10 Top Cat Photography Tips

10 Top Cat Photography Tips

You alone are witness to your cat’s habits, favorite pastimes, and most enjoyed food, and probably know all of these things and many more. While your cat may certainly be pleased with your ownership, it may not seem that way on camera. Unlike humans, cats don’t know the point of cat photography and often ignore or treat the camera as a hostile object.

 

Hence, inexperienced or careless cat photographers can cause their pictures to give off a vibe that the cat is scared, angry, or even irritated, which is definitely not what you want your cat photography pictures to convey. This particular article talks about how to take great pictures of cats using various photography tips via your digital camera so that you’re able to capture your cat at it’s very best and show off its perfect personality. Without further ado, here are our top 10 cat photography tips.

  • Use the correct lighting for the cat photography session.

Although there are plenty of methods to illuminate a cat photograph, the traditional way of lighting your cat is using calm and still lighting, so as to not agitate the cat. Should you not be able to get some calm and still lighting, stay away from indoor shoots and try to make use of natural light outside as much as possible. If you aren’t allowed to go outside for whatever reason, a large window providing light may be suitable for your cat photo shoot.

While taking pictures outside, steer clear of direct overhead sunlight because it creates quite a high contrast n your photo as well as poorly lit dark areas. For capturing the finer details of a cat, take pictures from the side of the cat at an angle. Roughly speaking, an angle of about fourty-five to ninety degrees is optimal for cat photo shoots. To take photographs with smoother, cooler lighting, take pictures of the cat on cloudy days or use reflective objects such as large foils or mirrors.

  • Avoid using flash on cats.

Unless of course, you’ve brought along a specialist flash kit setup, steer clear of using the flash from a digital camera. Flash tends to change the shading of the photograph, along with dilute the natural coloration of the cat. Even worse, it definitely flattens all the detail in the image and causes an unnatural red-eye effect on the cat, automatically making the photo a terrifyingly poor one.

  • Keep the cat relaxed.

Taking pictures of cats is not too different from taking pictures of young children, except that the difficulty associated with taking pictures of young children is even higher with cats. Hence, you should definitely aim to keep your cat relaxed and calm. If the cat gets sidetracked by flashes and lights from the camera, they will be even harder to calm and pose for the shoot. To keep them relaxed and entertained, consider offering the cat it’s favorite play toy or even snacks.

  • Get down to the cat’s level.

When it comes to cat photography, it is advisable to keep your camera at the same level as the cat. For example, if the cat is on some grass, kneel on the grass and take pictures. Imagine yourself to be a creature around that same height – it will definitely help you with figuring out the best height for the photograph. Try to utilize the cat’s point of view –  this will likely allow the images captured an enchanting figure as the viewer of your cat photographs will be able to imagine how the cat feels and moves around.

  • Capture the cat’s personality.

Each and every cat has it’s own unique personality and tastes, and capturing that uniqueness is what separates a good photographer from an excellent one.

Consider investing some time into just hanging out with the cat (in the case that you don’t know the cat in advance) to acquire a sense of their personality, among other things. If the cat is quite lively and enthusiastic, try to present that within the photo. Look for facial features that help exhibit this kind of energy within its heart and soul. A great way to display such defining characteristics of the cat is to use toys, games or snacks to have them interested and out of their shell. Creating unexpected, interesting sounds or even copying animal noises usually will do the job.

  • Use a telephoto camera lens for headshots.

Figuring out how to get cat headshots is really important in the context of animal photography. To start off, you will need to have a telephoto camera lens of good quality. A great focal size to use might be anything between 100mm to about 200mm. You will want to use a short depth of field by way of f/8 or maybe a little bigger to generate that “portrait” hazy background result if so desired.

  • Use a macro camera lens to achieve closer shots.

One of many issues of a higher focal length is that you need to be a greater distance away to retain the animal in focus. A remedy to that is to utilize a macro camera lens. That will indeed permit you to employ a telephoto camera lens without getting twenty feet out.

  • Watch out for the cat becoming irritated or annoyed.

Nearly all cats possess occasions when they may be hyper and also situations when they may be peaceful and relaxed. Look for those comfortable periods for taking shots because it can certainly make the photo sessions less of a challenge.

  • Maintain a clear backdrop.

Be sure to pay attention to your background of the shot. Make sure that it is clear of clutter and is an appropriate background for a cat photo shoot. Also, select hues for the backdrop that help enhance the natural colors of the cat.

  • Be patient and determined to work with the cat.

While many pet cats will indeed be a delight to work alongside, a few will not. Possessing a good sense of empathy and a love for cats will definitely help give you the patience and determination to work with a difficult cat.

 

How To Do Professional Dog Photography

How To Do Professional Dog Photography

Photography is an amazingly special tool that is able to capture our special moments with our pets, and it is even better when we are able to combine professional dog photography with our dogs. For doing dog photography, we highly recommend using a digital camera as it is easy and convenient to use.

About dog photography:

Dog photography is a great way to capture the extremely endearing moments of man’s “best friend”, be it in the context of a professional job, or just casual shots of your own dog. At first glance, professional dog photography can seem extremely easy. After all, isn’t it just snapping pictures of the dog when it comes towards you?

Wrong.

To be a successful dog photographer, you must be able to take pictures of dogs at a much higher level than most other generalized photographers are able to.

Technological advancement these days has made it much easier for the average joe to purchase a great camera at a low price. However, the key advantage you have over casual photographers is your photography prowess, professional skills, and resourcefulness.  While it is easy enough to get the right equipment by looking up “dog photography equipment” online, very few people actually know how to use their powerful cameras effectively to take shots of their furry friends. So, if you are able to develop a knack for producing great dog photos, you will definitely be highly sought after, by both customers and other professionals for your skill in capturing excellent pictures of dogs.

Many professional photographers try to avoid photographing dogs because they present a harder challenge than simple portraits of adults.  To get good at dog photography, you need lots of practice because dog behavior varies widely, even within the same breed of dog. The best way to kickstart your dog photography business is to offer your friends free dog photography sessions, in exchange for them allowing you to practice your dog photography.

To get good pictures, you will need some quality equipment, techniques, canine behaviour knowledge, and loads of patience. It is a good idea to have a trained assistant, too, especially for large dogs. Get quality equipment, and make sure they are durable.

Tips For Professional Dog Photography

Getting better at dog photography is a long and arduous process, so don’t be dismayed if you haven’t yet been able to capture pictures of dogs that satisfy you. After all, getting your canine friend in question to focus on the camera requires a mixture of both art and clever persuasion, but you can certainly master the technique if you take a little extra time to line the perfect shot up.

When starting out, don’t allow yourself to feel self-conscious or intimidated about your current photography skills or what you will need to learn. All you need to do is to take things slow and attentively follow the few simple tips we’ve outlined below, one shot at a time

1. Always make use of natural lighting such as sunlight during your dog photography sessions.

Indoor dog photography sessions can be great, but nothing can be better than nature’s own gift of natural lighting and environment. So, I would advise you to make heavy use of outdoor surroundings, which allows the dog to enjoy being out in the fresh and inviting open space and air. Dog photography has proven to be the best and more fun in the outdoors because dogs act more naturally when outsider; engaging and enjoying a great deal of playtime. Also, the best sort of lighting for any sort of shot is definitely natural light, as natural light highlights the most unique and beautiful parts of the dog, while not being overly glaring or harsh.

However, if you do need to work indoors for the photo shoot, bring the camera in closer to the dog, make sure that they are not upset by any flash, and use any natural light you can get from nearby windows.

2. Make sure to adjust your camera settings for each shot.

Most digital cameras have a variety of settings, including settings geared for shots in indoor, outdoor, portrait and fluorescent lighting. If you can’t figure out what mode you should set your camera to, a good starting base is automatic.

3. Keep dog accessories and clothes on hand.

Dressing up your dog for a few pictures can be fun, but dogs often take some time to adjust to wearing clothes, especially if they aren’t used to wearing them. If you want to take pictures of the dog in cute outfits and accessories, either put him in the clothes before the shoot starts, or let it run around a bit wearing the clothes to get comfortable.

If the dog continues to be fidgetty and refuses to sit still or pose for the dog photo shoot, try playing a rousing game of fetch with them, or have a quick walk around the block. This will help the dog by helping them exercise off a little excess excitement and energy, causing them to be calmer and more cooperative for your camera.

In conclusion,

Dogs undoubtedly fill their place quickly in our hearts, becoming part of families almost instantly, and are a permanent fixture just about everywhere, like photo frames on the wall. Just like small children, you cannot expect them to sit still long enough for a good photograph; they are most likely going to fidget, run around and be distracted by an exciting object somewhere else, even with repeated requests to hold still for the shoot. Besides, dogs also easily become fatigued during lengthy photography sessions, just like babies and toddlers.

Good luck with your dog photography!

This article is brought to you by li.sg, the website of Arik Chan, an expert dog photographer who has been photographing for over four decades. To see more of our articles, click here.

 

Creative Tips For Bird Photography

Creative Tips For Bird Photography

Beautiful motion shots of birds are difficult to pull off well, partly because they’re so incredibly fast and fleeting. Success usually requires a good set of photo gear, planning, experience, luck, and lots of practice.

Bird photography prides itself as one of the most popular aspects of nature and animal photography. Capturing great bird photography pictures can certainly be a difficult task, but with enough practice and time, you will certainly be able to master the skill of bird photography.

So, here are our tips for bird photography.

Set up your studio for bird photography.

The biggest challenge is not attracting birds to your yard. Once a single bird discovers a good feeding spot, they will call their fellow birds over with ease. A big problem many bird photographers face is getting the birds to perch at ideal spots for bird photography. So, before you start setting up bird feeding stations, be sure to carefully consider the suitability of each spot.

Choose safe locations that are free of predators such as cats, but provides you with the opportunity to photograph them with lovely backgrounds, great angles, and excellent lighting.

Make sure to check on your bird feeders frequently and refill them with quality seed, so that the birds will be well nourished and not have to fill up on something low energy like bread. Low energy items like bread stop birds from getting the energy they need to stay warm through cold nights.

Some great props for photo shoots are birdbaths and birdhouses. Birdbaths allow birds to cool, hang around and wash themselves, whereas birdhouses provide much-needed shelter from larger predators.

If your goal is to attract specific species of birds, check out this useful poster by the National Bird Park on Singaporean birds over here.

Don’t limit your photographs to the bird feeders and baths either. They encourage birds to perch on tree branches and nearby fences, so when you have your camera in hand, check out these areas too for more birds.

Camera Settings

Have you ever noticed that birds are always moving from one place to another? When eating, their little heads are moving up and down, and when they are on the ground, they are always looking around for any sign of predators. Hence, the best setting for your bird photography shots is a high shutter speed of about 1/250. Alternatively, you can use Sports mode, which tends towards a high shutter speed.

If you have optical zoom on a compact digital or an SLR’s telephoto lens, this makes taking pictures a whole lot easier. 6x optical zoom can give you about the same magnification as a 200mm lens, which makes a photograph taken from slightly less than 10 feet away look like a close-up shot.

Some of the so-called “bridge cameras” offer zooms between 10 to 20 feet, but a couple of them seldom give quality results; hence it is to check before purchasing one. There may also be a need for a tripod stand or other camera stabiliser when the high range zooms are in use.

The presence of a long enough lens helps to get some beautiful pictures of birds in flight or while perching high up in a tree. Professional nature photographers often prefer using a 600 lens to capture images with excellent detail of birds in flight or far away.

Telephoto lenses of this size are costly, but there is another way, brought to us from birders. It’s called digiscoping. With this method, you combine the birder’s spotting scope with a digital camera.

Blue skies are best for pictures of birds in flight. Moreover, the bluest sky of the day is often few hours after dawn. Also, look for patterns when you may have flocks of birds that fly across your compound at specific periods of the day. Alternatively, when photographing birds of prey, such as osprey, go to a lake or river by evening time when they fish. The evening is also a good time for soft, even and warm lighting.

Hopefully, by using these tips, you’ll be able to attract more birds to your bird photography studio.

 ESSENTIAL EQUIPMENT FOR BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

The beautiful thing about bird photography is that it can happen anywhere, and anytime. The not so beautiful thing is that many birds are small or shy, and you need to be able to get close enough to them with your equipment without scaring them off. Now, let’s talk about the camera parts you definitely need for bird photography.

Camera body

We live in a world of digital photography, and therefore our discussion is only on digital camera bodies. Canon has also proven to be the best, so I take Canon, and you can translate it to other manufacturers if you need to.

You do need a decent camera body that allows you to set continuous focus while shooting images in the raw image quality. The cheapest body enabling you to do this is the Canon EOS 20D. However, it is not cheap, the reason for its costliness is that it is a perfect all-around camera body for the serious amateur or professional. You cannot go wrong with this body.

Lenses

Many amateurs think that a decent long zoom lens solves all their photography problems, but the reality remains that it does not. Do what the professionals do by getting a long prime lens.

Most professional bird photographers use Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM for a decent but not good enough result.

You can also use the Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM, as it is very sharp and also fast at the same time but a bit heavy. With this lens, you can decide to use only a Canon Extender 1.4x II for an advantageous focal length of as much as 1 120 mm with autofocus. That surely is ample for any bird.

It is important to never use manual focus. Today’s cameras were not built for manual focus as the viewfinders are small and do not allow you to see enough detail and focus effectively.

Photographing flying birds

Okay, now that you have all the equipment, you can now start heading into the field to get those award-winning photographs of flying birds. You need to have a large amount of light entering your lens, as this allows a breakneck shutter speed for capturing each and every action of a bird. Also, you need your camera to focus on where the bird is at that very moment, before actually taking the photo. So, this is what you need to do.

  • Set your camera to 400 ISO speed because ISO of 100 or 200 and above prevents to blurry exposure.
  • Then make sure the camera lens is open to the aperture’s maximum limit. The Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM lens when combined with a Canon Extender 1.4x II produces a maximum aperture of 5.6, and this is best for bird photography.
  • Also, makr sure you set your camera to continuous autofocus. Canon calls this setting AI Servo focus.
  • Also set your image stabilizer to Mode 2 for photographing moving subjects, as this prevents it from working against the sharp picture.
  • At this point, keep moving that heavy lens around while the birds are flying past.

CONCLUSION

Many professional photographers have a way of sometimes making it sound like you do not need proper equipment to be a good photographer. That is utter nonsense. Get yourself decent equipment and enjoy a professional photography experience.

The other thing that makes the professionals so much better than the average amateur is patience and practice.

8 Top Pet Photography Tips

8 Top Pet Photography Tips

Pet photography is an area of photography that is rapidly growing in popularity, but has proven to be a tough challenge to almost every newbie to the field of photography.  However, if you are willing to put in a decent amount of time and energy into getting better at pet photography, it tends to yield gratifying results for you and your pet photography clients.

Many families own some sort of pet or another, and each pet has its own distinct personality and quirks that will require different pet photography techniques. Unlike humans who can be told to pose in one way or another, pets won’t be able to listen to anything beyond extremely simple instructions at best. So, how do you get great pet photography portraits?

Pets are tricky subjects for any photographer to deal with – a pet photographer requires a large amount of patience and must be capable of reacting quickly when the pet does something picture-worthy.

So, let’s talk about our 8 tips for getting great pet photography pictures.

  1. Take the context and setting into Account

Before even taking pictures of a pet, make sure to take some time to set up the environment and get the pet comfortable and relaxed for your shots. It’s a good idea to arrive slightly early to a pet photo shoot and get yourself acquainted with the pet owners and the pet itself. This stops the pet from being too excited by the presence of a new person (you) and allows you to better communicate with the owners on what their goal is for their pet pictures.

For the photo shoot location, you should pick a suitable background with pleasant colors and a mild atmosphere to get the best shots possible. Try your best to eliminate possible distractions, such as strong smells, other animals, and any of such that could distract the pet from focusing on the pet photo shoot.

  1. Capture the pet’s unique personality traits.

Just like most other things in life, the pet you’re taking photos of has it’s own unique personality and quirks. The worst possible thing you can do is treat each pet as cookie cutter similar, which means just taking pictures of them without regard for their temperament or personality at all. Some noteworthy parts of a pet might be things like the color and length of its fur, different colored eyes, or a big, goofy grin.

During the photoshoot, be sure to avoid doing anything that could unnecessarily agitate the pet, such as sudden hand movements towards them, loud shouting or arguments with the client in front of them. Once a pet is agitated, it is much harder to achieve good shots of them, as they will now be tense and uneasy, which is definitely not the sort of atmosphere the client wishes to capture.

  1. Use the right exposure height.

Make sure that your camera level is about the same level as that of the pet’s full height. If you don’t do this, you are bound to get too many “down” shots; this is because humans are taller than most pets. This causes the pet to seem distant and out of focus, and captures too much of the surrounding background. Hence, lowering yourself to the level of the pet allows you to capture the pet in greater detail, and also allows for a clearer picture altogether.

  1. Move in even closer for close up shots.

The most common household pets are dogs and cats, most of which are much smaller than human beings. Take care to avoid ugly exposures where the pet ended up being at a tiny corner of the picture by experimenting with close up shots.  Close-up shot allows you to capture some great shot of even minute details, while focusing on the unique features of your pet, like its eyes, ear, fur, and paws. Capturing close-up shots is made more accessible when you use zoom lenses, so if you do not have a zoom lens, think about getting one.

  1. Play Around with light effects:

Experimenting with light effects is important because good lighting goes a long way to make your pet photograph excellent, whereas poor lighting can ruin an otherwise lovely picture. Hence, I’d advise pet photographers to make use of natural lighting as much as possible. It is usually best to avoid flash photography since it tends to scare many pets and cause a red-eye effect in photos.

  1. Capture action and playtime photos of the pet.

Get a tripod for action and playtime photos of the client’s pet.  Action and playtime pet photography sessions are one of the best pet photography secrets that will allow you to help your client get real and naturally appealing pictures of their pet. Include vital elements, such as dog bones or cat toys to boost the natural feel of your pet photograph. Make your pet photography sessions a fun-filled moment, and their pet will be in a cheerful mood for some great and beautiful shots.

  1. Get the humans involved.

Don’t forget that pets and humans go together hand in hand. While isolated shots of the pet with a background can certainly be beautiful, you can add real excitement and interest by getting people involved. Children and pets are an excellent combination. Small children with big animals or big men with small toy dogs or kittens will make anyone smile.

  1. Avoid being rigid and experiment with both posed and casual shots.

While posed shots are quite beautiful to capture, do try to experiment with capturing pictures of the pet in its “unaware” moments. Capture them when they least expect it, like moments where they are asleep or distracted playing/ If you try too hard and focus too much on getting the perfect shot, you won’t have fun. One of the most vital pet photography secrets is to have fun!

Finally, it is a known fact that pet photography is a very profitable business when carried out correctly. Images of pets are used all over the world in magazines and other photography publications. After taking a photograph of a pet, ask the owner if they will sign a release form that allows you to sell the pet image. Make sure that you carry these release forms at all times. While this may not be needed – it may save you hassle in the future when selling the pet photograph.

This article is brought to you by li.sg, the website of Arik Chan, an expert photographer who has been photographing for over four decades. To see more of our pet photography Singapore pictures, click here. To go to our homepage, click here.