We’re very excited to finally launch the Purrfect Travels photo contest this month. Here are a few suggestions as you prepare to take fun pictures of cats and dogs this summer.
Animals are best photographed in their natural environment so walk around to find your subjects. Always be aware of your surroundings. Look up and you may find a cat sleeping in a sunny window. Look down and search for food or water bowls in gardens, near the door, etc.
When I was in Italy with family, we were crossing a bridge on foot. We looked down into a creek and happened to see an orange tabby cat capturing a fish! And I didn’t get a decent shot of him - of all people who should know better, I didn’t have my equipment on that outing with me. Don’t let shots get away. If you can’t reach for your camera in time, use your smart phone.
If your subject isn’t about to flee, observe him or her for a while before actually taking any photos. Sometimes you just have to wait for that right moment. Food may persuade some animals to stick around or come closer. Be prepared to do a bit of moving around yourself. It’s best to shoot several photos when working with animals. I take 10-20+ photos of a cat or dog and sometimes end up choosing the last to be my favorite.
Consider your composition. If you have your camera in a vertical position, turn it into horizontal position to see if that would look more visually interesting. Move yourself around, get in closer or move further back. Get lower or climb up higher and look down. I find getting lower and even crawling on the ground at an animal’s level often makes for better photos.
Early morning or late afternoon just before sunset offer some of the best natural light. But don’t be too picky. Shoot to capture the moment even if it’s raining. It’s better to take the photo than not at all!
Be aware of the background which could be just right or too busy. Keep your eyes out for things such as trees “coming out of heads.” Move slowly to one side (don’t startle the animal) to get a totally different look.
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