We call it a photo op… those times when you are totally in the moment and have the opportunity to create an image that is so extraordinary you know in your gut that you have captured something special. As photographers, we love the challenge a photo op brings to our skills. As animal photographers we know that every photo op is difficult!
This week, meet Michele Strupp, a photographer who really knows how to work a photo op. Here are a few of her unique images along with her comments on how she goes about capturing her unique view.
Michele uses a Canon Rebel 3ti with a 75mm lens to capture close up images. Here’s how she does it. “I like to get on the animal’s level to take most of my pictures. It just seems more personal when you are at their eye level. With my llamas, I usually have something along with me such as a squeaky toy or I kick a big bouncy red ball out into the field. Sometimes it takes a while to get the shot I want so I have to be patient. I prefer taking pictures on an overcast day or just before dawn or dusk.”
Props are always an important part of good animal images. I love Michele’s suggestion to use a bouncy ball which she can kick around the field. What a great idea! It’s a prop that doesn’t require the use of your hands, which are always full of equipment, and you can move it around at will with your feet when you want to attract attention.
Let’s take a look at a few of her many excellent images and read what she has to say about them.
This is my fluffly llama, Latte’. Overcast lighting and my zoom lens really helped with this one.
This is Allie, my neighbor’s Tibetan Terrier puppy. She is simply irresistible. She was a good poser for this image with the tilt of her head. I was supposed to be taking pictures of a washed away driveway, but found Allie much more interesting. She has the most expressive eyes which is what I was trying to capture. Her personality really shows in this photo.
My Tibetan Terrier, Smudge is a great model. I was just hanging out in the backyard with the dogs taking random photos with my zoom lens. It was a little windy that day and he was smelling everything in the garden when he looked up and I got the shot!
This is Mila, my daughters’ goldendoodle that is notorious for a very long tongue after she is done playing around. I was down on my belly and elbows when I snapped this picture and was holding the camera at a bit of an angle by accident.
Here’s a newborn cria (llama) that I wanted to photograph in the green pasture towards dusk. I loved that he was laying in the dandelion blooms. It really adds to the picture.
My two goat boys that were hanging out on top of the hill. I was about 50 feet from them with my zoom lens. I wanted to capture them with a distant background.
Great job Michele!
Take some time to really look at each of these photographs and think about what she did technically to capture her unique view.
We’ll talk more about this next week.