Hi! I’m Molly Newman, and I’m one of the contributors to Better Digital Photography & Scrapbooking, a new special issue from Creating Keepsakes magazine. It’s packed with ideas on getting the best shots with any kind of camera in just about any situation. I’d like to share an extra idea with you for dealing with one of the toughest shooting situations: fast-moving subjects in indoor settings.
(Not So) Impressive Indoor Photos
Running, jumping, dancing, tumbling. Our favorite photo subjects―babies, kids, and pets―are in constant motion, and they’re not likely to slow down just so you can snap a photo. When you’re shooting indoors in less-than-ideal light, that can mean disappointing results… but it doesn’t have to.
For the best indoor action shots, you’ll want plenty of natural light. A large window or an open door offer great options for bringing the sunlight indoors. But when that’s not an option, your photos are likely to suffer from one of two issues.
Blurry shots are an obvious problem. You can prevent them by switching on your flash…
…but flash shots shot in Automatic mode often contain harsh shadows and no contrast between the subject and the background.
Using Night Mode for Indoor Photography
Most point-and-shoot cameras include a Night mode (often indicated on the dial with a crescent moon symbol). Switch to Night mode even during daylight hours to increase shutter speed while keeping the flash on. You’ll freeze the action with the flash and avoid hard-edged shadows.
Up the ISO and Convert to B&W
You can also increase your camera’s ISO setting for faster shutter speeds. Warning: this method produces noisier images than you may like. Try converting your photo to black-and-white to turn the noise into an artistic grainy effect.
Play with Creative Blurring Effects
Or, embrace your subject’s high speed and play with creative blurring effects for high-impact photos. If you’re using a camera phone or a camera that lacks ISO or shooting mode options, this is the choice for you.
Try panning with your subject, or moving the camera as you shoot while keeping your subject at the same place in your viewfinder. You’ll still get some blur, but the overall look can be extra-dramatic. Pump up the effect by increasing contrast and applying a Drama or Vintage setting in your favorite photo-editing app.
Get More Tips for Better Photography
Whether you’re shooting with a full-fledged DSLR, a compact point-and-shoot, or a camera phone, you’ll find tons more tips for taking amazing photos in Better Digital Photos & Scrapbooking.