Four photos to take at a Pinewood Derby
- The row of cars parked and waiting their turn (I suggest doing an angle, not straight on)
- Your child's car at the starting point
- Your child with his car
- The cars zipping down the track
3 Auto Settings to use on a DSLR at a Pinewood Derby
In the past, one of the things that has bothered me most about the Pinewood Derby (and pack meetings in general) is the inability to take satisfactory photographs with either my phone or my point and click camera.
For Christmas, my husband gave me a Nikon D5500 digital SLR, which I took to try out at the Pinewood Derby.
Now, being able to manually adjust settings for amazing photographs is a wonderful feat, and something I enjoy playing around with when I have time. Zooming cars and rambunctious 8 year olds don't stay still long enough for me to do so. That's okay. Auto settings exist for a reason.
There are three camera auto settings I would recommend for this situation.
1. The first is the basic "AUTO," which is good for getting pictures of stationary cars (I think I might actually have taken those two photos in the child setting, described later, but AUTO would be slightly better). I liked getting them in a row (at an angle) and zooming in. In the photo above, I love how the cars in the foreground are nice and crisp, while those in the background are more blurred.
2. Next, go to SCENE and select CHILD
This variation on the auto setting is excellent with getting skin tones just right (something that's always so wrong in my previous gym photos). Under the assumption that kids move around a lot, the CHILD setting does bump up the ISO a little bit. Expect a little graininess.
3. The last picture I wanted was elusive: the cars racing down the track. It was so hard to hit the trigger at just the right moment. This one took several tries. I happened to use the SPORTS setting, under SCENES, had the button half-pressed before the cars started, and clicked the millisecond the front of the first car entered my view. This is what I got.