Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Smile And Say “Dog Bone”!

Having a pet can be one of the greatest experiences you will ever know. From relaxing together on the couch after a long day, to hikes through the woods, and games of catch your time together will be filled with memorable moments. However, if like most people you want to use your camera to make these moments last forever you will find that few things in life can be as frustrating as taking your pet’s picture. Below is a list of 5 tips and tricks you can use to get the best possible pictures of your furry friend for you to share with family and friends.

1. The sun is your best friend
Q: What is extremely powerful, free to use, and available almost everywhere?
A: The sun.

Sunlight is your best friend when photographing your pet. It’s more powerful than any flash you can buy for your camera and best of all it’s free to use. However, for best results try to avoid direct sunlight as this may cause deep shadows and obscure details such as the eyes. Instead take the picture in a shady area such as a room in the house with a large window or outside under a tree. If you don’t have a tree readily available don’t despair! A cloudy or overcast day will work just as well.

2. Turn off the flash
The problem with on camera flash is that it causes very severe “red eye” (or in the case of cats and dogs “green eye”). The eyes of cats and dogs collect and reflect light much better than ours, which is why they can see better than us at night, and your camera’s flash will accentuates this feature. If flash is an absolute must for a picture then try to not have your pet looking directly at the camera. By having them turn their head slightly to one side (even by just a small amount) you can reduce the amount of discoloration of the eyes in the final image or possibly remove it altogether.

3. Use the buddy system
Here is how this tip is going to work. You take the pictures and a friend distracts the model (aka your pet). The reason this works is because it allows your cat or dog to focus on something else besides the camera. A good assistant will be able to help get a cat to look in a particular direction or keep a dog sitting for those few extra moments you may need. A few suggested pieces of equipment for your assistant to use include some of your pet’s favorite treats, a favorite toy, and/or a noisemaker to attract and maintain your pet’s attention.

4. Get down to their level
Everybody knows what your dog looks like from the top down view so why not change things up a little to get a whole new perspective on your furry friend. To instantly increase the quality of your pictures try to get down to your pet’s eye level. Yes, this may mean you will have to get down on your hand and knees or even stomach but the payoffs are huge. Pictures taken in this way both seem more personable and have an undeniable cuteness factor.

5. Show what makes them unique
Does your dog have a unique expression all his own? Does your cat like to stretch out a certain way or peek out at you from around the corner? If so keep on alert for these precious moments and always keep a camera within easy reach so you won’t miss a thing.

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