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Lighting in Pet Photography #38070
01/19/12 01:27 PM
01/19/12 01:27 PM
Joined: Nov 2011
Canada
A
abbeyroo Offline OP
Wanderer
abbeyroo  Offline OP
Wanderer
A

Joined: Nov 2011
Canada
Hey everyone!

I currently volunteer to take photos of rescue dogs and am using it as a practice before I actually dive into opening a business. These photos are taken at a chosen person's house which is a great scenario to put myself into.

When I went to my first shoot, I really wanted to go with natural lighting so I didn't even bother to pull out my external flash at this time. However, I realized that it was quite difficult to reach a level of light that I wanted in the photos. I shot as wide open as I could, typically f/1.8 or f/2.8 and it still didn't bring in enough light, even with a big window. Using high ISO is not ideal because I could already see the graininess at ISO 800 so I am also trying to avoid doing this. I felt there was no other way for me to get the amount of light I needed unless I used a flash. The photos improved a lot and have been shooting this way since, BUT I would still like to make the photos look more natural.

The photos I currently take have a very studio style look which is fine. There are some cases when I don't mind this, but I was wondering if anyone could tell me if there is a way to achieve a natural look even with a flash without sacrificing much of the shutter speed? Dogs move everywhere so it's important for me to be able to have a high shutter speed to avoid blur from a very curious and active puppy. What would I have to do? Any thoughts and suggestions would be great and appreciated!

Thank you!

Re: Lighting in Pet Photography [Re: abbeyroo] #38074
01/20/12 01:06 AM
01/20/12 01:06 AM
Joined: Feb 2005
Manhattan, New York, New York
James Morrissey Offline
I
James Morrissey  Offline
I
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Feb 2005
Manhattan, New York, New York
Unless I have been shooting outdoors, I have had a difficult time doing this. Shooting indoors, without additional light, is a nightmare. The trick, I think is that direct flash crushes pretty much everything you want in creating an image.

Generally, my goal is one of a few things:
1. mimicking the sun for a certain warm look
2. elimination of shadows
3. emphasizing certain features

Doing this without a studio setup is difficult - particularly when shooting dogs as DOF is such a huge issue.

I think to answer your question though,it might be helpful to see samples of the problem. Suggestions of what could have been done would be next. Thoughts?

James

Re: Lighting in Pet Photography [Re: James Morrissey] #38075
01/20/12 11:22 AM
01/20/12 11:22 AM
Joined: May 2008
Virginia, USA
Jim Poor Offline
Addict
Jim Poor  Offline
Addict

Joined: May 2008
Virginia, USA
If you're looking for ways to make artificial light look natural, I'd suggest Joe McNally and Strobist.com.


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