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Monte Nagler



Monte Nagler

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Photographing your pet

Photographing your pet properly will reward you with many memorable shots of that very important family member. And by following a few simple rules, you'll find it easier than you may think.

To begin with, use a shutter speed fast enough to stop any motion of your frisky pet when shooting outdoors. A speed of at least 1/250 should do. Any speed slower and you'll begin to pick up movement in your picture.

If indoors, it's always best to use flash. The smaller aperture called for by your flash unit will increase depth-of-field so that most, if not all, of your pet will appear sharp and in focus. Further, the briefness of light from flash will make each hair and whisker razor sharp in the finished print. A note of caution when using flash: to avoid "red eye", very common in animal pictures, remove the flash from the camera. By doing so, unwanted "red eye", the reflection of blood in the retina, will be eliminated.

I've always believed that the most impact-filled shots are those where you move in close and keep things simple. So try using a telephoto lens perhaps in the 100 - 200mm range. Fill the frame and shoot away.

Get down on the pet's level and shoot across at them. The photos will appear more natural when compared with those looking down on your pet.

Be sure to watch your backgrounds. Keep them simple and non-distracting. Nothing can ruin a pet picture faster than an unwanted table leg or magazine rack.

You'll probably have a tough time posing your pet. They just don't want to hold still. So concentrate on unposed, more spontaneous pictures. Let your cat get engrossed with a ball of yarn or your dog with a tasty biscuit. They'll soon forget about you and will offer many photo possibilities for you and your camera

Copyright Monte Nagler 2001. All rights reserved.

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