the Canon 5D is a decade-old technology, it is still a great system doing some heavy lifting communicating with the Speedlite for proper exposure of the face. It is a good compromise for shooting with flash for a fast moving toddler. Setting up a softbox or umbrella is really impractical when one really doesn't know where my son will be.
Using AI-Servo focus (Continuous for Nikon) is an important setting for shooting not just sports, but especially for active children like my son. This setting allows the camera to continue focusing while the shutter is half-pressed. With a kid constantly moving, it is near impossible to use single focus, which locks focus with the half-press of the shutter. You'll usually end up with a focus point that was where your child was when it focused.
I am fortunate to spend my mornings with my son. He is a great subject and I'll often carry my camera with me as we head to a park. But there are times when the camera is far less important than just connecting with him. He wants to look at the images on the back of the camera or press the shutter button. It is during these moments that reminds me that while technical knowledge is important in photography, it is nothing compared to the relationship that you have with your subject.
Keywords: AI-Servo, Canon, flash, kid, morning, photography, smile, speedlight, speedlite, sun, toddler
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