via LENS PRO: School is out, the days are long and it can be tough to keep kids entertained all day. If you love photography like we do and want to get your kids involved, too, check out these 3 summer activities you can do together. It may even give you an opportunity to try some new gear, too!
1. GET IN THE WATER. YES… IN THE WATER.
Would your kid be more excited to: Sit at the edge of the pool and smile for a photo OR be told to jump into the pool and create the biggest cannonball possible?
Photographing your kids underwater can be hours of fun for all of you and is something they’ll remember forever. Using an Ikelite Underwater Housing is a safe way to take a camera and lens into the pool. Additionally, if your child doesn’t like going underwater completely, it will protect the camera from splashes.
It’s important to note that any activity around a swimming pool requires additional safety precautions! Only photograph kids underwater if they are skilled swimmers and always have another person in the pool whose only job is to look after the children to prevent drowning.
One thing you can do to enhance this experience for you kids is to get creative with props. Capture images that reflect what your kids current interests are: sports, wearing a dance or super hero costume, etc. Take a look at DigiSmiles and Alix Martinez Photography for inspiration! Additionally, it’s a fun way to capture family time from a different angle.
TIPS FOR SHOOTING UNDERWATER
- Plan to shoot in the pool when the most amount of light is on it and with the sun behind you. As you go deeper into water, light gets dimmer. If there isn’t much light, consider using underwater strobes.
- Get close to your subject, ideally within 2 ft if possible. Water reduces contrast, color and sharpness.
- Use a high shutter speed to capture action: ideally 1/125th or faster
2. GET A CLOSE UP LOOK AT NATURE
Want your kids to spend more time outdoors? Send them out into the yard or stroll around a park and have them point out things they’d like to see close up. Flowers, pine cones, water droplets, insects, etc. Then grab a macro lens and show them things that are tough for our own eyes to see!
TIPS FOR SHOOTING WITH A MACRO LENS
- Use a Canon 100mm Macro or Nikon 105mm Micro for general macro photos.
- Use extension tubes to make your own lenses a macro.
- If you’re looking to get up and personal with an insect or want to see the individual ink dots on a newspaper, use the Canon 65 MP-E Macro lens, but beware, you’ll want some bright lights, too, if you shoot in the 3x to 5x range!
- When shooting outside, the wind can be bothersome. Take the item to a calm area, if possible, to avoid blurred images.
- Interested in photographing butterflies? Photograph them later in the day when they are settling down for the night.
BONUS: Does your child have hot wheels cars or other small realistic toys? Shoot them with a macro or tilt-shift lens to make them look life size!
3. MAKE LIGHT TRAILS AT NIGHT
A fun way to get your kids involved in photography at night is to have them create light trails with a flashlight while you do a long exposure. Make sure they have a large flat area to move around on so they aren’t tripping over things in the dark!
Ideas to try:
- Have them spell their name – for smaller kids who can’t reverse the letter, remember you can flip the image vertically in Photoshop later.
- “Draw” a photo like a dog or car.
- Outline an object in the yard.
- Play an altered version of Pictionary where you only have 30 seconds to “Draw”, then are able to look at the photo to make a guess.
TIPS FOR SHOOTING LIGHT TRAILS
- You’ll need a camera that can shoot in full manual mode or shutter priority mode.
- Use a tripod to keep your camera steady during the long exposures.
- A nice accessory to have is a remote shutter so you can easily control how long the shutter is open.
These photo activities aren’t just fun but educational for everyone involved. Additionally, you’ll surely get photos for your summer album and memories that will last a lifetime. Before you know it, you’re kids friends will want their photos taken underwater, too!
Is there another photography activity that you do with your kids? Let us know in the comments below!