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Blurry Photos


I am very new to photography.  I just got my camera at the end of March.  I love to take photos my son at sporting events.  He is in Taekwondo and when taking photos at tournaments, we are not allowed to have a flash.  Many of the photos I took recently are blurry.  How do I change the shutter speed when in no flash mode?






You may not need to change your SS.  What is your ISO set on?  For indoor sports you need a fairly high ISO number. 3200 or so depending on model of camera.

You didn't mention which camera and lens you have?  Guessing a Rebel with the standard kit lens, for example, may present a real challenge to get sharp photos of indoor sports because of the very slow kit lens.  If it is a Rebel and you are using the 'green square' mode, as you have noticed, it won't work.


Can you provide more info on camera/lens and lighting situation.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

Thank you so much for replying.  I had the camera set to the standard "No Flash" setting.  It is the mode that had the flash symbol with a slash through it.  I am not sure what the ISO is set to at the setting.  When I get home with my camera I can reply back to you.  I am also using the Canon Zoom lens 18-55mm.  



Still don't know which camera you have.  Your camera should have a TV mode, which is  "Time Value." It lets you adjust the shutter speed manually.  Some also have Sport and low light settings as pre-sets.  Have you read your manual, which explains the various settings, modes, and how to use them?

I have a Canon EOS Ti Rebel

danaillie said.........

"I just got my camera at the end of March."


Then she said........

"I have a Canon EOS Ti Rebel"


There is no 'Canon EOS Ti Rebel' model I am aware of.  But if she 'just got my camera at the end of March' it is not likely to be a T1i.  Perhaps but not likely.  


danaillie when you supply a little more info and/or a sample all this will not be as confusing or overwhelming.  Some tend to make it more challenging then it actually is. It may be as simple as kicking you ISO up. 

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

I mis-read... I thought it said "T1i".  I read that a bit too quickly.  


All EOS cameras can use Canon Digitial Photo Professional -- so Danaillie should still be able to download the most recent version regardless of the T1i through T7i camera model.


Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da

Most of the Canons have a sport setting which will help you get the shots you need


There may be three or four reasons why you get blurry shots.  Posting an example of one of these shots will help us identify your specific situation (especially if you can post the image so that all of the shooting information (aka "EXIF data") is in the image that you shoot.  Specifically we would want to know what focal length, what aperture value (f-stop), what shutter speed, and what ISO setting was used when the shot was taken.  But there are also other bits of information in the EXIF data such as which shooting mode was selected, which focus mode was used, and which focus point was used to establish focus.


A picture would help... but a picture that included all of that shooting info would help a lot more.


1.  You may simply be missing focus... the camera used a focus point which caused it to focus on a target OTHER than your son.


2.  You may have been using a very slow shutter speed and your body was not perfectly still when you took the shot.  This is blur caused by camera motion.


3.  Even if the camera did not move, you may have captured a shot when your subject WAS moving ("subject" motion instead of "camera" motion).


Sometimes blur is actually desireable when shooting "action" because it's a way to imply a sense of motion or speed in a still photo (it is used as a creative effect).  


But I will guess you are probably shooting indoors and that means there is not likely enough light to allow you to use a high shutter speed.  Slow shutter speeds often result in blur caused by camera movement when the shutter is open.


Tripods and mono-pods can help with camera motion, but there are also techniques to allow hand-held shots by learning to stand and brace the camera in such a way that body motion while shooting is less likely to be a problem.  Also if there is anything you can lean on (a wall, a support column, a door-frame, etc.) this can also help you reduce any camera motion.


You can also select a lens that can collect more light when the shutter is open.  These lenses have lower focal ratio values.  For example, the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM has a physically larger aperture opening than your EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens.  At the 50mm focal length it collects nearly 10x more light than the kit lens you have.  That translates into allowing you to select a shutter speed which is 10x faster than you can use now.


Another possibility is to simply increase the ISO setting on your camera.  This comes with a trade-off which is that images that are shot at very high ISO values will often appear to be "grainy" (that look is referred to as digital "noise" in the image.)  But better to have an imaging that looks noisy/grainy (technically "grain" is a term referred to actual photographic film photography and "noise" is what we call it when it's a digital image - they are actually not the same thing, but they have a similar look so sometimes people use the terms interchangeably.)   To avoid the "noisy" nature of high ISO photos, we usually prefer to shoot with the ISO setting lower whenever we can.  But when given the choice between a "blurry" shot and a "noisy" shot, I'll take the noise (you can actually do things in post-processing adjustments to reduce the noise but there's little you can do to fix blurry shots.)

There is one other possibility.  


If you are using the camera in the default "One Shot" focus mode, then the camera can achieve focus on a subject... but then the focus distance to that subject changed.  The camera will not update the focus in this mode.  You have to select "AI Servo" focus mode if you want the camera to use continuous focus to compensate for subjects where the focus distance is changing as you shoot.   There's also "AI Focus" which tries to auto-decide which focus mode should be used for each shot.




Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da



I tried attaching a photo, but it is too large.  I am also very new to taking photos so I am not aware of how to get teh EXIF Data you are requesting.  I am starting to feel like I am too much of a novice to be on this blog.




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