Dog-and-Boy-cycle-open-fieldDo you and your dog enjoy adventures together? Are you keen to capture these moments, relive them and share them with others. Are you frustrated with the photos you are taking and would like to improve your skills? Here’s the first part of 10 tips on photographing dogs, particularly very active dogs.……

1. Head outdoors. This is where you’ll capture the fun stuff, plus add some character and a story to your photos. If you’re outside and having fun with your dog then you’re already in the zone. A dog that has been working out has a relaxed look – tongue lolling, jaw agape and often, a goofy smile. What better subject to capture in a photograph.

dog-enjoys-Port-Douglas-view2. Location. Location. Location. Watch out for background clutter. Busy backgrounds can mean the image of your dog will get lost in all the distractions. Choosing a simple background – a field, the beach, some greenery or a flowering bush – can be quite effective. Alternatively go for a jaw-dropping backdrop and position your dog amongst it to make the most of the setting.

dog-adventures3. Turn off the Flash and go a la Naturale. Outdoors you can get the best natural light – with a few exceptions. Stark midday sun can throw out the ugliest shadows across your dog’s face. Keep the sun behind you if you want to highlight your dog and try shooting late afternoon or early morning for the most flattering light. Alternatively, shooting against the sun can be great for a sillohuette effect – the shape of your dog’s head or body. And don’t be put off by an overcast or stormy day. Often it’s perfect lighting and can help add drama to a scene, particularly if you include the sky in your shot.

4. Add Focus. Bring along some tasty treats, a favourite toy or just call out your dog’s name. Help give an ordinary picture some character. Ears pricked, head cocked – it can all help add quality to your image. For portrait shots focus on the eyes not the end of your dog’s nose. Blurring, or softening the background can also help give your dog more focus. You can do this later via photo-editing software or with your camera’s settings – try a low aperture (f2-f4) or flick over to ‘Portrait’ setting.

dog-portrait-in-fields5. Get down low. Bend your knees and take some shots from your dog’s perspective. Being at your dog’s height, or even at grass level, can add a different dimension to your shots. Try for an alternative angle to the standard image taken by most dog owners – standing up and looking down at their dog – not very flattering and the colours are often bland.

Most importantly, mix it up. All these photo tips can be broken to good effect but you won’t know until you have a go. Just get outside and start shooting – it’s the only way to improve your skills and hopefully capture some awesome photos of your pooch. Good luck…..

Do you have photos of your active dog? Where is your favourite photo spot and what tips would you add?

This post is also part of the Fit Dog Friday Blog hop.