Sure-fire tips for better pet photos
Saturday April 11 is National Pet Day, and Nikon is encouraging budding photographers to get creative with their cameras to capture their furry friends while they’re staying home this Easter weekend.
Working with Nikon, wildlife photographer Charles Davis has put together some tips and tricks to capturing and celebrating your pets on this great day. Charles has been photographing the natural world around him for the past seven years, focusing on the Australian wildlife in and around his home in the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales.
Nikon’s Top Tips for Capturing Our Pets on National Pet Day
- Focus on your pets eye. A great photo of a living creature is all about the eye, even if everything else in the photo is out of focus as long as the eye is in focus you have an instant connection with your subject.
- Leave some negative space in your image. You don't need to fill the whole frame with your pet, try leaving some space to the left or the right side of the image this will make your photo more interesting and leave room for storytelling like where your pet is going or what it is interested in.
- Get eye level with your subject. Standing like normal is the easiest way to take a photo, but it is not the best way when your subject is knee height or smaller. Try to get as low to the ground as you can, on your knees or stomach is best to get on their level.
- It's ok to not photograph your whole pets body. It sounds odd, but some people think it's bad to not include a subject's entire body. Often just photographing from the shoulders up or just a head can make for a great portrait, it's about taking the image that is pleasing to you, not someone else.
- Symmetry, Symmetry, Symmetry. Keep things symmetrical as much as possible, people are drawn to symmetrical things this can mean using doorways, windows and garden features to frame in your animal. Symmetry can also be for tight headshots, making sure your pet's ears are both facing you and that both eyes are open will make your images more pleasing to the eye.
- Use the windows in your home. Wedding and portrait photographers use windows all the time for great photos. Use the natural light through your windows to light your pet; this will create contrast illuminating your pet but not the rest of the room. It is best to shoot in manual for this and don't be afraid to blow out high-lights of the window, as long as your pets face is properly exposed that's all that matters.
- Photograph small details. Sometimes the little things can be so interesting, your dog or cats paws, claws, tails or ears are fantastic. When your pet is asleep or calm, use a long lens and get nice and tight on those little things that you love about your pet.
- Work on your backlighting. Anything with fur or hair will look magical when backlit. Using natural sunlight is easiest. Wait until early morning or late afternoon and shoot towards the light with your pet between you and the sun. It is best to shoot on manual, try not to worry about exposing for the background as your goal is only to expose for your furry friend, expose their face and let the fur around their head glow like an angel.
This guest post is courtesy of Nikon and has been shared with permission.