- How To Photograph Pets
- Lighting a Cross-Street Portrait (Video)
- Commercial Motorcycle Photography Techniques (Video)
Posted: 11 Jan 2014 05:21 PM PST
If you have ever tried to take a photograph of your pet you will have discovered that it is not as easy as you might have thought.
Taking photographs of them while they are sleeping is not really a problem, but once they wake up and are running around causing mischief you will need lightening quick reactions in order to get a good picture.
There is a phrase often quoted, particularly on television about ‘never working with children or animals’. Even if your pet is being a bit mischievous or is full of energy, you will want to take good photographs of them and if you have lots of patience you will be rewarded with a stunning portrait that you will want to cherish forever.
There are a lot of exotic pets around such as snakes, bearded dragons and chinchillas, but for most of us, having a pet usually means a cat or a dog.
It is so rewarding to capture the personality of your pet in a portrait. This can easily be achieved because they know you very well, are comfortable with you and are less likely to be anxious, particularly if they have a camera whirring and clicking in their faces.
For the best pictures you should roughly follow the same basic principles as you would when taking portraits of people:
You want your pet to be as natural as possible in the portrait, so take the photograph a little further away and shoot using a telephoto lens. The animal well be less anxious and the result will be a far more natural photograph.
Natural daylight is always your best option and results in a much better picture.
If, for example, you want to pick up the texture of your pets fur, you will need to use fairly directional light coming from one side. As with humans, the best pet portraits are often taken with the subject sitting next or near a window.
Tip: If your pet has dark fur, you will need to be careful as it might fool your camera’s metering system so you may need to alter the AE-C setting to lighten it slightly, using the ‘+’ setting.
Just as you would with people, when taking pictures of your pet it is vital that try to capture the character of your pet in the photograph. I have seen some pictures where somebody’s adorable cat looks positively demonic on the photograph or their lively, lovable dog looks either rabid or completely docile.
If you have ever taken a photograph of a baby you can use similar tactics for your pet: use a favourite toy to attract their attention, or make funny noises or gestures to get a reaction.
As mentioned earlier in most cases photographing your pet not only requires patience but you will need lightening quick reactions in order to be ready to shoot at any moment.
This applies even more in the case of small pets such as hamsters or rodents. To make things easier, it may be better to have somebody hold the animal while you take the picture. With careful cropping using a program like Photoshop you should be able to erase the image of the person holding the animal from the frame.
As you would with any kind of photography where the subject is moving and you need to snap the picture quickly, you need to combat potential problems such as focus or camera shake by using a fast shutter speed and taking lots of shots.
If you follow these tips you will manage to take a stunning portrait that will capture the characteristics of your pet, something that you will treasure forever.
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Posted: 11 Jan 2014 04:26 PM PST
There’s a lot you can do with a fairly simple lighting setup. In this video, Joe McNally shows how he used a single flash and a bed sheet to light up a shop from across the street:
The setting for McNally’s photo was an old sewing shop on a narrow street in Guanajuato, Mexico. To light his model, he hung a white sheet from the doorway and positioned a light on a C-stand with a mini boom. He projected the bare flash through the sheet from across the one-lane road. The flash was powered by an Elinchrom Ranger RX battery pack and triggered with a PocketWizard Plus III Transceiver from inside the shop.
With just one light, the photos of the model and the men sewing was already well-lit, but McNally chose to add a fill light by bouncing a second light into the ceiling. This light was modified with a 1/2 CTO gel to add a little warmth in addition to the warmth gained from the wood in the ceiling.
The result is a natural-looking environmental portrait with soft, diffused light.
Posted: 11 Jan 2014 12:23 PM PST
The American desert is one of the most iconic landscapes there is, and nothing complements that landscape better than lighting-fast motorcycles. In this video, commercial photographer Gregor Halenda guides us through a shoot for Rev’It! Motorsports, a motorcycle clothing company, in the beautiful deserts of Utah:
Using stunning scenery such as the Bonneville Salt Flats, Goblin Valley, and Hurrah Pass as a backdrop, Halenda and his team capture dramatic images for Rev’It!’s catalog and advertisements. Rather than aiming for simple, attractive photographs that show the clothing, Halenda says, their goal is “a little bit more high-fashion”– to create a surreal scene in every shot. Of course, the location of the shoot lends itself well to this concept, as does the otherworldly desert light which simply can’t be recreated in a studio.
Go to full article: Commercial Motorcycle Photography Techniques (Video)
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