Photography Tutorial: Festive photography

Shooting groups
When shooting with flash, your subject must be within the working range. Flash range varies with the camera, flash power, the lens zoom and ISO. Using a wide-angle lens setting the maximum distance is around 4 metres. If you have a DSLR then a Speedlite flash can extend this range considerably.

Using flash to illuminate a large scene can be difficult. Move your subject away from a background to avoid hard-edged shadows. Flash exposure will be based on the distance between your camera and the subject. So if you have two or more people in the frame, they should be a similar distance from the camera; for example you need to arrange a group of people at a party in a line (a slight semi-circle is even better).

Photographing people sitting at a table can cause difficulties. If you are shooting down the length of a table, everyone will be at a different distance. The only way to obtain even exposure is to use a large flashgun with a tilting head and bounce the light off the ceiling. This will provide an even illumination across the scene.

If you are shooting table groups using your camera’s built-in flash, try moving everyone to one side of the table, with a mix of people sitting and standing. Then shoot from the other side of the table. Everyone will now be at a similar distance from the camera.

The built-in flash of most cameras will handle small groups of around four to six people. It may struggle to illuminate larger groups.

Shooting moving objects
Some of your subjects may not stay still for long – children for example! The Digital IXUS 200 IS has a really useful feature, Touch AF. All you have to do is touch the Touch LCD screen to identify your subject within a scene. The IXUS 200 IS will then continue to ensure that the focus and exposure follow your subject within the scene. Learn more about this great camera.

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