Guest blogger: Yinw | Photoxels.com
Taking photos of your pets can be a rewarding pastime since they can be so funny and cute, and make us laugh. On a more serious note, animals also usually have shorter life spans than we do, so photos are one way we can have a keepsake of the good times we spent with them. But how do you take a good photo of your pet that you will treasure?
One of the techniques I like to use is the telephoto lens (by zooming). A telephoto lens brings a far away subject closer. So, by placing myself a distance away from my pet, I can zoom in and get up close & personal without being “in your face.” This technique is especially useful for a pet which is shy and will not pose for you while you poke your camera in its face.
Of course, with a telephoto setting, small camera movements are amplified, so I use a tripod (or place the camera on a flat surface) or turn on the camera’s image stabilizer. If you choose a bright and sunny location, you’ll get well-exposed shots. Try to include a foreground object to give depth to the picture, a natural frame if there is one, and colors to brighten the whole scene.
For the picture above of a friend’s cat, I was inside the house while the cat was outside in the garden. I zoomed my point-and-shoot digicam to 200 mm to frame the cat tightly and to remove distracting elements, included part of the pot of flower to add some colors, and tried as much as possible to get only the grass as background (you don’t want your background to be too distracting). I pointed the camera’s lightmeter (usually it’s also the center AF frame) at the dark fur of the cat so I can get some detail there. It was perfect and the cat’s face and eyes also came out well exposed.
Want more techniques? A good article on this subject I came across recently with good tips is from Beloved Pets.