It’s important to plan and understand your subject, reveal background texture to add context to a picture, and nail the exposure and focusing. Learn from the pros.
1. Reveal Background Texture
2. Plan Your Shoot Well
John and Tracy Langley
One of the first things to do when planning a photoshoot is to research your subject fully to understand where you might find it and the behaviour it might exhibit. You can use books, the internet, TV documentaries, or you could just spend some time watching them in the field. The knowledge gained from these sources will help you to anticipate their behaviour and allow you to previsualise some of the images you’d like to capture. A good exercise is to create a wishlist of shots, either written down or carried in your head. This will help you to structure your time with the subject, rather than leave you ambling about aimlessly and failing to achieve your goals.
3. Capture Fast-Changing Details
The most striking images of snakes often depict the snake’s tongue flickering back and forth. To capture this you’re going to need a fast shutter speed of at least 1/400sec – the faster the speed, the greater your success rate. Shooting image bursts with the camera on high-speed mode will greatly improve your chances of capturing the flickering tongue in perfect position.
4. Take Advantage of the Weather
5. Capture True Character
Dog photography has changed a great deal in recent years. Instead of action shots of dogs running or jumping, owners tend to want stunning portraits to hang proudly in their homes. All dog owners will see their dog differently, so it’s important that we understand what’s wanted from a picture. For example, the dog may naturally curl its lip, so we might try to get a shot in which the dog’s lip isn’t curled, only to find out that the owner prefers it curled. A clear understanding of what is wanted is important. So make sure that you get a full, detailed brief.