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Capturing people

Alice_Jones1990 3:16pm, 20 November 2012
Hello!
I've had a D3100 with a 35mm 1.8 lens for a couple of months now. I'm pretty happy with the majority of my photos considering this is my first SLR but I can't seem to grasp capturing moving people. This includes close ups of people in conversation or at a distance (for example, shooting sport). The problem seems to be my shutter speed, it is always too slow even when I have it on the quickest it can be and by the time the photo is taken the 'moment' is gone. Moreover when I don't want to use the flash, low lighting dictates that I have to slow the shutter speed which obviously adds to the problem. I have this problem both in manual and auto focus.
If any one has any tips on how I can capture people more quickly, whilst maintaining the right exposure I would be most grateful!
Alice_Jones1990 6 years ago
Also, the shutter speed to slows when I'm shooting through the monitor rather than the view finder. And it slows down if I've just manually focused. Hmmm....
SlikImage Photography 6 years ago
A rough rule of thumb taking into account using DX lenses and the VR (vibration reduction) is the focal length = shutter speed i.e 60mm = 1/60, 100mm = 1/100 ... This will help avoid camera shake without using a tripod. If you don't want to use flash the only way you could get a fast enough shutter speed is to increase the ISO (you don't mention what ISO you are using). The D3100 is pretty good up to 800 without getting too much noise in the images. I have used up to 1600 in order to get the shot.
Hope this helps.
Room 111 5 years ago
Hi, Alice:

Just a few recommendations.

1. Be careful with the 35mm when photographing people. Don't get too close. The 35mm is a wide angle and if you get too close you will distort their faces and heads, producing a funhouse mirror effect. Better to frame them with their entire body (head to toe) in the frame and no closer. If you want to get closer go with a 50mm (top of head to waist) or 85mm (head and shoulders) for that work.

2. I agree with Steve, above. Place your camera in a higher ISO. I use up to 3200 to get indoor shots without flash. When you zoom in there is noise/grain, but not zooming in too close the noise is hardly present. But try to stay at 800 and below, going to 1600 and 3200 only if absolutely necessary.

3. Don't use Live View. Turn that off. Look through the viewfinder on the camera. Very respectfully you've decided to graduate past point-and-shoots and embrace a higher level of photography. That means leaving behind that dreaded Live View and composing through the viewfinder. That will help you immensely with the problem you describe.

4. Place your camera in Shutter Priority "S." If you want to freeze natural human motion you might want to be in the 1/125, 1/200, or 1/250 range, depending on how much they are moving. If they are standing and just talking then 1/125 might work. If there is still blur bump it up to 1/200, etc....

Do these four things and you will see an improvement immediately.

Best wishes to you always,
Rob
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