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Beginner Photography: Animals

Hey folks! This might feel like deja vu for some of you, as I photographed my dog a few months back here. But who gets sick of seeing dogs? A monster, that’s who.

It’s winter, so my backdrop wasn’t quite as vibrant as last time I shot in our back yard, but we still have green ivy back there. Hungry is a mostly terrible model, because if I try and get down to his level he climbs into my lap. Then when I stand up, he puts his ears back and looks guilty, so that’s mostly what he looks like in these shots. I kind of love shooting him from above, though. The perspective makes him look so tiny.

I use the lowest aperture (f/3.5 on my micro 4/3 Olympus, which isn’t really low, see video below) on aperture priority, so the camera chooses the shutter speed and ISO for me.

Pretty sure that has to do with crop factor, which you can learn about here:

So here’s what I wound up with:

Look at that seal pup

f/3.5, 1/160th, ISO 200


I got his eye in focus!

f/3.5, 1/200th, ISO 200


This shot isn’t technically as good, but I love the mood with the backlighting and urban backdrop.

f/3.5, 1/1000th (why?!) ISO 200


I also attempted to photograph my cat, Frank. He is old and barely opens his eyes. He was in the windowsill while it was snowing, so I wanted to capture all that, but was not successful. It was too bright out to capture the snow while also exposing properly for him. When he was sitting still he didn’t give me much of an expression, and when he was moving he was frantically trying to get me to pet him, and was just pacing back and forth (don’t worry, I gave him many pats). I even shot manual to try to get the exposure and shutter speed I wanted, but just couldn’t nail it.


Refusing to make eye contact

f/3.5, 1/60th, ISO 200


Giving himself head rubs.

f/3.5, 1/60th, ISO 200


I honestly don’t have much to teach you here, except that animals are uncooperative models. What did you shoot this week? What could I do to make my pets better models? Let me know in the comments, and I look forward to seeing your fur-children this week!