how to take great photos

Photographing Your Pets (WITH A BONUS BLOG!!)

How To Snap Shots of Animals

Hello ! Bonjour ! Hola !

Today, we will discuss taking photos of animals. I love photographing animals, especially my dogs. I find myself using my phone more often to take the photos, than my camera. That's for several reasons : It is smaller and more discreet, and in most cases, it is more readily available.

Meet Bolt, my dog.

Meet Bolt, my dog.

For my DSLR users : I took this shot with a Canon 60D and EF 100mm f/2 USM (not the macro version) lens. My aperture was f/2.8, my shutter speed was 1/400 sec and the ISO was set at 200 (I always try to keep my ISO at 200).

 

Quick Learning

Aperture

Aperture is the setting which controls the size of the opening of the aperture blades through which light passes through the lens.

The smaller the opening, less light is let through, and therefore, the larger the opening, more light can pass through.

Shutter Speed

Shutter Speed, simply put, is the amount of time that the camera lets the light coming in, stay exposed and become recorded.

This is measured in fractions.

For example : 1/60, 1/125. This number relates to the timing that the shutter is left open, for example 1/60 shutter speed will mean the shutter stays open for 1 sixtieth of a second, then closes.

ISO

In Digital Photography ISO measures the sensitivity of the image sensor.

The same principles apply as in film photography – the lower the number the less sensitive your camera(the image sensor) is to light and the finer the grain. The higher the number, the higher the sensitivity of the image sensor and the grain is therefore more visible.

 

My best tips for taking photos of pets are:

  1. Use natural light and try to avoid using flash. The flash may frighten them, which in turn, could ruin your photo, or the whole photo shoot.
  2. Be patient and also be prepared to follow them. Pets do listen to their owner, but sometimes, it's best to let them be and snap away. In order to do so, you must have a lot of patience and energy to follow them and be flexible, literally.
  3. Switch off the shutter noise. This could distract them and like the flash, may frighten them.

On my phone (Samsung Galaxy S5), my settings are as follows:

  • Photo size : 16M
  • Auto Night Detection : Off
  • Face Detection : On
  • ISO : Auto
  • Metering Modes : Center-weighted
  • White Balance : Auto
  • Grid Lines : On (if this is off, do yourself a favor and switch it on RIGHT NOW)

 

Find my bonus blog on performing at Jambe De Bois here !

Have a great week !

Maryse.

 

The Secret Ingredients To Taking Your Best Photos

How I Take My Best Photos

Greetings to all !

Every photographer's formula will be different for taking pictures. These are some of the steps that have TREMENDOUSLY improved my photography and could help with yours too!

My best photos required me to get out of my comfort zone. A friend once shared a quote with me: "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone." Getting out of my comfort zone is a crucial part to taking great photographs.

 

Pigeon Island National Landmark, St Lucia.

Pigeon Island National Landmark, St Lucia.

For example : This photo was snapped while I was standing on the edge of the door frame of a car.

Getting out of my comfort zone may mean that I have to kneel down, stretch over something or someone or even lie down on the ground to take a picture. I do recommend having a camera with a swivel screen. It makes the job much easier!

Getting out of my comfort zone may also mean that I have to speak with strangers, or ask for their permission to take photos of them etc.

My best photos were often selected from a batch of very similar photos. In other words, take many versions of the photo you wish to capture. People say less is more, but in this case, more is more.

All of my photos are shot in Manual Mode and in RAW on my DSLR. This allows for 'complete' control of the elements in my photo: in camera and in post-production. (SECRET : I have never used Auto on my camera!)

In addition to these few tips, my first blog post also shares some great tips that could apply to taking great photos with a DSLR as well !

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Have a great day !

Maryse.