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Photography Question 
David B. Spooner
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/21/2007

photographing dogs

A co-worker of mine wants me to do some photos of her 2 dogs in an outdoor setting. I explained to her I would be willing to try but I am basically an outdoor and landscape or suggestion appreciated...I will be shooting with a Canon T2si

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1/31/2012 10:01:26 AM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
  Who says that what you usually shoot means what you are? And can't do anything else.
If you're an outdoor photographer, find a good outdoor location, and add the dogs. That's what portraits mostly require to begin with, a good location.

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1/31/2012 3:03:04 PM

Carlton Ward
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/13/2005
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  Mannlichen Cow
Mannlichen Cow
f/6.3, 1/80s, iso125, 22mm - On Top of the Alps in Switzerland
© Carlton Ward
Canon EOS 40D Digi...
Hi David,
I do most of my portraits (human & animal) with my 70-200 lens. Background will make or break the image so be conscious of it and the direction of light. I took this one for a fun show using a 10-22mm on a cropped 40D :)

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1/31/2012 4:43:43 PM

Irene Troy
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/27/2004
  Hi David – Gregory is right, you may never have photographed dogs before, but this doesn’t mean everything you’ve learned in other work doesn’t apply. I mostly work in nature, but have photographed my own dogs and dogs belonging to friends. Here are a few tips I’ve learned: have the owners give the dogs a nice long walk or play session before beginning. You want the dogs to be relaxed and not hyper from lack of exercise. Try to place yourself and camera on a level so that you (and the lens) are more or less even with the dogs. Shooting from above can make dogs look odd and also affect the sharpness of the image. You can try running images where the dog is running toward you and the camera, this can be very effective, but requires being quick at the shutter. Just as when you photograph people, try to place the dogs so that the sun is not directly in their eyes. Be prepared for movement because even the best-trained dog doesn’t like to hold still for very long. Try to make the shoot pleasant for the dogs, toss a few treats, make some silly noise to get their heads up and a shine in their eyes and remember to be patient; dogs can be frustrating, especially if they are not well trained. Finally, have fun!

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1/31/2012 4:50:40 PM

Thom Schoeller
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/4/2006
  Can't top any of this advice David! I'm thinking for free hand shooting, don't use a small apeture (results in long exposures) focus on the dogs facial features and keep the background slightly soft. You'll do great

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1/31/2012 5:35:35 PM

David B. Spooner
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/21/2007
  Great advice from all...thank you so much!!

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1/31/2012 5:54:44 PM

Lynn R. Powers   Dave,

Remember to keep your background clean. Use a large enough f stop to use a high speed and stop the motion blur and isolate them from the background. The 18-55 will probably be best unless they are far off.


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2/1/2012 8:24:03 PM

David B. Spooner
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/21/2007
  thanks is everything with you these days?? Loving my new far the only grumble I have is when shooting manual you have to hold down the Av button while turning the main dial...a bit clumsy but everything else is extemely good. I don't shoot manual much...prefer Tv or Av.....there are so many more options with a DSLR that the PS doesn't have. I am encouraging my wife to learn the Nikon P100.
thanks as alway my friend

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2/2/2012 7:25:54 AM

Linda Eodice
BetterPhoto Member
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  Hi David, You've gotten a lot of great advice here, and you may have already done your photo shoot already. However, I just want to echo what Irene stated in that it's best to be on the dogs' level when shooting. Soft, indirect light of shade or a cloudy day works well, and you can also use a little fill flash for shadows (unless flash scares the dog). Having the owner there to get the dogs' attention also works well.

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3/5/2012 10:50:57 AM

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