Help with focus and blurred shots of toddlers

edited April 2012 Posted in » Canon 60D Forum
Okay, you guys have helped me before so I'm hoping you can help again. I've started shooting toddlers and am having a hard time getting sharp images. It's driving me crazy. It's not like the kids are running around like crazy, just turning their heads and what not. I haven't had this problem before.

I have my 60D set to Av with aperture set to f/2.8. I thought the aperture would be better for depth of field, but now I'm thinking it's making my area of focus too small. I have it set to the 9 point focus (or however many max the camera has).

What do you guys think? Could it also have something to do with shooting indoors (where I've noticed the problem) vs. outdoors?


  • edited April 2012
    Hi @Allegory - You were on the right lines in your reasoning. The larger the aperture, the smaller the depth of field. You don't say what lens you are using, but f/2.8 is reasonable for portrait shots provided the subject is still.

    Try focusing on the eyes...this will make sure that the rest of the face is also in focus. Indoors you might have to notch up the ISO a little to give you a decent shutter speed. Also, try using your Auto ISO function. Regards, PBked
  • edited April 2012
    Thanks @PBked - Right now I primarily use my Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 when shooting indoors. Do you think I should decrease my aperture when the kids are moving around? I do have the ISO set to Auto. Thanks!
  • edited April 2012
    When talking about movement, your main consideration is shutter speed in order to avoid blurred pictures. It's a question of balancing the aperture you require for the depth of field and a shutter speed that is sufficiently fast to capture movement.

    Have you experimented with Program shift in P mode? Using this facility you can gain alternative aperture and shutter speed values whilst retaining a correct exposure. See page 113 of the 60D manual.

    When shooting kids (with a camera, not a gun), I always use burst mode and rattle off a few shots to increase my chances of getting a keeper.

    Children are like animals in that they move unpredictably and suddenly. If all else fails, tie them to a chair or place them in stocks. This usually stops them moving about...worked with my grandkids anyways. Best of luck, PBked
  • @Allegory19 - Most likely, the issues are isolated to inaccurate focus and slow shutter speeds. This is common problem, when trying to photograph quick moving subjects in low light.

    To improve your odds, you'll need more ambient light. If possible, turn on as many lights as possible and open up the shades/curtains if you're shooting during the day. If you have an external flash, use it, as it will also help freeze quick movements.

    If you can't increase the amount of available light, you may need to adjust the ISO manually until you get a fast enough shutter speed. For toddlers, you'll want to hover between 1/125 and 1/250.

    As for inaccurate focus, you can take control of the focus points or let the 60D decide for you. Just press the AF Point button (near the thumb rest - see page 78 of the manual) and then the SET button to select the center focus point. With the center focus point enabled, you can pinpoint exactly where you'd like the focus to lock.

    Hope that helps and happy shooting! :)
Sign In or Register to comment.