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take better photos of your kids - putting the exposure triangle together {photography tips}

Finally! We've learned the three pillars of the exposure triangle: ISO, Aperture, and Shutter Speed! They weren't too bad, right?!

Ok, so the next question is - how do all THREE of these pillars work together?  

Here's a picture that I took recently. (PS: it's one of my new favorite photos of ALL TIME!)

I knew I didn't need a fast shutter speed (babies don't move much), and I knew that I wanted a blurry background (I was going for a whimsical, soft look and with a baby, you always want to make sure that the blurry background is there to focus on him or her). But it was dark in the house (not that it was anyone's fault, it was just indoors, low light levels and it was approaching the end of the day). So what to do?

Well, the ISO was key here. If the aperture was going to be extremely low for the blurry background (set at f/1.8) and the shutter speed was at 1/125, then that means there's very little light getting into the camera. Yes, of course I could have lowered the shutter speed even more, but then I run the risk of camera shake (I didn't want to set up my camera on the tripod because then I wouldn't have the freedom to snap photos at any time). Side note: why 1/125 shutter speed? Well, I have an 85mm fixed lens (doesn't zoom) and the rule of thumb is you always want a shutter speed above the lens lenght (i.e. it should have been somewhere above 1/85 sec).

So I was left with playing with the ISO. I pumped this ISO level up to 1600, which is high. Yes, I knew I was going to get some grain in the photos, but my camera can handle the higher ISO better than other cameras. Plus, I am able to decrease the grain/noise a little in post-editing. So I was comfortable taking it up to 1600.

What about the picture below? In this picture I knew I had to keep the ISO pretty high (1600), but I wanted a less blurry background so that I could still tell there was a kiddo behind his feet! So the background became f/2.8. That means there was a bit less light coming in (remember aperture is opposite...the higher the number the less light.) So the only thing I could adjust here was the shutter speed. I knew I had to keep it above 1/85, so I took it down as far as I could so that I wouldn't sacrifice the camera shake. I took it down to 1/100.

Now it's your turn! Try to adjust ALL THREE settings yourself and see what you get! Use your dog for the shutter speed pictures. Or your kids. And try taking some indoors (which will force you to adjust ISO). And how about outdoors for better aperture adjustments?

What will you capture?!

If you want to share your photos, sign up for the newsletter and let me know that you want to be added to the PRIVATE facebook group with other mothers and fathers who want to take better photos of their kids :-)