Posts Tagged ‘Cats’

10 Tips for Photographing Pets

June 29, 2009

“Lazy-Spud”
© Copyright Mike Saunders

Elizabeth West has written an excellent article on photodoto.com about how to get good pictures of your pets. Pets are often challenging subjects to photograph and these tips will help you document the unique and playful personalities of your dogs, cats, birds, goldfish, and other members of your family.

So here then are Elizabeth’s top ten tips:

  1. Be patient. Pets aren’t likely to “strike a pose”.
  2. Try to capture a characteristic action or activity. I suppose this would be “sleeping” if you own a cat.
  3. Get on the same level. Unless your pet is a horse or giraffe, this means you’ll need to crouch or sit down.
  4. Fill the frame with your pet. A good use of that telephoto lens you purchased.
  5. Don’t ignore the background. Just like composing any good shot, eliminate distracting background items and avoid mergers.
  6. Try for natural light. Flash will upset kitty and kitty likes to bite!
  7. Use a fast shutter speed. Elizabeth recommends 250 (1/250 second), or “sports” or “action” mode if available on your camera.
  8. Aim for the eyes. They say eyes are the gateway to the soul and, yes, it’s true, all dogs go to heaven.
  9. Overexpose a bit. Adjust the exposure depending on the available light and the color of the animal’s fur.
  10. Include people in the shots. Family members interacting with pets can bring out the best in both subjects.

Be sure to read the full article for more details. Interestingly, most of Elizabeth’s tips apply just as well to photographing people.

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How to Photograph Dogs and Cats Together

May 5, 2009

Photo © Copyright Kim Levin

The text and photo in this article are excerpted from PhoDOGraphy: How to Get Great Pictures of Your Dog by Kim Levin. Copyright © 2008 by Kim Levin. Reprinted by permission of Amphoto Books, an imprint of Watson-Guptill Publications. All rights reserved.

To read more about this book and 10 pet portrait tips, read the article in the Photobird Daily entitled “PhoDOGraphy, by Kim Levin“.

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Dogs and Cats

Tip: When photographing dogs and cats together, it’s best to get the cat comfortable first and then bring the dog into the picture.

It was inevitable that I would eventually photograph cats. In my experience, cats are more difficult to shoot than dogs primarily because of their independent nature. They don’t particularly care if you call their name or squeak a toy. Therefore, I had to develop a whole new approach when I began taking pictures of cats.

You have to approach a cat on its own terms. I have never had much luck placing a cat in a particular area and trying to take its portrait. Rather, I ask the owner where the cat’s favorite spot is in the house. Usually it is on a bed or a windowsill where the sunlight is strong. Adding a dog into this mix is not easy, but if the dog and cat like each other, it is possible to take a unique and funny portrait. In most cases, it’s best to wait until the cat is comfortable and then bring the dog to it.

The technique I have developed for photographing dogs and cats together is the “wait and see what happens” approach. I have learned that no matter how hard you try, you can’t force a cat and dog to sit together.

The portrait “Nina and Kitten” (above) is a good example of what can result if you observe the interaction between a dog and cat and document their relationship as it unfolds before your eyes. Nina, the German shepherd, and her family were fostering a litter of kittens. The kitten wasn’t scared of the big dog, and Nina was fascinated by her. I positioned Nina on the sofa and put the kitten between her paws. Nina was gentle and loving with the kitten. I took this portrait with my Nikon D200 and a wide-angle lens, utilizing available light from a large window.

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The text and photo in this article are excerpted from PhoDOGraphy: How to Get Great Pictures of Your Dog by Kim Levin. Copyright © 2008 by Kim Levin. Reprinted by permission of Amphoto Books, an imprint of Watson-Guptill Publications. All rights reserved.

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Before you buy PhoDOGraphy or anything else on Amazon.com, please click one of our links to Amazon.com on this page or anywhere on Photobird.com. For each product you buy after your click, we receive a small referral fee, at no additional cost to you. Your clicks and purchases allow us to continue to publish the Photobird Daily and the Photobird Learning Center. Thank you for your support!

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“Bucket” by Helen Duffield

February 5, 2009

“Bucket”
© Copyright Helen Duffield

We first met Bucket in this photo by Helen Duffield last year in the Photobird Daily article entitled “Sooooo Cuuuuuuuuuute!” As I mentioned in that article, I like the close-up composition of Bucket and the natural light coming through the window. Natural light indoors and outdoors is ideal when photographing pets, people, and everything else. Read the article for the story behind Bucket.

Photobird.com is the easy way to share your photos. You capture and share so many great photos on Photobird.com that we created the Photo of the Hour feature to give you the opportunity to share your very best with the rest of the world.

It’s really easy to submit your favorite photos to be featured on the Photobird Photo of the Hour: Simply view the photo from your photo album and click the “Submit for Photo of the Hour” checkbox. There is no limit to the number of photos you can submit and we always like to get new submissions.

In return for each photo we use on the Photo of the Hour or People Places and Things, you get more storage space for your photo album so you can store more photos. Details are here.

If you’d like to keep some of your photos private while you share your favorite photos with the world, you can read how easy it is to do that with Photobird photo albums in our Photobird Daily article entitled “Show Off Your Photos, and Keep Some Private“.

You may also discuss your favorite Photobird Photos of the Hour in the Photobird forums.

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The Easy Way to Share Your Photos

December 10, 2008

“The Cheetah”
© Copyright Vicki Tinnon

Photobird.com is the easy way to share your photos. Photobird.com is designed to make your photos stand out and to make it really easy for you and your friends and family to share your photos.

Your photos on Photobird.com are totally private until you tell people about them. If you’d like to keep some of your photos private while you share your favorite photos with the world, you can read how easy it is to do that with Photobird photo albums in our Photobird Daily article entitled “Show Off Your Photos, and Keep Some Private“.

For more details on Photobird.com, take our Quick Tour. If you have any questions, please post a message in our forums or contact us directly.

Here’s a list of all the easy ways to share your photos on Photobird.com:

Send to a Friend – Click the Send to a Friend button on any photo or album page to send a link to your friends. Here are a couple of examples:

Copy photo link from address bar - Copy and paste the photo link from the address bar in your web browser into an e-mail, forum message, or blog post.

Copy album link from address bar – Copy and paste the album link from the address bar in your web browser into an e-mail, forum message, or blog post, such as the link photobird.com/vickitinnon for Vicki Tinnon’s photo album.

Photo of the Hour – Shown on the Photobird.com home page and the Look at Pictures page, the Photobird Photo of the Hour is your opportunity to share your very best with the rest of the world. It’s really easy to submit your favorite photos to be featured on the Photobird Photo of the Hour: Simply view the photo from your photo album and click the “Submit for Photo of the Hour” checkbox. There is no limit to the number of photos you can submit and we always like to get new submissions. In return for each photo we use on the Photo of the Hour or People Places and Things, you get more storage space for your photo album so you can store more photos. Details are here.

Sign up for Photobird today! We offer convenient monthly and yearly subscriptions, starting at only $4.95 per month. We’re currently offering a 50% discount of only $24.95 for a 12-month subscription. After you sign up, you receive a free 7-day trial during which your credit card will not be charged and you can cancel at any time. Check our Help page or contact us if you have any questions.

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Photographer’s Exposure Handbook

December 2, 2008

When we write about good photography books and learning about exposure, Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson is usually at the top of list. It’s a great book and I highly recommend it even for beginners. In fact, it’s offered each month as a prize in the Photobird Photo Contest.

There are many other good books out there for learning photography, and the Photographer’s Exposure Handbook by Jack Neubart is one of them. If you’re new to photography or just looking to fine-tune and enhance your skills, consider the Photographer’s Exposure Handbook.

In his book, Jack Neubart covers a huge range of topics and provides tips on all of them, from “The Color of Light” to “Light, Texture, and Form”, to using light meters, to using and understanding different kinds of flashes, and then using all of these tips in practical, real world situations. Keep in mind that with a book of 192 pages, it’s not going to be able to cover everything about a given topic, especially with all of the topics that this book covers, but it will certainly get you headed in the right direction so you can learn more from your own experience and future research.

In his chapter entitled “Exposure in Practice”, Jack Neubart writes about photographing pets and wildlife. In one paragraph that caught my eye, he writes: “My cat, Prudence, initially taught me something very important about exposure by virtue of her shiny white coat. Back then, I was shooting black-and-white film, except that all my pictures of her were coming out gray. So, I explored the problem and eventually resolved it by increasing the exposure. Before long, I had also learned a lot about cat behavior and made an effort to learn how other animals behaved. I picked up a few tricks along the way — a good deal revolving around patience, understanding, and observation.”

Later in the section, under “Patience and Timing”, Jack Neubart writes: “With my cat, I would watch for the tail to twitch. Careful observation may also reveal that the pupils dilate the instant before pouncing. Watch the signs. After a few times, you’ll know exactly when to release the shutter. You’ll develop the same catlike reflexes as your pet.”

Photographer’s Exposure Handbook by Jack Neubart could be the dark horse of photography books. It doesn’t get mentioned a lot, but it’s very well written, is very easy to read, covers an enormous number of topics, and has gorgeous photos throughout the book. It costs less than $20 at Amazon.com and would make an excellent gift for yourself or the budding photographer you know.

Photographer’s Exposure Handbook is published by my favorite book publisher, Amphoto Books, which also publishes Understanding Exposure, by Bryan Peterson. Understanding Exposure is listed as a prize each month for the Photobird Photo Contest, but the winners actually get to choose a book. Winners may choose one of the books listed on the page at http://amphotobooks.com ; click the book covers and if “Amphoto” is listed under the ISBN number at the top, then the book is available as a prize. The following books are also available as prizes:

Enter the Photobird Photo Contest for your chance to win Photographer’s Exposure Handbook!

Before you buy Photographer’s Exposure Handbook or anything else on Amazon.com, please click one of our Amazon.com links anywhere on Photobird.com. For each product you buy after your click, we receive a small referral fee, at no additional cost to you. Your clicks and purchases allow us to continue to publish the Photobird Daily and the Photobird Learning Center. Thank you for your support!

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Photo Contest for October Ends Tonight!!

October 31, 2008

“Cat on a Hot Tin Stove”
© Copyright Wendy Knafla

A wise man once said, Photobird Photo Contests are like a box of chocolates: never know what you’re gonna get.

That is so true, especially for this month’s contest with the theme “Indoors”. For example, I wrote a couple of weeks ago about Ruel Saligumba’s photo entry entitled “the morning after“, which is his perspective of his room after he woke up hungover. Even though he’s hungover, it’s a great photo.

In a more recent example, Wendy Knafla entered her photo, shown above, entitled “Cat on a Hot Tin Stove“, which shows her friend’s cat that loves sleeping on the stove.

Never in a million years would I have expected to see photos like these. But I really like them.

You should enter your photo into the contest too, but the contest ends tonight, so hurry to get your photo in! The contest is free and quick to enter.

Photobird Photo Contest details:

The two winners for the Photobird Photo Contest for October will each receive the following cool prizes:

Read more details about the monthly contest here.

Every monthly Photobird Photo Contest has two winners. At the end of each month, we pick one winner for the Photobird Award, and we will tally your votes to determine the one winner for the People’s Choice Award.

See the previous contests and their contest entries at this link.

Go here to enter the contest. And be sure to have your family and friends vote for their favorite entries to help select the People’s Choice Award. (You can send them a quick little reminder here.)

If you have any questions, please ask in the comments below or in the Photobird forums.

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Photobird Photo Contest for October

October 1, 2008

“Berlin Blue Spiral”
© Copyright Avan & Fadillah

“Indoors” is the theme for the Photobird Photo Contest for October. Shooting indoors can often be challenging, but I’m sure you’ll submit some great photos, such as the beautifully blue-tinted photo, “Berlin Blue Spiral“, shown above, of the Reichstag Dome in Berlin, by Avan and Fadillah.

What’s your favorite indoor photo? Enter your photo in the Photobird Photo Contest for October.

Photobird Photo Contest details:

The two winners for the Photobird Photo Contest for October will each receive the following cool prizes:

Read more details about the monthly contest here.

Every monthly Photobird Photo Contest has two winners. At the end of each month, we pick one winner for the Photobird Award, and we will tally your votes to determine the one winner for the People’s Choice Award.

See the previous contests and their contest entries at this link.

Go here to enter the contest. And be sure to have your family and friends vote for their favorite entries to help select the People’s Choice Award. (You can send them a quick little reminder here.)

If you have any questions, please ask in the comments below or in the Photobird forums.

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Sooooo Cuuuuuuuuuute!

July 30, 2008

“Bucket”
© Copyright Helen Duffield

Say hello to Bucket. This little cutie is the star of the newest Photobird Photo of the Hour. Helen Duffield explains that Bucket’s mother was a wild cat who ran away when her 6 babies were discovered in Helen’s friend’s roof. Helen got Bucket when he was about 6 days old and had to feed him with a syringe. She says he soon took over the household, and I can see what she means.

Besides the cute kitty, I think what makes this photo really work well is the close-up composition and the natural light coming through the window to illuminate the scene. Natural light indoors is great to use when photographing pets and people. It’s actually ideal, in my opinion. If you can make it work for you, I think natural light provides a more desirable result than artificial light — even outdoors too.

Helen Duffield won the People’s Choice Award for the Photobird Photo Contest for March 2008 with her photo “Sunset @ Mordialloc“. She’s been adding a lot of photos to her Photobird photo album here, which she won as one of the prizes in that contest.

Photobird.com is the easy way to share your photos. You capture and share so many great photos on Photobird.com that we created the Photo of the Hour feature to give you the opportunity to share your very best with the rest of the world.

It’s really easy to submit your favorite photos to be featured on the Photobird Photo of the Hour: Simply view the photo from your photo album and click the “Submit for Photo of the Hour” checkbox. There is no limit to the number of photos you can submit and we always like to get new submissions.

In return for each photo we use on the Photo of the Hour or People Places and Things, you get more storage space for your photo album so you can store more photos. Details are here.

If you’d like to keep some of your photos private while you share your favorite photos with the world, you can read how easy it is to do that with Photobird photo albums in our blog post “Show Off Your Photos, and Keep Some Private“.

You may also discuss your favorite Photobird Photos of the Hour in the Photobird forums.

This Ocelot is Cute-a-lot!

June 19, 2008

“Ocelot” by Mike Saunders

Take a look at this adorable ocelot that Mike Saunders has photographed, one of the photos selected for the Photobird Photo of the Hour. All tuckered out and taking a nap, this little guy looks like an oversized house cat. Native to South and Central America, the ocelot is, in fact, a member of the leopard family and can grow up to three feet in length with another foot-and-a-half tail span. Weighing twenty to thirty pounds, it’s probably more cat than most people want pouncing on them in the early morning hours looking for Friskies.

Photobird.com is the easy way to share your photos. You capture and share so many great photos on Photobird.com that we created the Photo of the Hour feature to give you the opportunity to share your very best with the rest of the world.

It’s really easy to submit your favorite photos to be featured on the Photobird Photo of the Hour: Simply view the photo from your photo album and click the “Submit for Photo of the Hour” checkbox. There is no limit to the number of photos you can submit and we always like to get new submissions.

Read about how to get more storage space and how to keep your photos private.

Discuss your favorite Photobird Photos of the Hour in the Photobird forums.

Introducing the Doggie-Cam!

June 12, 2008

I remember the Late Night Monkey-Cam, Thrill-Cam, and Tiger-Cam: Just some of the goofy point-of-view camera bits dreamed up by David Letterman’s army of writers to keep things edgy and fun. In the true spirit of the Late Night “cams”, the folks at Photojojo have created a fun cam all their own: Introducing the Doggie-Cam! This is one stupid human/pet trick that I’m sure Dave would happily approve of!

According to the write-up, all you need is a Joby Gorillapod and a patient pup to put this one into action. Simply wrap the Gorillapod’s legs around poor Fido’s head, set your camera for video or time-lapse photography and stand back!

After you’ve taken your Dramamine, check out the doggie demo video below:

http://www.vimeo.com/387735

For further details and suggestions, be sure to check out the original article in its entirety.

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Not to be outdone, cats can be good camera operators too. Check out this page with photos and videos featuring Smaka from Germany.


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