Why are my shots blurry?

To get sharp shots of moving subjects, you’ll need to use a fast shutter speed. You can shoot using the Shutter Priority mode – you set the shutter speed and your camera will set the aperture for a sharp shot. If your lighting is flat and your shutter speeds are still too slow, you can increase your ISO setting to obtain a faster shutter speed.

What’s a good lens for indoor portraits?

Because of the lack of light, you’ll need a wide aperture to let a lot of light reach your camera’s sensor. Try using a fast prime lens, lie a 50 mm with a really wide (or fast) maximum aperture.

What’s a prime lens (vs. a zoom lens)?

Prime lenses are only one focal length, such as 24mm or 50mm. Because these lenses have fewer moving parts, and are often less-complicated optical designs, they can be considerably smaller than zoom lenses. They also often have a wider maximum aperture (a lower f-number), which allows the lens to admit more light.
Zoom lenses are capable of a range of focal lengths, such as 17-35mm, or 70-200mm. Because of this range, these lenses can be more versatile than prime lenses, but are often larger, and are almost always “slower”—that is, they admit less light because of smaller maximum apertures.

What is depth of field?

Depth of field can be either shallow (where a narrow zone appears sharp) or deep (where more of the picture is sharp). Wider apertures (smaller f-stop numbers) and closer focusing distances lead to a shallow depth of field. With a smaller aperture, shutter speed has to become slower, so you might want to increase the ISO to reduce camera shake. Larger apertures let in more light, so faster shutter speeds can be used to freeze movement. Lens size also affects depth of field – a 200mm lens will have a thin depth of field compared to a 20mm lens.

How do I get the white balance right?

White balance is basically a way to “measure” the temperature of light and to “balance” out the colors of your photography for the desired results. It’s a good idea to use your camera’s preset white balance options (such as daylight, cloudy, or shade) – especially when shooting jpegs that will be processed in-camera. You can also use Custom WB for even more accuracy.

How do I use electronic flash correctly?

The key to good flash is to position yourself so that the subject you are photographing is in the (relative) dark and yet has some light on the background behind it, no matter how little. (The subject also needs to be a few feet away from any wall or other lit background because that is typically where the flash will cast its ugly shadow.) Then you set your exposure for that background. After this, you have the flash fill in enough light in the dark area to make the once dark foreground now approximately match the lighted background. This is called balancing the flash exposure with the ambient light. The best electronic flash work requires a TTL flash, where the flash and camera “talk” to each other to read the amount of light hitting the camera’s light sensing chip in order to get the best exposure. Those calculations are done “through the lens,” which is why the flashes are called TTL units, and have the most accurate flash controls.