- Pet Photography Tips and Techniques
- New: eBook of Compelling Images and Full Explanations – Fotozaar
- How to Photograph a Fine Watch
- Photographing the Largest Shark in the World
Posted: 14 Jul 2013 04:34 PM PDT
Pets, like any member of a family, have unique personalities, individual responses to situations, and ways of expressing themselves. From a dog that loves to play hide and seek, peering from around a corner, to a cat that triumphantly perches in its favorite spot after removing any who dares to trespass on its prized territory, these small events are among the memories of pet owning families. Capturing the nuance of these situations simply requires a camera and the use of a few techniques which make photographing a pet unique.
Choosing the Shot
There are a number of ways to shoot great pictures of a pet with a camera. Portraits can be challenging with a pet, but the end results can be worth the extra effort. Using food, toys, or another person to direct a pet to look in a particular direction or to elicit a certain expression may be necessary. To obtain a more natural scene incorporating interaction with other animals or family members can help to create an image that better captures the true personality of the animal and a more typical atmosphere as attention is drawn away from the camera.
Common settings for pet pictures are where ever the animal is comfortable, such as lying on a favorite chair or gazing out a window. Another ideal setting is where ever they can be engaged in a favorite or natural activity. This helps to reduce some of the difficulty in getting an acceptable pose in front of a camera and better reflects the behavior and personality of a pet.
Setting Up the Shot
As is true when photographing other types of subjects, assuring that the background is free of clutter or distracting objects can help to focus attention in the shot on the pet. A plain background often creates the best backdrop. Wiping the eyes of a pet prior to shooting can also help to eliminate any distracting residue that will take away from the focus on their eyes.
Just as with small children anyone hoping to capture the best images of their pet will need to approach the situation with patience. Waiting for the right shot to happen is often a prime ingredient. Once the right setting or situation is selected and any needed props or helpers are assembled then the task of getting the best photo will frequently require multiple shots with the camera.
Taking the Shot
Getting photos that show the detail of a pet’s features requires getting the camera up close and on their level. The pet should fill the frame and the photographer’s viewpoint should be near the eye level of the pet. When getting close with the camera isn’t an option, zooming can help to achieve similar results and when all else fails cropping during the editing phase can also improve results. Although the eyes of the pet should be the focus of the shot in most instances, it is important to shoot with the camera at angle if flash is used to eliminate the eerie glow that can occur when flash bounces off of the eye.
Whenever possible it is best to avoid using the camera flash with a pet. The risk of getting the unwanted reflection in the eyes is significant and some pets will even learn to avoid the flash by closing their eyes at an inopportune moment. For this reason, shooting pets outdoors is often easier, particularly early or late in the day or in the shade when harsh sunlight doesn’t take away from their features. When photographing indoors and available light is insufficient, better photographs are easier with a camera that allows the in-camera flash to be disabled or removed. The photographer can then bounce the light off of a wall or ceiling to avoid any harsh glare.
Selecting the appropriate setting on the camera can help to assure optimal focusing. Many consumer model cameras have settings such as portrait and action which function nicely. Using the burst mode or sequence-shot setting when trying to capture images of a pet while playing can allow rapid shots that best capture the activity.
For millions of individuals and families who have pets as part of their lives, preserving memories of their time with us can be important. A good camera and knowledge of just a few photographic techniques can help to capture the kind of images that will be treasured for years to come.
About the Author
Posted: 14 Jul 2013 03:01 PM PDT
Fotozaar is a new eBook that teaches photography by example. It contains a collection of compelling photographs and the stories of how they were made. I personally wish they had gone into more detail with how some the images were post processed but I understand it would be hard to explain. If you are interested, it can be found here: Fotozaar – Learn by Example
Step by step, the photographer of each image walks you through the process they used to create that image.
For each image, the explanations cover things like:
The examples are from a variety of subjects and techniques.
It includes all types of photography, including (but not limited to): portraits, landscape, macro, nature, abstract, street, and architecture. The images come from a variety of different photographers, so you can learn from unique perspectives and styles.
How to Get a Copy:
The guide comes in PDF format that can be read on computers, phones and most tablet computers.
Found here: Fotozaar – Learn by Example
Go to full article: New: eBook of Compelling Images and Full Explanations – Fotozaar
Posted: 14 Jul 2013 01:29 PM PDT
Product photography is an extremely prolific school of photography that often gets glazed over in our minds. Its existence has become so much a part of our daily lives that we hardly notice it permeating our world on TV and billboards, in magazines, and online. There is a distinct art to capturing the attention of someone who isn’t listening, and that art is advertising. In this video photographers Aaron Nace and Rob Grimm discuss a recent “hipster watch shoot”, as they call it, in which they not only created beautiful images of Burberry watches, but created a comprehensive, targeted ad for the brand with a simple but stylistic message (for those of you reading this by email, the video can be seen here):
When setting up a product shoot of any kind, it’s important to ask yourself who your audience is. Who is it that you want to see this image? What kind of things does this person value? Why should they care about your product? If you identify who it is you’re trying to speak to, you can more effectively decide how to express your message. For instance, if your target audience is affluent and sophisticated, you might choose a luxurious colour palette of rich tones such as deep red or purple. If you’re appealing to a younger more impulsive crowd, bright, cheerful colours might work better.
You can always incorporate models and props into your images, but it’s important to remember that in product photography, the item is the only subject, and all eyes must draw towards it. The tedious part of a product shoot is also the most essential – the meticulous lighting, which ensures that every important element is lit properly, that shadows are natural and even, and exactly as dark as they need to be for the story you’re trying to tell.
Set your camera on a tripod and frame the image how you like it. Then, articulate the product to fit the camera, rather than the other way around. Perfect the positioning of your props and lights, checking the viewfinder as you go. Use small pieces of white card or hand mirrors to bounce light back into the shadows and to illuminate important details or enhance texture. When composing, be aware of any reflections that may shine off of glossy surfaces.
The image in this video was created from many differently-lit layers. In one, the watch’s face is lit from above with an LED light; in another, the watch is submerged in carbonated water and lit with two reflector dishes at opposite 45 degree angles. The model, for his shot, stands in front of an illuminated blue background with a key light 45 degrees to his right at the front and a hair light 45 degrees to his right at the rear. Notice how the even angles keep the light consistent between the many layered images.
The video focuses on the formulation of the idea behind the picture, which is critical to taking your product photography into the realm of professional advertising. Making an item look its best is bread and butter, but the chief thing to take from Nace and Grimm is how to use that item to convey meaning and to communicate with your audience, and having a well-thought out plan is indispensable to that end.
Posted: 14 Jul 2013 11:14 AM PDT
"While I was swimming I had to set the distance, I had to set the F-stop to the light factor and I had to get everything set up just right…I had one shot." says Tom Campbell, professional underwater filmmaker and photographer. National Geographic posted a video recently on the story behind Campbell's "killer shot” (for those of you reading this by email, the video can be seen here):
The sea creature Campbell is talking about in the video is the elusive whale shark. These majestic creatures are not commonly seen in the wild, so capturing one can be quite challenging. Campbell was tasked with getting a publishable photo of the whale shark doing something interesting while still showing its massive size.
He shares how he only had time to capture one shot. Lucky for him, it was the shot.
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