Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Photographing Pets

Posted by David Peterson

You need a lot of patience to photograph pets! Fortunately with a digital camera, you can take a lot of photos and delete the ones that are no good.
  • Catch your pet in action – fetching a ball or stick, playing with a toy.
  • Dogs in particular have a lot of energy. A bouncing-with-energy dog makes a fantastic photo subject.
  • Cats can show a keen concentration. Move in close to their face but use the optical zoom so your cat desn’t get distracted by a camera in their face.
  • Find where your pet loves to play, and hang out with them there. If they like playing with a person, have the person there as well. Keep the camera handy and when you see a great shot, take it!

  • Have someone to help you if your pet is being uncooperative. They can supply a very useful extra hand.
  • Bribing your pet with a treat will help if they’re not cooperative.
  • Use a squeaky toy to get them to look towards the camera if you’re after a more traditional portrait shot.
  • Use a high shutter speed – particularly when your pet is excited. The more excited they are, the more they move around and can produce blurry images.
  • Simple backgrounds are best. Look for a solid color as a background so your pet stands out. Just make sure your pet doesn’t blend in and become invisible!
  • Avoid flash because a lot of pets eyes will reflect a green color (red-eye but green).
  • Don’t forget your smaller pets. Make sure you get really close, and avoid shots with cage bars. Try shooting through the open cage door. Turtles can be placed with almost anything and produce a stunning photo.
  • Use the natural curiosity of your pet to your advantage. Give your kitten a new toy or play area and watch them investigate!
  • Take a bit of time to get the right photo. You may need to shoot thirty or more shots to get a perfect one. Keep working with it and you’ll be amazed at the results.
  • Groups of pets can make stunning photos, but you need a LOT of patience!

At Zoo :

At a zoo, you can shoot animals other than your pet. Zoo photos are great because you can use them to teach your children about various animals and create posters and other projects.

  • Watch for glass when using your flash. If there is glass between you and the animal you wish to photograph, place your camera on an angle so the flash doesn’t reflect back at the camera.
  • Flash also won’t reach very far into the indoor enclosures, so most of the time it might be better to not use the flash. Take a tripod (or monopod) and use the low light tips to take your photo. If you’re outdoors, remember to use the flash to fill shadows.
  • Have the camera at the same eye level as the animal.
  • Watch the background and make sure it’s simple and free from distractions
  • Remember to fill the frame with your subject. Use the highest optical zoom you can.
  • Use the rule of thirds. (from tip #3)
  • Try to get your child and the animal in the same frame. Either with the child’s back, or both as a side-on view.
  • Don’t make all your shots of the animals. Capture your child’s expressions when they spot a large creature!

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