This is page 3 of 4. "Best Camera Settings" begins here.

Bear in mind, using a slower camera such as a point & shoot will take practice to crisply capture a fairly fast moving subject. Even at the most optimal settings you may have a hard time getting crisp pictures of small subjects and fast moving subjects.

Learn to “pan” (follow along with your subject’s movements) and click as you go. Panning helps keep things in focus that you want in focus. Erratic subjects like toddlers and football players will take some practice.

I use a feature called burst.

Most cameras have this. It’s another feature whereby I can be shooting a still subject and continue to shoot as it starts to move.

If these settings are not working for you, you may have a camera that just won’t do the job. Check out camera comparison to see if you may need to step up into a different camera category or possibly be content to shoot slower or stationary subjects.

In continuous mode your memory stick can fill up rapidly. Be sure to have lots of memory. Or, as I have, maybe acquire a portable hard drive. (Not an external hard drive)

A portable hard drive will allow you to download your pictures from the camera right on the spot. I like one with a viewing screen, but they take quite a bit more investment. And they are larger.

I have seen units with 80 gigabytes of memory for $119.00, 250 gig. for $199.00. Just Google something like; “travel photo storage.” When I can I will put some suggestions on this page.

Right now the only experience I have with this type of product is the one I have. I own an Epson P-3000. I love it.

As I walk into shade and as...

the sun starts getting low in the sky I may have to increase my film speed if I am going to continue to hand hold my camera while shooting moving subjects.

Remember, increasing film speed simultaneously increases shutter speed. I am monitoring the shutter speed so I know when to change the film speed. Keep your shutter speed above 1/300th of a second for moving subjects.

And keep your film speed at 400 ISO or higher. Also remember, the higher the film speed the lower the quality of your pictures. This is important if you plan to crop or enlarge or both.

Too slow a film speed equals blurred shots. Too fast a film speed equals less quality. Hence monitor your film speed and your shutter speed. Find a good balance. Only through practice will you learn what works best for you and your camera.

Shooting large birds on the move, like the Great Blue Heron, is great practice for shooting toddlers or for teens in sports. Use 400 ISO in the sunlight and 800 ISO in the shade.

Go out and practice on this type of wildlife. Or go shoot a game your son is NOT playing in. That way it won’t matter when you miss that all important first goal of the young player's life!! He ain't your young player!

Shoot in the bright sun and in the shade as well as early and late in the day in order to experience each different situation. You’ll learn much by doing. Then you won’t find yourself missing his first goal because you are still in practice mode!

Come on back home and put the practice shots in your computer. Fix ‘em up using a program like Photoshop Elements. Who knows, maybe you’ll decide to start selling your work.

You will notice that I work with only two adjustments. The third, the shutter speed is set by the camera. That is what is known as aperture priority. I set the aperture and film speed. The camera automatically sets the appropriate shutter speed.

Also notice that as the film speed increases so does the shutter speed. It is also automatic. Setting your aperture and adjusting the film speed you will be able to shoot most anything from sunup to sundown, without needing a tripod and with no other adjustments than changing film speed according to available light.

Oh, lookie thar, another most enjoyable photograph.

One deviation from the lowest f-stop setting. When you are in bright sunlight at a low numbered aperture, watch your shutter speed. You may exceed your camera's shutter speed limit if you're using too fast a film speed.

Then all your pictures will be washed out. There is no post edit compensation for extreme over exposure. To remedy this, either use a slower film speed or use a higher numbered aperture.

Once my aperture is set I increase the film speed if:

1) My target is moving swiftly (Something motorized)

2) I am going into a shady area and shooting a moving target,

3) The sun is low in the sky.

For any of these I find a film speed of about 800 ISO works nicely.

I decrease the film speed if I am shooting a still or slightly moving subject in the sun. 100 ISO or 200 ISO.

A medium speed subject (such as a bird in flight) in the bright sun typically requires 400 ISO.

If you are in bright sunlight, and at your chosen film speed your shutter speed goes to maximum, you will have to increase the number of your aperture, say to f8, or thereabouts. This is one time you will need to use a different aperture to accomplish what we have talked about here.

Example; A fast moving subject requires both a fast film speed and a low numbered aperture if you want your subject sharp and the background blurred. When taken in bright sunlight, this combination causes an extremely fast shutter speed.

In order to maintain the necessary film speed yet stay within the camera limits for shutter speed, the only option we have is to use a higher aperture (f-stop). f8, for instance, should bring your shutter speed back down into the camera’s range.

Now the background will be a little more in focus. This means your subject may not stand out. It may be interfered with by a noisy background. But at least you will get a crisp subject and get the shot. Blurring a sharp background is another thing that can be done in post editing.

Continue here.