Your guide to digital camera scene modes
July 1, 2008
Pets and kids have several things in common, at least as far as cameras are concerned,. Top begin with, they’re both very popular photographic subjects. It’s nearly impossible to find a photo album that doesn’t contain at least a few pictures of kids and pets.
Tactically, pets and kids are both difficult to photograph—and therefore deserve their own shooting mode—because both tend to be highly animated and because it can be a real challenge to make either group pay attention for more than just a second or two.
The exact way the Pets (or Kids & Pets) Mode works depends on the camera, but the overall goal is to make quickly moving subjects stand still. It’s similar to the Sports/Action Mode in that generally higher shutter speeds are used when possible but it’s far different than the Baby Mode because it doesn’t cancel the flash.
Regardless what magic is going on inside the camera, it’s all for naught unless you do your part. Keep the camera handy at all times, and when the kids are doing something interesting, keep the camera turned on. (A spare battery is a prudent investment for a parent.) Be prepared to move into action without warning and remember to shoot more than one frame whenever possible.
Refrain from saying “Look over here, kids,” because that’s sure to spoil the shot. And don’t forget that there are some worthwhile photo opportunities during the quieter moments, too, like when the kids stop for five seconds to catch their breath.
By the way, if your camera doesn’t have a Kids Mode and you have kids, use the Sports Mode instead. You should still get good results.