May 14, 2010

Photo by Sue Weaver

People sometimes ask my Mom how she takes good pictures. Mom says it’s easy if you do the right things.

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She says learn from the pros.

Look for the “Pet Paparazzi” article in the July/August 2009 issue of Hobby Farm Home where HFH columnist Jean M. Fogle tells about the six rules to capturing the perfect photos of your pet.

There are also lots of great Web sites where you can learn to photograph dogscatshorses, and even a few about photographing livestock. One of the best is an article about photographing Texas Longhorns.

Check it out; the tips apply to other livestock species too!

Use a digital camera so you can take scads of pictures at mega-low cost. Mom figures she shoots at least 20 bad to so-so images for each one she really likes.

Using a high resolution is important for a good picture

Try to get a camera with a zoom lens, that way you can stay back farther from your subject and the zoom helps keep your subject’s parts in proportion.

Choose the highest resolution setting on your camera. You’ll hate it if you shoot the perfect picture in poor-quality lower-resolution.

Plan your shoot. Find a nice backdrop or at least remove junk from the background you have. Shoot at the right time of day. Morning and evening lighting is perfect; shooting when the sun is overhead casts deep shadows. Stand with the sun at your back or slightly over one shoulder. Watch to make sure your shadow doesn’t spoil the image.

Get down on your subject’s level. Level with the center of its body is perfect. Kneel, sit or lie on your tummy but never shoot from above (that distorts your subject’s body and gives him short legs).

Ask someone to help you by grabbing your subject’s interest at just the right time. Have your helper toodle a kazoo, squeak a squeaky toy, or roll on the ground.

Fill the frame but don’t cut off ears, feet or tails. Or, learn to use photo editing software to crop your favorite shots.

If you’re working alone, be patient. Sit with your camera ready and wait for the perfect picture to happen.

Hint: if you move position, watch where you put your butt. Mom didn’t last week and she sat on a Nodding Thistle rosette. Ow!

Check out samples of Mom’s photos below:

Photo of a sheep by Sue Weaver
Photo of a sheep by Sue Weaver
Photo of goats by Sue Weaver
Photo of a lamb by Sue Weaver
Photo of a sheep by Sue Weaver

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