Well it's time for a new lesson! The biggest complaint from amature photographers is blurry pictures. There are a few reasons blurry photos happen. Without getting into too much detail, but giving you the correct information, I will try to help. As I'm explaining this I will also be talking about different functions on your camera.
First reason for blurry photos can be a fast child. If your little one won't sit still to have their picture taken, try using the setting with a running man on it. This setting is usually used for sporting events and also to stop action.
Reason #2 for blurry photos is something called shutter lag. Lots of cameras, especially digital have a feature called auto focus. This means you do not need to worry about adjust your lens to make sure your focus is correct, your camera will do it for you. Great, right? Well of course it is. The problem happens when you press the shutter button (the button that takes the picture) all the way down at once, your camera is doing a lot of automatic things at one time. It checks the over all exposure, the shutter speed, the ISO, the focal length, the aperture and then the focus. To avoid this, depress the shutter button 1/2 way. Your focus point should turn a different color (some cameras from blue to red). By doing this the camera will set everything up and lock in your focus point. Keep the button depressed 1/2 way and when the time is right press the button down the rest of the way.
Reason #3 for blurry photos can be the lighting is too dark. Sometimes this happens in a gym at a basketball game or even inside your own home. Open your drapes or turn on an extra light or you can always use your flash.
It may not be a fun task, but read your camera manual! It holds tons of information and I bet there are functions on your camera you don't even know you have. It is a helpful source of information. I keep mine in my camera bag at all times. You never know when you might just need it.
While you are catching up on your reading do not skip the section on the different settings that are available. Most people leave their camera in full automatic every time they shoot. Take you kids for a walk and try out different settings. See what the settings do to your images. You might just like it better and it gives you more control over a particular situation. ex. blurry photo because of fast kiddos (remember to try the running man setting). You can always move your dial right back if you don't like it! *One tip I will give you while trying different settings is to check your results often and do not try this at an important event. Try it out on an everyday ocasion. You don't want to miss a once in a lifetime moment.
One last thing I wanted to bring up professional photo lab vs. 1 hour printing. Printing in your home with your computer ink jet or the small photo printers and also with the one hour printing has it's benefits I love instant gratification just as much as the next person, but there are also some major draw backs as well. Not all, but lots of the one hour places use printers and inks that will only last for 20 years. They will discolor. I'm sure you have old photos from the 70's and early 80's that are completely orange. 20 years might seem like a long time and it is if these photos are things you will be giving away or something you are not intending on putting in an album or keepsake box. If these are the images of your children, you want them to have photos when they become adults. You do not want their baby albums filled with orange images or even worse. No one know exactly what will happen to these images only that they will not last.
Getting your photos printed at a professional photo lab will ensure your photos to last 100+ years. You may be thinking pro labs come with high dollar price tag... Not necessarily true! You just might have to wait an extra day or two to get your images, but the price will be the same or even less in some cases. Isn't it worth your child's childhood memories? I will check out some pro labs that you can use and you can see for yourself. I will post a link in just a few days.
If there is a topic you would like covered or if you have specific questions, please leave a comment and I'll be sure to answer them. Also click the word lesson at the bottom to see previous topics. Take care and I hope this was helpful!