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JDG June 8th, 2005 05:32 PM Member's Tips and Tricks for Good Pet Photos!
I posted this on another thread - but now this truly has a home!
Everyone post your best tips and tricks to getting that puuuuurrrrrrrfect pet photo!


here are mine. . .

1. Get a digital camera, and [B]Take lots of pictures[/B], eventually one comes out good. :p

2. [B]Try [I]not[/I] to use the flash[/B], animals will sit with you longer if there isn't the lights going off in their faces, same rings true for people! :D This also doesn't 'wash out' the fur of the animal.

PICTURE 1: With Flash (They look washed out)


PICTURE 2: NO FLASH (Nice rich colours, more details)


3. For pictures where you want the background or surrounding to help with the 'picture story' follow the [B]Rule of Thirds[/B]: Divide your picture into 9 segments (3 across, 3 down) If you can get your pet into the segments it allows for intrest around your subject


4. [B]Get down to their level[/B] or [B]Use extreme levels[/B] (Like high or low) Shooting them straight on from 'people' levels doesn't always do them justice. .

5. [B]Rattle a toy in the direction you want them to look[/B] for portrait photographs.

6.[B]Keep you camera handy[/B] for that spontaneous moment.

7. [B]Sleepy or Tired animals are easier to photography and/or pose[/B] This is ideal for 'head shots' and portraits

8. [B]Use the Zoom![/B] By zooming into the desired picture you can get those great face shots without ticking your pet off! haha

9. [B]Photoshop is your friend[/B] Digital pictures can be darkened, lightened, croped, colours changed and fix red-eye. Don't be afraid to embrase the photoshop! Make sure you reduce your photos down small enough that you can save them at high resolution so they are still crisp looking when you post them.

10. [B]Reward them for a job well done[/B] Praise and Treats are yummy!

twinmommy June 8th, 2005 09:11 PM

Cool tips!! Thanks :thumbs up

Now if only I could get them ALL to stay still!! If I get a pic of the four pets and the two kids, it'll be a miracle!! ;)

levimh June 9th, 2005 11:57 AM

1 Attachment(s)
I agree with not using the flash. I find that the best pictures are taken in LOTS of sunlight, WITHOUT using the flash. Even in limited amounts of light(s), the flash creates a "glow" around the pet - where the pet is bright and the outside is dark. Also, the true colours of the pets come out when not using the flash.

Great tips, BTW.

Just thought I would add a picture of a duck I took last summer...

JDG June 28th, 2005 09:40 PM

[B]Ready Steady![/B]
Keep your camera steady: The steadier you hold your camera the clearer and crisper your photos will turn out.

[B]Focus Baby![/B]
If you have auto focus, let the camera focus before you snap your shot

Plan out your photo if you have time; use the rule of thirds, or props, another photo you like etc.

Rick C June 29th, 2005 11:03 PM

Never say never with flash . . .

I like using flash occasionally on bright sunny days, believe it or not, to fill in shadows when the sun is behind the subject . . . . . thereby creating the effect of light from both behind and ahead.

Backlighting from the sun, front lighting with the flash. It can create an ethereal glow around your subject.

EDIT: I changed this to a more recent picture, flash during the day with the sun behind the subject, light coming from two directions. Without flash in this picture, Abby's face would be in dark shadow.


Other things:

Freeze a subject while having the background in motion, called "panning."


The further you are away from the subject you are panning, the less blur as the arc of the camera motion is less noticeable as in this example of Keeper:


Or have the foreground in motion, with the background stationary, like this picture of an English town passing through the trees, taken from a train last month while I was in England.


Have your picture suggest a story . . . Keeper in the forest looking down into a vast valley. This is an actual picture altered by photoshop to look like a painting but the principle is there


Use lighting to create interest, my wife Carol walking across Millennium Bridge towards St. Paul's Cathedral.


And don't be shy about catching people in unusual situations, a Monty Python In Search Of the Holy Grail celebrator with shrubbery on his face in Russell Square in London.:


Below, an example of silhouetting against the sun for effect. One light source from behind the object but you don't use the flash. And you let your camera get its light reading from the sun, therefore making the dog darker and bringing out the frost on the window.


And, as noted above, get a digital so you can take thousands, allowing you to discard all but hundreds. . . . .

Just a few things.

Rick C

shannon1233A June 30th, 2005 07:16 AM

Omg, that picture is absolutely beautiful. Have you ever considered making a calender? All your pics are gorgeous!

Rick C June 30th, 2005 08:42 AM

[QUOTE=shannon1233]Omg, that picture is absolutely beautiful. Have you ever considered making a calender? All your pics are gorgeous![/QUOTE]

Thank you. Sorry the pic size is so big . . . . I'll reduce it when I get home.

I've done calendars for my offices and a few relatives.

Rick C

Shamrock July 2nd, 2005 12:27 PM

Wow, wonderful photos, Rick!
You really have very good knowledge and a great eye for getting exceptional shots with the camera.
These are beautiful examples.. the forest one is just stunning!

I think I need a better camera..and lots more practice! :)

Prin July 9th, 2005 10:37 PM

One of my tips is travel. Even if it's going down the street, just go somewhere you have never been before. The most beautiful simple things stick out more when they're new.

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