Continuous auto focus mode for better pictures of your kids

We all love taking shots of our kids, but some of the images that we thought would look great end up blurry and out of focus. Kids have far too much energy and move very fast so capturing that moment requires setting the camera up the right way.

The easiest way to do this is to set your camera to “Sports” mode. This will automatically switch the settings to give you the best shots. However, this is sometimes still not enough to get really sharp photos, especially indoors. If you would prefer to shoot in manual mode, follow the steps below.

1. Switch to shutter speed priority on your camera (S or Tv if you shoot Canon). You’ll want to set it fast, probably to about 1/320th of a second to get sharp images, or even faster if the light allows. This is going to cut out a lot of light, so you’re going to sacrifice image quality (ISO) and depth of field (aperture) to get enough light in.

2. Take a test shot and increase your ISO until the exposure is acceptable. You’ll probably need this to be above 800 to get enough light indoors. You may be able to switch the ISO to AUTO, but the aperture may not be fast enough on your camera. If in doubt, ramp up your ISO.

3. Switch to continuous auto focus. This is key. As you are shooting in shutter priority, your aperture will likely be wide open if you’re indoors and only a little bit of the image will be in sharp focus. If your kids are running and jumping around, continuous auto focus will allow the camera to focus on the subject right up until you press the shutter. This will mean your pictures will be nicely focussed.

Good luck and let me know how you get on in the comments!

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