Settings for outdoor children's birthday party

edited September 2014 Posted in » Nikon D3100 Forum
I'm a newbie at taking portraits. I have been asked to take pictures of an outdoor children's birthday party. The party will be held in the evening around 3:30pm. I am only used to shooting pictures after the sun goes down around 7pm, which is my favorite time to get good sharp pictures. Could someone give me some suggestions on some settings? Some of the pictures will be taken under a covered picnic table and some will be taken under a tree. This area is around a lake. Any help will be appreciated. :-) I have the standard lens 18-55mm that came with the camera and also a AF 50mm f/1.4g, and a 55-200mm lens.


  • edited September 2014
    I guess I’m on a similar boat as you. I often shoot in poor lighting indoors so every time I get to shoot in daylight, I’m a bit befuddled. To this day I feel weird shooting at ISO 100 and at several hundredths of a second shutter speed.

    Anyway, no settings to recommend since it depends on lighting and what you’re trying to capture. In general:
    Stop down your aperture 1 or 2 stops to maximize sharpness. You should be able to afford to do so without sacrificing ISO in daylight.
    Stop down more if you’re trying to photograph a bunch of kids running around to widen your depth of field.

    I would probably leave the 18-55mm in the bag. Mount the tele zoom and fire away. Keep the 50mm on hand for those moments where you want to open up your aperture further. Pay attention to your white balance especially in the shade. You may want to shoot in RAW to make corrections if necessary. If you’re shooting in uneven lighting (i.e. patches of sunlight with patches of shade), you may not be able to trust your camera’s metering. Be sure to review your shot and adjust exposure compensation if necessary.
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