Taking photographs of dogs

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Rescue Remedies
Posts: 5890
Joined: Mon May 26, 2014 9:17 pm

Taking photographs of dogs

Post by Rescue Remedies » Thu Jun 05, 2014 3:53 pm

Calm: Despite the temptation it pays to wait. Don't take a photo until at least 10 mins into your walk so the dog begins to calm and slow down.

Engage: Try to gain eye contact with the camera in a few; holding your hand and clicking your fingers or something to catch their attention helps.

Get down and with it: Get down to the level of the dog crouch. People say I could get the dog to be still its because they are hovering about the dogs level of engagement You by becoming the object or the object imaginary or real in your hand is what captures their attention and imagination.

Toilet: Avoid at all costs taking a dog when they are stationary going to the loo, despite cropping it will still be obvious!

Backdrop: Be aware of the back ground. The better quality background you take the more 'worth' it gives the dog. I personally love flowers in the scene .Hate photos in kennels (we never play the sympathy card); back drop of waste bins, skips etc

Human engagement: It's wonderful to show the dogs affection exchange with humans rather than standing formally removed, you up there and them down there. This allows the observer to imagine the dog with themselves.

Scale:Try if you can to give a sense of the dog's size.

Off lead feel:Try to keep the impact of the lead out of the photo. Heavy double leads can blot out the whole feel of the dog so take one lead off for the purpose of the photo. Remove the chain lead as after all you have calmed and engaged the dog. Move the leads to the side of the dog don't have then hanging up in the air like the dog is a puppet. Remove one of the heavy leads if double leaded you just see heavy leads, extenders are far better for photos

Get what you pay for: Better quality camera helps.

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Rescue Remedies
Posts: 5890
Joined: Mon May 26, 2014 9:17 pm

Re: Taking photographs of dogs

Post by Rescue Remedies » Thu Jun 05, 2014 4:01 pm

Time - allow yourself time to focus on the job in hand and remember the points below. The best photographs are taken when you are not rushing to get the job done!
Treats - sweeten the dog up first by giving it a few small treats - comfortable and happy is the goal! Once they know you have the treats and that you're freely giving them you will have their attention. If someone is helping you distract the dog with treats, then make sure they don’t hold them too high so you only get shots of the underside of the dogs neck at they look up to it! Keep the treat at a height where they look straight at you.
Attention! - dogs have a short attention span so it is best to limit the photo sessions to about fifteen minutes and should you need more time give the dog a break and then start again.
Eye Level - always get down to the dogs eye level and use their eyes as the main focal point. The eyes must always be in focus. Once you are down at their level you’re in their world - two or three feet off the ground and it results in a more personal/intimate photo.
Backgrounds - Be aware of the background. Try to find an uncluttered area and watch out for lamp posts and trees growing out of the dog’s head!
Light - try to avoid taking pictures during the middle of a summers day as the light will be too harsh and will cast heavy shadows. A bright overcast day will produce far better images.
Flash - try to avoid using a flash as they tend to distract pets and in some cases will even frighten them. The other issue with flashes is that they can create spooky red-eye problems with some animals. Natural light is a much better option than using a flash and so where possible outside photo shoots tend to work best (or at least in a well lit window inside).

The only exception for using a flash is when your pet has very dark (or black) fur as it tends to absorb light and a flash can add detail. With dark fury pets you might want to slightly over expose your images for this same reason. Alternatively with white pets you run the risk of over exposing shots so try to find a location out of direct sunlight and definitely avoid a flash.

Photographing Black Dogs & White Dogs - the colour of the dog’s fur will have a lot to do with the quality of your photos as well. It’s because their black coats simply blend into dark backgrounds. Of course, the same is true with white dogs in front of light backgrounds. Try to position the dog against a background that will make them stand out/contrast.
Perspective - the size of a dog is impossible to judge without a comparison, so include something such as a football or the legs and feet of the handler.
Include people - including people interacting with the dog will help capture the character of the pet and evoke emotion. They can also help you to keep the subject calm but make sure they do not have their hands around the dogs throat to keep it still!
Zoom - do you have zoom on your camera? Then don’t forget to use it! This way you can sit, lay or kneel far enough away from your dog and capture that adorable shot without distracting them. The closer you are to the dog, the perspective is more distorted, ending up with a massive head and small body! Stay farther away and use the zoom
Shutter Speed - use a fast shutter speed depending on the lighting. You might also want to consider shooting in continuous mode (burst mode) to take a quick series of shots in a row.

xxlynne
Posts: 6865
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2014 9:01 am

Re: Taking photographs of dogs

Post by xxlynne » Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:18 pm

Buster56.jpg
The head shot protrait Buster Shar peix
Ella10.jpg
The head shot landscape Ella Boxer x
Buster63.JPG
Full body shot Buster Staffie x
Vinnie22.JPG
The Sit Vinnie Shar pei x
Fiona (10).JPG
Natural Pose Fiona
BuddyB47.JPG
The Embrace Buddy

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