who’s that monkey jumping in the bed?

One of the biggest questions I usually get asked in regards to camera settings is “Why are my photos blurry?” There are tons of answers to this question, but typically it is a result of a slow shutter speed. Your shutter is what ‘freezes’ action. The faster your shutter the more action you can freeze (think kid jumping into a pool). The slower your shutter speed, the less action that will be frozen (think soft, flowy waterfall pictures). If you are using your camera on Automatic and are attempting to take indoor pictures with your flash turned off, most likely your camera will slow down your shutter speed….leading to blurry movement in your photos. The best way to remedy this is to learn to shoot manually πŸ™‚ (I know…that is rude…forgive me)

If you can’t shoot manually, try turning your camera to the “Tv” or “S” mode and set the shutter for 1/125 (some cameras just show this as 125) and then increase it to be faster and faster (1/200, 200)…now your camera will adjust the ISO and aperture for you. This is a very brief answer and I admit there are about 100 other things to consider when adjusting for indoor pictures without flash, but maybe this can be a jumping off point for you to play around with.

The first 5 photos below were all taken on the same settings. You can tell how my son is blurry when he is jumping. My shutter speed was fast enough to capture him still, but too slow to capture him in the air without being blurry.

24mm, 1/125, f/2.8, ISO 400


What could possibly be so entertaining to watch while jumping in a crib?

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the goofiest kids of all?

Yep, FireCracker is wearing the same hat as I showed yesterday. I took the photos at the same time.

I’ve been getting a lot of emails about dates for the next SnapShops. I have not set any dates and I don’t plan on setting any until the spring. Right now I am looking at only doing 2 in the spring and 2 in the fall. There is still a hope I can get an online version going sometime in 2011, but we will see. I will announce new dates via my newsletter before announcing them on the blog. Typically each SnapShop fills up within a few hours of announcing those dates. You can sign up for my newsletter here.


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  • Alba - I will try it with my camera.
    Yes, here there is a candidate for online snapshops whenever it arrives. by the way, merry x-mas to you and to your family. Petonets, Alba

  • Yanet - So did you get IN the crib for the last shot? Lol.

  • Corey Moortgat - Oh, I’d love it if you could do an online snapshop!!

  • Mandy - Just wondering what lens you used for this – and love that last one!!

  • amanda torres - Man, did you crawl into my head or what? I was just wondering the same thing about blurry non-flash indoor photos. Crazy weird. I will continue to be freaked out the remainder of the day. Which is not unlike any other day.

  • Jen - i would LOVE if you could do an online snapshot.

  • ashley jensen - When I got my DSLR in April my main goal was to only take manual photos. I usually have to take a couple shots before I get my settings just right (which is frustrating if you miss the moment you are trying to capture). I will have the correct shutter speed but my ISO is too low, or vice versa. Plus I love the back button focus trick you taught us! I love seeing your “behind the scene” shots also. EXTREMELY helpful!

  • Krista Lund - i absolutely adore that last photo!!

  • Meadowlark - Who’s
    not whose

    sorry. I’m a grammar nazi, but in a good way.

  • hearttypat - how did u manage to get firecracker so clear with the backlight from the window behind her?

  • Laurie J - tax return = camera upgrade from a point/shoot to something…that can do a little more. Like an amateur fun camera?! do you have a post where you lay out what someone like me should look for in a camera like that? I’d appreciate ANY help on my first camera upgrade πŸ™‚

  • giozi - Adorable, like always. Are you going to take free days?
    A big hug.

  • Jenny B. - Thanks for the tips! I kept getting blurry pictures the other day, and complained about it to my husband. He, being the brilliant man he is, suggested wiping the fingerprints off the lens. Ha! πŸ™‚ I did, but I still have trouble with blurry shots indoors w/out flash. I’m learning to shoot on manual, and have upped my ISO to the highest it will go, but they still don’t come out sharp. Sigh… I’m wondering if maybe more than the outside of the lens needs cleaning. I remember you saying something about cleaning your sensor, so I think I might need to look into a camera repair shop. I always love your posts. I hope the online version of SnapShops becomes a reality! πŸ™‚

  • kassondra - oo i so hope you can do it online!!!!!!!!!! i will def. be using this tip this coming Christmas weekend too!

  • Life in Eden {amy} - great advice!
    I LOVE your daughter’s lanterns and pom-poms. I know how to do the poms, but where did you find those great colored lanterns? And any advice how you hung it on the ceiling like that? I’m finding the hanging part a big challenge (don’t want to put a ton on holes in the ceiling!)

  • sheryl salik - where did you get? or how did you make? the amazing puffy’s above your daughters bed..i wanted to do something similar in my daughters room but ive only found them for $60 or more!

  • phanie - just joined your site today, these are fantastic photos! such a fantastic idea having the mirror placed with the photos so that it’s like a different changeable photo amongst the rest! very clever!