Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Photo Tips - Pet Pictures

Taking photos of your pets can be tricky.  I find that a lot of our old photos of the boys are uninteresting because it seems that I was doing everything wrong.

1.  Get down low:

This was my biggest problem in the past - taking photos from overhead.  They just don't look very interesting.  Now I lay on the ground to get the best vantage point (yep even outdoors -- our neighbours must wonder).

f/4.5, 1/13, 1600ISO

Doesn't this look much better (even though he closed his eyes -clearly he was bored by my attention).

f/4.5, 1/13, 1600ISO

2.  Fill the Frame:

We talked about this back in November, but it's key for taking interesting pet photos. Try to avoid a busy background, zoom right in on your pet, and make sure that the eyes are sharply focused.

I also read to make sure not to cut off anybody's ears.  Here are two shots, one with full ears and one cropped in half.  I can't say for sure if that cropped ear bothers me.  What do you all think?

f/3.5, 1/20, 100ISO

3.  Use natural lighting:

We all know that natural lighting is the best for taking any photo, but it is particularly important when taking pet photos.  Furry faces, especially darker ones, can have their features washed out in unnatural light.  (check out the post on exposure compensation which can be helpful with darker pets).  Flashes, of course, will be seen in the eyes.

f/4.9, 1/60, 250ISO
4.  Try to tell a story:

Any photo becomes more interesting if there is a story that appears to be playing out.  In this shot, you can see Owen pining to get outside and it makes the shot more appealing.

f/5.6, 1/8, 200ISO
Here's another one I think tells a story.  The story was that Moe was just waiting to pounce on Owen who was stomping over to investigate the camera.

f/4.9, 1/250, 80ISO

5.  Be patient:

This might be the hardest tip.  Get comfortable, take your time.  Let your pet get used to you sitting on the floor (which may be unusual) and get used to that camera thing in your hands.  Then, when they're comfortable they will start to act more naturally and that's when you'll get a great shot.  Or else leave the dishwasher door open and sneak up on them, lol.

f/2.8, 1/60, 250ISO

Okay pet mamas (and papas?), now it's your turn to show off your babies.  Go ahead and link up a photo of your animal kiddo below.  And if you only have two-legged kiddos, no worries, we'll be having a photo tips series in the near future about photographing children so you can link them up then.

** I should have mentioned that the list closes on December 26th at 11pm.
*** Adrianne of Happy Hour Projects is so smart.  I never thought of this, but she linked up her pet photo from her facebook page.  I am so doing this in the future when I can't do an entire post dedicated to a photo I want to link.  Thought I'd share in case it applied to anybody else.

Digital Photography School - Guest Post by Antoine Khater
DPS - Inspirational Photos


Lesley said...

Terry! I want to link up but I can't do a post till tomorrow. Your link tool says this closes in 10 hours. Pleeeeaaase extend it!

Little City Farm said...

LOL - sorry. Didn't mean to freak you out. I meant to have it close on Tuesday, lol. I think it's fixed now and thanks for letting me know.

Unknown said...

I will have to wait until next time. It's funny though some of your pet tips will work for kiddos too. Or, maybe that is just my kiddos.:)

Adrianne Surian said...

I cheated and linked from Facebook, because I SO wanted to link up, but I don't have room for a puppy post on the blog before your linky closes!

Yes. My dog has a Facebook fan page. Ahem.

Your photos are gorgeous. And what a great way to think of it - them telling a story, that does make it more interesting.

Macey said...

I was playing around with my camera and got some good shots of my parents doggie...and now I can't find em!

Mindy said...

Too stinkin' cute. Clearly I need to do a post with The Cat and The Dog. You know, in my spare time. :)

Unknown said...

I cannot tell you how excited I am for a PET LINK PAR-TAAAY! What a great idea!
Thank you so much, Terry!
Kerry at HouseTalkN

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