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Pet photography composition


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Achieving good composition in pet photography may be a little more difficult than it is when using other subjects. Most of the time the person behind the camera is trying to capture one of those amusing impromptu shots. There's no time to set up the scene. However, there are those times when the photographer wants to get that special portrait pose. Then it's possible to arrange the shot with a well behaved dog and props if desired.

Great pet photography requires patience, practice, and determination. It requires having the camera on hand at all times whether it's in the home, car or a jeans' pocket. Photographers never leave home without their camera. Practice the following techniques until they become second nature:

  • The most well-known photo technique rule is the rule of thirds.There are two ways to achieve the rule of thirds: Imagine a grid like tic-tac-toe or turn on the grid lines in your digital cameras menu. Place the subject of the picture at any of the four points where the lines intersect. When your subject is too large or there are multiple subjects preventing use of the guides as intended, refrain from placing your subject in the exact center of the frame. The picture of the lab is a good example of the rule of thirds.
 

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  • Avoid objects that draw the eyes away from the subject. The intersection of subject and frame edge draws the eyes away from the interior of the photo. If a dog drinks water from a stream, and it's tail touches the edge of the frame, that is where the viewer's eyes are going to immediately be drawn. A better approach would be to let the tail continue past the frame or make sure the subject is fully contained in the shot.
  • The viewers eyes are immediately drawn to the brightest object in the frame. If the subject of the photo is a tan dog, make sure a white dog toy is not off to the side.Color acts the same way as brightness. Strong saturated colors will draw the eye away from the subject. When taking a picture of a friend, make sure a red stop sign isn't competing with the subject.
  • "Leading lines" are two lines converging which force the eyes to follow the object into the distance. The composition can be arranged to use leading line to it's advantage. After the viewers eyes are drawn to the primary subject, they will travel to the next object taking in the whole scene. If the primary object is on the left of the frame, place the secondary object to the left. In the photo below, the woman and dog together are the main subject. Leading lines are used to draw the eye across the photo.
  • The viewers eyes are immediately drawn to the brightest object in the frame. If the subject of the photo is a tan dog, make sure a white dog toy is not off to the side.
  • Pay Attention to Color Photo Techniques Color acts the same way as brightness. Strong saturated colors will draw the eye away from the subject. When taking a picture of a friend, make sure a red stop sign isn't competing with the subject.
  • Use Shapes and lines to Direct the Eye"Leading lines" are two lines converging which force the eyes to follow the object into the distance. The composition can be arranged to use leading line to it's advantage.
  • Balance is an Important Photo Technique. After the viewers eyes are drawn to the primary subject, they will travel to the next object taking in the whole scene. If the primary object is on the left of the frame, place the secondary object to the right. This forces the viewer to look at the entire image, not just the main focus.
 
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