June 19, 2018, 08:46:15 AM

Author Topic: Advice for shooting small kids in front of a Christmas tree  (Read 4113 times)

kat.hayes

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Advice for shooting small kids in front of a Christmas tree
« on: December 20, 2017, 01:25:53 PM »
I'm still new to photography and am going to photograph a 3-yr old and a 10-month old together in front of a Christmas tree tonight. I'm going to use a 5DM3 and a 24-70mm. I also have a 600EX-RT and a large, and an extra large Flash Bender. The lighting in the room is very yellowish/warm.

What is the best strategy for getting photos of the kids while not washing out the lights from the tree? I could use a longer exposure with a tripod but then I risk motion blur from the kids moving. Will the extra large Flash Bender with the diffusion panel maintain the ambient lighting from the tree? I was thinking of shooting wide open at 2.8 to let more light in and create some blur in the background, while using Evaluative metering to account for the lighting and the kids in the front, though I'm not sure what to do with the shutter and I will just adjust ISO and needed. Would it be better to have the kids closer or farther from the tree?

Thanks for any help.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2017, 01:28:19 PM by kat.hayes »

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Advice for shooting small kids in front of a Christmas tree
« on: December 20, 2017, 01:25:53 PM »

snappy604

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Re: Advice for shooting small kids in front of a Christmas tree
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2017, 01:54:18 PM »
"Advice for shooting small kids in front of a Christmas tree"

Not a very festive activity ;-)

There are many ways. I'm sure there are more qualified people to answer this than I.

However,  I'd probably put it to MANUAL, pump the ISO up to about 1600 (noise won't be much of an issue for that camera at that iso), open the Aperture to 2.8 (if it's enough DoF) and then adjust the shutter speed until you get the right light level on your meter. If it goes above 1/250th use high speed sync on the flash. I'd also adjust the flash to use as a fill and using TTL I'd ask it to detect as much as 1 stop lower so it's a more subtle fill vs overwhelming.

Take a test shot or two before trying to pose the kids.. their attention/cooperation span is very small, so best to get your light levels in place before trying to take the pics.

zim

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Re: Advice for shooting small kids in front of a Christmas tree
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2017, 03:34:28 PM »
"Advice for shooting small kids in front of a Christmas tree"

Not a very festive activity ;-)


 ;D ;D ;D Thanks for best laugh of the day

bereninga

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Re: Advice for shooting small kids in front of a Christmas tree
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2017, 03:41:06 PM »
Would it be better to have the kids closer or farther from the tree?

This depends on how bokeh-licious you want the photo to be. If you're looking for more bokeh, they should sit further from the tree. If you want a more environmental shot, they should sit closer to it.

Take a test shot or two before trying to pose the kids.. their attention/cooperation span is very small, so best to get your light levels in place before trying to take the pics.

LOL This is great advice. I usually use a stuffed animal or something as a test subject. Once you're ready and have your kids in place, get ready to do some rapid firing. hahaha Good luck!

brad-man

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Re: Advice for shooting small kids in front of a Christmas tree
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2017, 05:23:31 PM »
Take a test shot or two before trying to pose the kids.. their attention/cooperation span is very small, so best to get your light levels in place before trying to take the pics.

LOL This is great advice. I usually use a stuffed animal or something as a test subject. Once you're ready and have your kids in place, get ready to do some rapid firing. hahaha Good luck!


I would get the kids to pose by the tree by baiting them with candy. Or would that be unethical?

PKinDenmark

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Re: Advice for shooting small kids in front of a Christmas tree
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2017, 05:56:23 PM »
Let me enter here with a picture and my view on the situation and the settings.
I was at a kindergarten's Christmas party to photograph and catch the good mood.
Moving around fly-on-the-wall-like as much as possible. Hence handheld, no flash, no instructions.

I found this little guy fully immersed in the wonders of the tree and the decorations. So I had the opportunity to make several shots - of which I selected this one. By the way I was almost IN the tree to get this.
Would have been next to impossible (for me at least) to get this intense expression in a staged setup.

Details: Canon 6D, EF 50mm 1.4 @ Manual, f/2.0, 1/80s, ISO=1600
« Last Edit: December 20, 2017, 06:00:14 PM by PKinDenmark »
Enjoying photography very much - and that includes the technicalities as well as the planning, shooting and post-processing. Equipment is centered around a Canon 6D.

slclick

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Re: Advice for shooting small kids in front of a Christmas tree
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2017, 08:03:45 PM »
See: baiting bird post
Who Cares! Shoot with a 75 year old camera, if you got chops, it will be great!

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Re: Advice for shooting small kids in front of a Christmas tree
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2017, 08:03:45 PM »

Arty

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Re: Advice for shooting small kids in front of a Christmas tree
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2018, 11:07:50 AM »
I usually look to natural or existing light and my 35F2 IS for this sort of shot, but I have used the 50 F1.4 at F2.

For flash, if you have white walls, you can direct the flash behind you or almost straight up, use manual exposure, and test out a few shots. I would start with 1/200 (or 1/160), ISO 800 and F8. See if this works. You can adjust ISO and aperture to give you what is needed.

YuengLinger

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Re: Advice for shooting small kids in front of a Christmas tree
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2018, 02:13:42 PM »
Don't let 'em open a single freakin' gift until you have the perfect shot.

old-pr-pix

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Re: Advice for shooting small kids in front of a Christmas tree
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2018, 03:38:51 PM »
OP... so how did it go?  My experience, 1/40 is absolute slowest shutter if kids are 'still' otherwise 1/80 is better.  Select ISO and aperture to get the DOF & tree lights right, then use flash for freezing motion and fill. Did you happen to try the 600 EX pointed straight up with just the integral white card for fill?  Flash Bender may be too much to look natural.  Everyone kids me, but I happen to like the old style Gary Fong 'Tupperware' thingy for such shots.  (Yes, I know he is a huckster, but it is still a useful product for many casual family shots.)
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CanonFanBoy

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Re: Advice for shooting small kids in front of a Christmas tree
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2018, 02:03:32 AM »
Take a test shot or two before trying to pose the kids.. their attention/cooperation span is very small, so best to get your light levels in place before trying to take the pics.

LOL This is great advice. I usually use a stuffed animal or something as a test subject. Once you're ready and have your kids in place, get ready to do some rapid firing. hahaha Good luck!


I would get the kids to pose by the tree by baiting them with candy. Or would that be unethical?

LOL! You'll make them dependent and they'll fail to launch when the time comes.  ;)
5D Mark III, Canon EF 24-70 F/2.8L II, 70-200 f/2.8L IS II, 35 f/1.4L II, 135 f/2L, Streaklight 360ws, Flashpoint XPLOR 600PRO, 26x m42 screw mount lenses adapted to my DSLR. Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II, Olympus M. Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro

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Re: Advice for shooting small kids in front of a Christmas tree
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2018, 02:03:32 AM »