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One of the most common and most beloved types of photography that you're going to want to do, is taking pictures of your pet. If you have an adorable puppy or a kitten laying around the Having an on camera flash isn't really going to be ideal. house, well, chances are you're going to want to take lots of pictures of them.
Unfortunately, I don't have a dog. But I do have a good friend, Roxanne, who brought over her adorable little China poo, so that I could take some pictures of him.
So, if you can, you want to shoot without the flash. Now, I'm not familiar with this dog. It's the first time that we've met. And so, I didn't really know what this dog's demeanor was going to be like. Other than, that he loved the camera. So, what does that mean? I didn't know if he was going to be easy to pose, Well, if you're shooting indoors, you don't have a whole of light. if he was going to be bouncing around all over the place. I really didn't know what was going to happen. So, as you'll see throughout me shooting here, there's quite a few challenges that I had to overcome as far as trying to get a good picture of this pup. So, you're going to have the challenge of slow shutter speed. Now throughout this video I want to talk about two different aspects of this. And if you are shooting too slow of a shutter speed, any movement We're going to talk creative, and we'll talk technical. There are challenges that you have to overcome on both sides of that. And that's what we are going to focus on in this video. the animal makes, is going to be blurry and you certainly don't want that. Stay. Sit. So, creatively to start, one of the most common mistakes is not getting down to your pet's level. If you're standing up and the pet is down on the ground, and you're trying What I'm going to advice, is go into shutter priority mode. to take a picture of it, chances are, it's just not going to be that interesting. That allows you to set the shutter wherever you So, the first thing you should do is get down low. want it, and let the camera figure out everything else. Now that might mean just crouching down and, and being on your haunches and getting down kind of at the animal's level, or even getting all the way down on the ground. Now since you're on low light, chances are the That of course poses its own challenges. camera's going to automatically give you that really wide aperture. Namely, it's kind of hard for you to lay down on So that shallow depth of field that you the ground and move around when the animal's moving around. want anyway, to give you that really nice look. You kind of have to move pretty quickly that way. But it certainly can be done. And it will definitely make for some better pictures. So, let's start talking about technical stuff. So I don't even have to think about that, and I'll let the iso be the balancer. And, the first one is going to lead in from this whole idea of getting down on the ground. If you're laying on the ground, that's one thing. But if you have a camera that has an articulated view The iso on the camera is going to go up or down depending on what light I have. finder, that's going to make things a whole lot easier on you. So, for example here, I was was shooting with this Lumix GX7 camera. It's a micro four thirds camera. And one of the really cool things about it is.
If you have an auto iso limiter set on your camera. The articulated finder. So I can move this out and I can basically go straight up like this. Allowing me to set the camera, virtually completely on the ground and look down on it, to do my pictures. It might be set to something like iso of 800 or 1200, something like that. So this means I can literally get this right at the animal's level. Even if the animal is, laying down on the floor. And you'll find that your camera's flashing at you that it's not Head on the floor, asleep, whatever it may be, capable of doing whatever exposure you're trying to get it to do. I can put the camera down right in front of So take a look at your settings and see if you him, and not worry have to worry about crouching can raise or even remove the limit on your auto iso. over, not have to lay down myself, and so on. So having a viewfinder like this is certainly going to make things a lot easier. And obviously not every camera has that, and That's not available on all cameras, but if you have it, check it out. we work around the challenges that we have.
You may end up shooting in a much higher iso than you normally would. But if you have that capability then, by all means, take advantage of it. Now let's talk about some of the technical settings on the camera as well. If you're shooting indoors, which is, you know, pro, probably pretty likely where you're going to be most of the time with your pet taking pictures of them. But, it will allow you to freeze that motion and get that shot that you want. because if you're outside they're going to be running And of course, if you need more light at the end of the day, turn on some more around like crazy and that's a whole different thing. lights in the house or, maybe, you do have But if we're just trying to get some cute photos indoors, then one of the challenges you'll have, is probably not a whole lot of light. Now you'll notice throughout this video that I wasnt using the flash at all. Using the flash for pet photography is, probably not ideal. to take your pup outside and that's the only solution. Unless you're going to set up a big complicated lighting scenario, where you're bouncing lights off the ceiling and that sort of thing. Having an on camera flash isn't really going to be ideal. So, if you can, you want to shoot without the flash. But either way, you've got lots of different options in there, on how to So, what does that mean? get the exposure, and how to lock that in and freeze that dodge movement. Well, if you're shooting indoors, you don't have a whole of light. So, you're going to have the challenge of slow shutter speed. And if you are shooting too slow of a shutter speed, any movement the animal makes, is going to be blurry and you certainly don't want that. What I'm going to advice, is go into shutter priority mode. That allows you to set the shutter wherever you want it, and let the camera figure out everything else. Now since you're on low light, chances are the camera's going to automatically give you that really wide aperture. So that shallow depth of field that you want anyway, to give you that really nice look. So I don't even have to think about that, and I'll let the iso be the balancer. The iso on the camera is going to go up or down depending on what light I have. If you have an auto iso limiter set on your camera. It might be set to something like iso of 800 or 1200, something like that. And you'll find that your camera's flashing at you that it's not capable of doing whatever exposure you're trying to get it to do. So take a look at your settings and see if you can raise or even remove the limit on your auto iso. That's not available on all cameras, but if you have it, check it out.
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