TIPS FOR BETTER PET PHOTOGRAPHY

A lot of us have pets. And we take pictures of our pets. And we think the pictures we take are just adorable. We stand there and look at them, and snap! And, to be honest, most people that look at those photos, think they are just ordinary photos. But they are your pet, so you think they are adorable. What if you learned some better tips of taking photos of your pet. Then, your family and friends will think your pet is adorable too! Let’s get into some details:
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For taking top-class snapshots of your pet, you don’t have to be a professional photographer. Just by keeping a few essential things in mind, you can easily capture outstanding shots. Let’s learn how to take better digital photographs of pets.

TRY TO CAPTURE YOUR PET’S UNIQUE PERSONALITY

Each pet has a unique personality. Some are lazy, quiet and docile, while others are hyperactive, energetic, and inquisitive. Try to take shots when your pet is sleeping, eating, playing or just jumping around. Every activity that your pet indulges in showcases their personality and you should surely capture such unforgettable moments.

Photo by Екатерина Александрова on Pexels.com

PAY ATTENTION TO LOCATION AND BACKGROUND

Always choose the location carefully. Your pet should be comfortable at that place, and it should also evoke emotions, not only in your pet, but also in you. The next important thing that you should take into account is the background. With respect to pet photography, the best location is one that is plain and simple like a patch of green grass or a well-lit room with white walls and red carpet.

“The Stare” captured by PictureSocial member Ryan

GET DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL AND SHOOT THEM CLOSELY

Avoid taking snapshots while standing up and looking down at the pet. Instead, get down to his level and look into his eyes. Also try to shoot him as closely as possible. If your pet is active and likes to move around, then it will be exceedingly difficult to get close to him. In such a case, you should buy a camera that is equipped with a zoom lens.

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LIGHTING IS IMPORTANT

Lighting is an important factor with regards to pet photography. The usage of flash will either distract the animal or scare him away. In some instances, it also creates the problem of red eye. Thus, natural and artificial light sources are better options. Use flash only if your pet has dark fur; it will help to highlight even the smallest details.

“Sadie” captured by PictureSocial member Emily Bechler

USE SPORTS MODE FOR ACTIVE PETS

If you’re not comfortable using full manual mode, then sports mode is just for you. In this mode, you can easily capture excellent snapshots of your overtly active pet. Alternately, you can use shutter priority mode, where you have to set the shutter speed, and the camera will do the rest of the things automatically.

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CATCH THEM UNAWARE

If you wish to take natural photographs, then make an effort to catch your pet unaware. It is unusually difficult to persuade the animal to pose properly. Hence, paparazzi style photos are the best bet.

Photo by Christian Domingues on Pexels.com

LET THEM PLAY AROUND

Let your pet play around with toys, and capture their playfulness. The photo shoot should be enjoyable for both you and your pet.

Photo by Aloïs Moubax on Pexels.com

INCLUDE OWNER AND OTHERS

If you want your digital photographs to look real, then don’t forget to include yourself and other family members. When the animal interacts with his owner, genuine emotions are evoked, which are worth capturing.

photo by spilltojill

CHECKOUT DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES

Try out different angles and different perspectives. Apart from full body shots, you can capture three-quarters of the body or focus on single features like eyes, nose, ears, and so forth.

“doxie” captured by PictureSocial member Ron Sicat Felicitas


DON’T HESITATE TO EXPERIMENT

Remember, expertise only comes from experimentation. For this reason, don’t hesitate to experiment. You will only end up with a few bad shots, and nothing else is going to happen. On the contrary, continued experimentation will make you a perfect professional pet photographer in a short span of time.

About the Author:
This article was written by Patrick Laundy. He manages an online photo album called OurPhotos. The idea was to keep things as simple and uncluttered as possible while providing a fully-functional photo sharing service.

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Here are some more great examples of good pet photos:
Photo by Henda Watani on Pexels.com

Photo by Melvin Lemoine on Pexels.com

Photo by Bekka Mongeau on Pexels.com

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
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STRAY LIGHT AND LENS FLARES IN PHOTOGRAPHY! WHAT ARE THEY?

STRAY LIGHT OR LENS FLARES IN YOUR PHOTOS! DO YOU LIKE THEM? DO YOU HATE THEM? ARE YOU TRYING TO FIGURE OUT HOW YOU GET THEM? WHERE DO THEY COME FROM? FOR THOSE WHO KNOW PHOTOGRAPHY, YOU MAY DO IT ON PURPOSE. BEGINNING PHOTOGRAPHERS MAY BE PUZZLED BY THEM.

LET’S GET THE DETAILS ON THEM, AND SEE IF WE CAN HELP YOU SOLVE THE PROBLEM, IF IT IS A PROBLEM. I HAVE OFTEN TRIED TO USE THE LENS FLARES ON PURPOSE, AND LOVE THE IDEAS OF HOW IT CAN BE PART OF A GREAT PHOTO.

This photo I took in the mountains, but, I wanted the sun to shine through the trees into the photo. I knew I would get the lens flare effect, but, did not know where. See the road in the foreground, the weird green spot. That is a lens flare that I didn’t expect. I don’t mind the lens flare and the shape of the aperture flare in the tree. But, in the end, I will probably touch up the photo so the weird green spot won’t be in the photo.

I found a great article written by John Rundle for PICTURE / CORRECT that explains the why and how of lens flair that makes sense of it all. Check this out:

A camera lens is made up of several elements—pieces of special glass ground to a specific curve according to computer calculations. Each element directs light in a particular way and corrects aberrations caused by other lens elements. A telephoto lens may have from 10 to 20 elements.

photo by Marketa

Usually, elements are joined together with optically clear cement in groups. Rare earth components and minerals are used to make each element perform its task efficiently, and these elements are coated with high quality anti-reflective coatings. It’s a highly complex and expensive process, yet in spite of all the research the perfect lens has to date not been made.

WHAT CAUSES LENS FLARE?

If a very bright light from outside the subject hits the glass, the reflections can cause a range of major image effects. These include washed out color, loss of contrast, bright shapes in the image, often polygonal, the shape of the diaphragm. It’s not unusual to see bright streaks as well. The name for these occurrences is lens flare, which can occupy a large portion of the image area. Because flare is much brighter than the subject it tends to pull the viewer’s eye toward it, sometimes losing the impact of the picture.

photo by Mark

IS THE SUN THE ONLY CAUSE OF FLARE?

It’s the most common one, but any source of bright light will do it. So you could get a street light, car headlight, even the full moon in a night shot. The light source does not have to be in the frame, but any stray light just outside it can cause an obvious effect. Efficient, modern anti-reflective coatings are great, but they will not stop all flare.

photo by Will Foster

WHAT IF I WANT TO AVOID LENS FLARES?

Make sure the lens is shielded from bright light outside the picture area striking the front element. Ways to do this include using the black hood that came with your lens. This fits over the front and provides a protective barrier. No hood? Use your hand (make sure it’s not in the picture). A piece of card (often called a ‘flag’ in this application) or some object between the lens and the sun—a tree, post or other object to avoid a direct hit on the lens—usually works.

photo by Mitchel

ANY PRECAUTIONS IN USING A LENS HOOD?

Mainly, be careful they don’t appear in the picture. Zoom lenses give more problems than fixed focal length lenses, because as the angle of view widens, the chance of getting the edge of the hood in the picture is greater. Therefore the supplied lens hood with a zoom lens is designed for the widest angle of view. As you switch to a longer focal length the use of an extended hood is possible. Of the round and petal shapes, petal shapes are better because the hood is designed to match the oblong shape of the sensor.

WHEN IS FLARE ACCEPTABLE?

Artistic effects such as creating drama, a feeling of realism, in a silhouette, are all possible subjects where flare could help. Bright rays shining through trees—the early morning feeling—is an example of the so called veiling flare. This washes out color and contrast too but adds to the impression.

A word of warning. Use manual focus and experiment. Auto focus tends to latch onto the brightest part of the subject, which won’t be your intention with this kind of photography. You will need to look at the result to see if you’re getting the effects you want.

photo by Mustafa Sayed

Everything depends on your original intention and perception, as in all creative work, as to whether the effects are good or bad. Used effectively, flare is a good way of expressing a feeling of light and airiness, drama, morning, hope, freedom, amongst others. The best way is to achieve it is to go try it. Get out of bed early. Meet the sunrise, find a subject, put the light just outside the viewfinder and experiment. You may surprise yourself. And if you miss it you can always add it in later in software. (But the real ones look better.) Happy shooting.

About the Author
John Rundle is a professional photographer and recently retired head of photography at the Australian International College of Art. He teaches workshops on photographic topics in Australia and New Zealand. He is also active as a musician and musical director.

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Here are some more examples of lens flare:

Photo by Matheus Bertelli on Pexels.com

Photo by Ana Francisconi on Pexels.com

Notice how creatively Ana used “lens flare” to make a soft focus of this portrait.

Photo by Thiago Matos on Pexels.com

Photo by Tuur Tisseghem on Pexels.com

MYSTERIOUS MONUMENTS FROM ANCIENT CIVILIZATIONS

Photos of the Week for 8/29/2019: These are amazing monuments from around the world that have meaning to many people. Why do I bring them to a Photographic website? In hopes that some photographers will be inspired to go there, and maybe choose to take some beautiful photos that are not so “tourist-like” photos. Every time I view photos like this, I think: Wow, if these places had been taken by some real good photographers, although some of them are pretty good, I think some of them could use a little creativity in their presentation. But, anyway, may we all get inspired to take a trip there, and find some way to take creative photos of these magnificent monuments.

Mysterious monuments from ancient civilizations

To this day, some monuments left behind by ancient civilizations remain a mystery to researchers and archaeologists. If you seek out history and adventure when you travel, here are 22 enigmatic sites that will excite your inner Indiana Jones.

Pyramids
We know the ancient Egyptians built pyramids, but how did these structures come to be built in Japanand Mexico, too? Was the secret of these architectural wonders once known all over the world? And given that the builders had very limited resources, how did they manage to construct such imposing monuments?
As such, when we discuss pyramids, theories abound and sometimes oppose scientific explanations. Could they be the result of a paranormal phenomenon or alien activity?
Photo courtesy of: Givaga / Shutterstock


The Pyramids of Giza
The Pyramids of Giza, in Cairo, are a 4,500-year-old burial complex. The largest of the three, Khufu, is one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
How it was constructed remains a mystery to Egyptologists, who have marvelled at the precision of the builders in spite of the rudimentary tools of the era.
Millions of stone blocks of different sizes, each weighing several tonnes, had to be transported several kilometres before being assembled into a structure that is more than 140 metres (459 feet) tall—and all this happened in record time
Photo courtesy of: Nort / Shutterstock


Teotihuacan, a reflection of the universe
Once one of the most developed cities on Earth, Teotihuacan, northeast of Mexico City, is a real puzzle for historians. Who built this 25-square-kilometre (9.7-square-mile) site?
Scientific discoveries show that the Aztecs would not have built this 2,000-year-old site, but would have inherited it after its builders abandoned it.
What’s even more intriguing is that American engineer Hugh Harleston demonstrated that the city is a perfect model of our solar system: the buildings correspond proportionally to the position and size of the planets. Very mysterious, indeed.
Photo courtesy of: Martin M303 / Shutterstock


The ruins of Tiwanaku
The pre-Columbian city of Tiwanaku, in Bolivia, is the subject of much controversy: was it founded 4,000 years ago? 8,000 years ago? 12,000 years ago? Could it be one of the oldest cities in the world? It’s at the very least 1,000 years old.
From the middle of the high-altitude plain on which the site is located, you can admire the structure and ornamental details of the impressive stonework.
Tiwanaku appears to have been home to an ancient civilization that was well ahead of its time.
Photo courtesy of: Tacio Philip Sansonovski / Shutterstock


Tiermes, the stone city
The Tiermes archaeological site, in Spain’s Castile-León region, is almost entirely carved in rock. There are ruins of a forum, city gates, dwellings, and even a sophisticated aqueduct system.
It’s not known who constructed the city or when, but the Celtiberians, Romans (who contributed to its economic development), Visigoths, and Moors all passed through at different times. Tiermes fell from prominence sometime around the 12th century.
Photo courtesy of: Anaducay / Shutterstock


Petra
Built sometime around the eighth century BC, the city of Petra, in Jordan, was forgotten by the eighth century AD.
Rediscovered in 1812, the town was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. Once an important trading centre, Petra is now an enchanting archaeological site that raises its share of questions.
How was the entire city literally carved from rock? How did the city get enough water, given its location in one of the most arid regions of the world?
Photo courtesy of: Aleksandra H. Kossowska / Shutterstock


Great Zimbabwe
This ancient city in southeastern Zimbabwe was constructed by the Shona people between the 12th and 15th centuries, during which time it was an important trading centre due to the abundance of gold in the region.
Rediscovered by European explorers in 1871, the seven-square-kilometre (2.7-square-mile) site quickly sparked interest. Some believed Great Zimbabwe was home to King Solomon’s Mines, as described in the Bible. The pillaging that followed greatly impaired the conservation of the ruins.
Photo courtesy of: evenfh / Shutterstock


The megalithic temples of Malta
The Maltese archipelago has its own mysterious treasure: the megalithic temples of Malta. The islands of Malta and Gozo are home to some of the world’s oldest prehistoric architectural structures, dating to between 4000 and 2500 BC. These temples are very elaborate in design and are advanced technical achievements for the era. Their remarkable state of preservation has earned them a spot on UNESCO’s World Heritage list.
Photo courtesy of: Arkanto / Shutterstock


Newgrange
The Newgrange passage tomb, north of Dublin, Ireland, is more than 5,000 years old. This imposing structure, with a diameter of 85 metres (280 feet), is a truly impressive sight.
For a few minutes in the mornings around the winter solstice, a beam of sunlight passes through an opening on the mound and travels up the long passage and into the burial chamber—a perfect alignment of the monument and the sunrise.
Photo Courtesy of: Jon Sullivan


Stonehenge
The rocks of Stonehenge, in England, are some of the most recognizable prehistoric relics in the world.
It’s estimated that the site was used between 3700 and 1600 BC. A UNESCO World Heritage site since 1986, this architecturally sophisticated stone circle is the subject of worldwide fascination.
While the significance of the site is not entirely understood, the monument demonstrates evidence of Neolithic and Bronze Age ceremonial and mortuary practices.
Photo courtesy of: Brian C. Weed


The stone circles of Avebury
The stone circles of Avebury, about 30 kilometres (18.5 miles) north of Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England, are the largest prehistoric circles in the world. According to UNESCO, the massive henge demonstrates “the outstanding engineering skills which were used to create masterpieces of earthen and megalithic architecture.”
Photo courtesy of: Paulina Grunwald / Shutterstock


Silbury Hill
Near the stone circles of Avebury, Silbury Hill is the largest prehistoric mound in Europe, at 40 metres (131 feet) high.
The purpose of the mound remains obscure, but archaeological digs have uncovered some clues as to the hill’s origins: it was constructed over the course of three generations, between 2400 and 2300 BC, in 15 distinct phases using different materials. This has led researchers to believe the builders were primarily concerned with the ritual process of construction rather than the structure’s final shape
Photo courtesy of: Stocker 1970 / Shutterstock


Glastonbury Tor
Overlooking the town of Glastonbury, England, this conical hill is topped by a roofless tower, a vestige of a 14th-century church built on the ruins of a previous church.
Some have suggested this myth-shrouded site could have been Avalon, where the legendary King Arthur’s sword, Excalibur, was forged. The discovery of prehistoric tools shows that the area was inhabited well before the Middle Ages.
Photo courtesy of: Gavin Morrison / Shutterstock


The Carnac stones
Found in Brittany, France, the mysterious Carnac stones are approximately 6,000 years old. Why would 4,000 stones have been aligned in descending order of size across nearly 4 kilometres (2.5 miles)?
Photo courtesy of: Marcelle Miriello / Shutterstock


The Externsteine of Teutoburg Forest
The Teutoburg Forest in Germany is home to a precious piece of Germanic history. The Externsteine is a series of standing rock formations that some believe was once used as a pagan site of worship and solar observatory. These natural sandstone pillars were formed millions of years ago.
Photo courtesy of: JFs Pic S. Thielemann / Shutterstock


The giants of Easter Island
One of the most mysterious monuments of all time is found on this remote island far off the coast of Chile. From the 10th to the 16th century, the inhabitants of Easter Island built ceremonial platforms and the massive stone figures known as moai (busts).
According to UNESCO, there are approximately 900 moai on the island. There are a number of unanswered questions about their significance, and about how they were built and transported.
Photo courtesy of: Gabor Kovacs Photography / Shutterstock


Uluru
The 22,000-year-old sandstone monolith Uluru overlooks a plain in the heart of Australia. This 350-metre (1,148-foot) rock is especially beautiful at sunset, when it takes on a reddish glow. Uluru is sacred to the local Indigenous population, the Anangu people, who request that visitors do not climb the rock.
Photo courtesy of: Stanislav Fosenbauer / Shutterstock


Mount Tai
One of China’s five sacred mountains, Mount Tai “was the object of an imperial cult for nearly 2,000 years” and “symbolizes ancient Chinese civilizations and beliefs,” according to UNESCO.
Over the centuries, temples were built in perfect harmony with the natural environment, so that today, the mountain’s ecosystem is remarkably well-balanced—which is surprising, considering that each year, millions of people climb 1,500 metres (4,921 feet) to the summit.
Photo courtesy of: renzedyk / Shutterstock


Notre-Dame de Paris
The medieval Catholic Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral, which recently celebrated its 850th anniversary, has a mysterious aura that has inspired fairy tales, novels, songs, and operas throughout history.
Historians continue to speculate about the symbolism of the intricately carved stone sculptures along the façade. Is there a hidden meaning behind these detailed frescoes?
Photo courtesy of: Aleksandr Sadkov / Shutterstock

BREAKING: A fire has broken out at the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris. Built around 1260 AD, the cathedral is one of the city’s most iconic sights.

Sad news as the above monument that was mentioned, up in flames as an unknown accident almost destroyed this amazing monument.


Mausoleum of the first Qin emperor
An army of thousands of terra-cotta warriors was discovered in 1974 near the city of Xi’an, China. The sculptures were made around the year 210 BC to protect Emperor Qin Shi Huang Di, the founder of the first unified Chinese empire, in the afterlife.
The tomb (a UNESCO World Heritage site) is especially mysterious because of the unique appearance of each terra-cotta warrior. Could each statue represent a real-life soldier?
Photo courtesy of: Katjen / Shutterstock


The Anasazi cliff dwellings
The Anasazi, an ancient Native American civilization, built their homes in the sides of cliffs in the south-western United States between the first century BC and the 15th century AD. The fact that they chose to settle in such a precarious location is intriguing, and archaeologists are still trying to understand why the Anasazi suddenly abandoned their territory. Possible explanations include environmental degradation, outside dangers, and a drought.
Photo courtesy of: Johny Adolphson / Shutterstock


Yonaguni Monument, Japan’s underwater pyramid
There is a magical sight less than 30 metres (98 feet) underwater near Japan’s Yonaguni Island. Since this pyramid-like rock structure was discovered in 1985, its origin has remained mysterious. Some describe it as “Japan’s Atlantis.”
Photo courtesy of: Yong Hoon Choi / Shutterstock


There you have it, the most amazing monuments in the world. No one likes to see any of these destroyed. Just a note: So sad to see the great Notre Dame Cathedral just recently damaged by fire. But, the government of France is planning on restoring the building back to it’s original glory. So, the moral of that story: make sure that you get photos of these amazing structures before you see these disappear.
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