It’s cold, so photographing my pet outside isn’t an option unless I want to freeze to death. And I don’t. So…let’s see. Now that the cold weather is here, what could I work on inside that would improve my pet photography?
Well I could work on creating a great portrait of my cat’s face. First I need to find a spot to take the photograph that has some good light going for it. I want to use light coming through a window—that’s the best kind. No artificial stuff for me, although I may use a bit of flash to give the photo some pop.
OK. I’m scouting out a good indoor shooting location with good natural light. I’ve got some great windows in the guest room, so that means good light coming in through those windows.
But, yikes! There’s a purple bedspread in there (don’t tell the fashion police), so the walls have a bit of a purple cast. You know about color casts right?
Quick review. Whatever colors are in a room, they are bouncing around casting color on the walls, so if I try to photograph my white cat on a purple bedspread, he will be a slightly purple white cat.
I won’t notice this when I’m photographing because human eyes adjust for color casts. So my slightly purple cat will probably look perfectly wonderful to me until I view the image on my computer screen and wonder what the heck I did wrong.
We now have two requirements for good inside light: An outside source (window or glass door that casts enough light into the room so you don’t need to use a flash) and a room without color casts (not your red kitchen).
Now for your pet. Go find that darling and start getting him relaxed in your new shooting location. Most pets already like to sit by the window, so this probably won’t be a deal breaker. But perhaps some treats?
If you have a dog that’s the size of a small horse, and not much light coming into the room, you may be out of luck with this assignment–shooting an animal in both shadow and light never works. The idea is to find an area where you can get the whole pet properly illuminated.
Once your pet is relaxed and likes hanging out there, the rest is easy. You can set up shop and amuse yourself and your pet working on indoor images while it snows. Take notes. What you learn about photographing inside will transfer nicely to your outdoor photography in the spring.