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Candid Portraits Show Hidden Qualities

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Digital Imaging Made Easy

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Photo Tips



Photographing Pets Poses Few Problems


They are, according to writer George Eliot, "Agreeable friends. They ask no questions, they pass no criticisms." More than that, they're quiet, unassuming, and obedient. They're often members of the family. And they make excellent photographic subjects-both entertaining and cooperative. What more could one ask for in a subject than pet! <

One of the nicest things about photographing pets is that you don't need a lot of costly equipment to do the job. Even an inexpensive cam ill work. In fact, some of the least expensive cameras have taken some of the best pet pictures around. And with today's easy-to-use, point-and-shoot, auto-everything models, you can take top-notch photos of your pets and have them hanging on the wall within days.


The key to photographing pets is patience. It you have a rnanually focusing camera, pre-focus on a particular area. Then coax your pet into that area with a toy or a treat. For cats, try pre-focusing your camera on a spool of thread or a ball of yarn. When your cat comes over for a closer look, just snap the shutter.


A loud noise is one of the best ways to attract a dog's attention. Just make sure you've pre-focused on him. Then, when he snaps to attention, take the shot. And don't forget to include the kids in some of your photos. For the most natural looking results, sneak up on a child playing with his pet and snap away.


Sound simple? Most definitely. But there are a few more things you can do to get consistently good results.


  • Get down! A pet's-eye view is much more interesting than the same shot taken from adult's-eye level. Don't be afraid to kneel down to get just the shot you're after.
  • Get close! That's the best way to fill the frame with the subject. Just like people, pets have distinct facial expressions that only a close-up shot can capture. When photographing really small pets such as birds or fish, use a macro lens to get within inches of the subject.
  • Get plenty! Really great pet shots don't come along every day. For best results, use plenty of film. Most professional photographers agree that there's a direct relationship between the number of pictures you take and the number of good shots you get. So don't be stingy!


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