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Digital Photography Times Two

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008 by | Filed Under: Digital Photography

Digital Photography Times Two

It’s your lucky day! I have two brand new digital photography tips for you today and I think you’re really going to enjoy them. The two topics really have nothing to do with each other, but I figured they were both something you all might be interested in. Let’s take a look!

Tip #1 – Photographing Your Pets

People love to take pictures of their pets, but this is how the photos usually turn out:

As you can see, that picture definitely requires a lot of help. Luckily, if you just follow the simple tips below, you can fix up your pet photos in no time at all!

Get Down and Dirty – You usually see your pet from above, but that’s not the best angle for a portrait. Instead, flop down on the floor and meet them at eye level. Shooting from their height presents them as an equal in the photo, which will help bring out their personality.

Light it Right – Direct on-camera flash will give your pet a killer case of green, yellow or blue eyes. Try to avoid any direct flash if possible. If you can, bounce the flash off the ceiling or a wall. Or, you can just ditch the flash and use the light around you, both indoors and out.

Fill the Frame – I’m sure you’ve heard of this one before. It’s important to fill your camera’s frame with your subject in order to make the subject prominent in the photo. You can then crop out any distractions later on.

It’s All in the Eyes – You might find yourself shooting with a shallow depth of field, so no matter what else you do, make sure your pet’s eyes are in focus. The eyes are the window to the soul and they must be kept clear.

Ahh, that’s a much better picture, don’t you think?!

Tip #2 – Shooting Water

When drinking, some like their water icy, while others like it tepid. It’s simply a matter of taste. In photography, moving water can be recorded with various appearances, depending on the shutter speed. Some like it frozen in an instant of time and some like it blurred with a long exposure. There’s no right or wrong. How you like to photograph water is also just a matter of taste. Here are three other approaches you may like as well.

Glass Sculpture – Fast shutter speeds like 1/500″ or 1/1000″ will depict moving water as frozen solid. Splashes and droplets will hang suspended in the air.

Minor Blur – Intermediate shutter speeds like 1/15″ or 1/30″ give some motion blur to the water, but individual ripples and splashes are still discernible. You’ll probably need a tripod or other camera support when using such slow shutter speeds.

Silky Smooth – Shutter speeds of 1/2″ or longer will smear the water out to a smooth, cottony, smoky look. You’ll definitely need a tripod to achieve this look when photographing water.

Now, go on and take some great shots of your pets and of water. Or, your pets in water. You decide. Have fun!

~ Ramachandran Kumaraswami

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