10 Photo-Tips From A Novice

We have gotten many questions related to how we photograph the boys, so I figured I would give my TOTALLY untrained/unskilled photography insights. We are certainly not trained photographers nor are we using special equipment. Until March 2007 we only used a 7.2 Megapixel little automatic digital camera, we then added a 10MP Nikon D80 DSLR. The Nikon is pretty good in high light outside, but is basically useless under inside lighting conditions. With enough light, the SLR does enable us to shoot a very fast shutter speed to freeze some of the action. The little point and shoot still gives us better shots indoors (flashing all the time).

I really feel that one needs to change their mindset when using digital cameras.... When using film (yes film) there is the $$$ on the mind,... with digital,... you can't lose,... unless you don't shoot the shots.

My Tips

1) Get a big card so you can shoot and shoot and shoot pictures,... then upon downloading to the computer delete 50% right away. Don't bother doing this on the camera,... We generally download 100-200 pictures every couple of days,... Then after filtering through them several times get down to 10-20 potentially "blog worthy" shots. We delete the rest, then pull those "good" shots into Adobe Photoshop, crop and resize the pictures (10" on longest side @ 72dpi), reducing size by a factor of about 10 (about 100kb per picture),... We keep the original full-sized "good" shots also (just in case), in another folder.

2) We do not attempt to frame the shots,... we just point in the general direction of the action and shoot, and shoot. Sure, there are ~20% that we just miss, or could be framed better but you get an extra ~40% along the way that you would have missed because you are being to careful.

By not stressing about framing the shots,... taking 100+ pictures is NO burden at all,... it is all just part of whatever is going on. We are continually amazed at how many pictures we take because it is a no-stress action.

3) Keep the camera charged and close at hand so if something starts to happen you can quickly grab the camera and shoot away.

4) Take pictures at your highest resolution.

5) Typically our best shots come when not zoomed in much but the action is actually closer to the camera.

6) Flash all the time.

7) Holding the camera down at their level works well.

8) Lots of lights on in the house helps the digital take the picture. It can be frustrating with our camera at times because we see a picture happen but the camera doesn't shoot the shot ("shutter lag"). So,... just keep on shooting, trying to time the shot.

9) The big thing is to get a way to organize the shots,... the blog works great for us,... we have had digital pictures in the past that we never revisit.

10) Have FUN!!!

We hope you enjoy The Adventures of Tanjiro, Uschi-Swirl & Vladimir: Bengal Cat Brothers.