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Hi Phil,

This is a gorgeous puppy, and he is very similar to my own studio manager (or at least the boss in our household), our spoodle Riley. 

Now while I love the moment of this photograph, it is actually the angle of the photograph that I am not too happy with. We are looking down on the dog, and this is usually something I try to avoid if I am photographing animals or children. By looking down, we are implying height, or more importantly dominance over our subject. Instead, what I prefer to do is to get down to the same level as the subject so that I am treating them as an equal. And as you might expect, if you want to make a hero of your subject, look up at them.

Now this is where many digital cameras (your's included) are equipped with a nifty tool to help you out. The articulating LCD display that you can pull out and angle upwards lets you put the camera down near the ground and compose the image using Live View mode. That way, you can get the camera down low to change the view, without having to lie down yourself to see through the viewfinder.

If I was making this image, I would be using Live View and the LCD display to get the camera lower to the ground. The advantage is two-fold; for one thing, you are not looking down on the dog, but at the same time, you are also going to get some depth into the photograph. We are going to be able to see the background, and that is what often creates the context in a photograph. For the moment this dog could almost be drinking out of a puddle, and yet from a lower angle we might be able to see a beautiful river bank with trees and other people.

Inclusion of the background is one of the best ways of telling a story and making a photograph more interesting. As you mentioned, Ted is still a pup, and so you have a few years to work on this technique. I hope you have fun along the way!

Cheers, Anthony


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