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Recommendations for beginning photographer?

tmh00per

EdChat™ Nomad
Dec 15, 2011
4
0
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I have a nice digital camera and a dog who will be my subject. I seem to take awful pictures regardless of how many different angles I try. Does anyone have any suggestions? I will post some examples if someone would like to critique my work! I would like something wall-worthy without looking like it is something a child would have done :)
 

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Taylor

EdChat™ M.Ed
Oct 13, 2010
684
122
1
34
Baltimore, MD
noobist.com
A couple of things I remember:

1. Have a subject. Landscapes are uninteresting if there's not some defined focal point.
2. Don't be afraid to get close (I remember this about taking photos of food).

But I'm no expert. Perhaps some of our other photographers can weigh in.
 

legalize

EdChat™ Nomad
Dec 12, 2011
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Having a flash fire directly at the subject ruins the shot. There are only rough dark shadows (or lack of any) cause by the direct flash. Either shoot without a flash at higher ISO, or try off camera flash.

The first shot is not good because of the cardboard box, the rug, and the doorway... they all take away from the subject. Not only that, but the subject appears to be the dogs butt!
 

Lol

EdChat™ Nomad
Jan 8, 2012
15
4
1
Practice , get to know your camera and don't be scared of taking bad shots at first. Closeups are always good and be aware of the whole image . Experiment with different shutter speeds a slow shutter speed on. Tripod with a moving subject is interestingband can give the feeling of movement . I agree that flash directly on to the subject is harsh try bouncing it off a wall or something so it's less bright . Most of all just enjoy ,
 

Jessi

EdChat™ Nomad
Jan 9, 2012
80
4
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^ All great advice so far. Lighting can be your best friend or your worst enemy. As Legalize said, flash can really hurt your pictures because it makes them so harsh. If you don't have great lighting inside, try taking pictures outside when the weather is nice. You'll get a better feel of what you want your pictures to look like and can better avoid using flash.
 

donaldplozha

EdChat™ Nomad
Jul 4, 2012
64
2
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Shkodër, Albania
If you want to take good photos, first of all, you have to make mistakes in the beginning. It all depends on how you see the subject and everything around you.

A good camera will not make you a photographer, so do not aim for the good qualities of the camera, aim to exploit the qualities of your imagination and creativity. That is, in my opinion, what will make you understand how much of a talent you have as a potential photographer.

One more advice: do not shoot indoors a lot, it is mostly boring unless you have a huge amount of creativity to compensate for it. Go outdoors, nature has many beautiful things you can capture with your camera. It gives you a wide range of subjects to photograph and your imagination will develop better in a valley let's say, than inside your house :)
 

novasparker

EdChat™ Esquire
I am a beginner in the photography arena as well, so I don't have a lot of advice for you. But, I think your dog will make great subject matter. To echo the sentiments of many above, I think that lighting and context are going to be your biggest hurdles, but just start taking pictures: note what you like about them and what you don't. the concentrate on enhancing the good and eliminating the bad.
 

Florina

EdChat™ Nomad
Jul 8, 2012
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First decide which brand Canon or Nikon? You won't want to buy lenses then find out you would rather have had the other brand. I have heard the Canon Rebel is awesome.

SLR stands for single-lens reflex camera -the camera has a mirror and pentaprism that lets you see through the taking lens to focus the scene and compose it exactly.

DSLR stands for single-lens reflex camera (Digital).

The 55mm is a normal focal length lens, it is most commonly used for portrait photography.
Good luck
 

meryliz

EdChat™ Nomad
Aug 9, 2012
15
1
1
33
Ontario, Canada
I have a nice digital camera and a dog who will be my subject.
Do you have a DSLR? Personally, I used a Nikon D60 for a long time and finally upgraded to a D7000 a few months ago. I'm an amateur photographer that would love to get more lenses and an external flash to have a chance at being pro, but money is an issue. So as a compromise, I purchased the "Pop-up Flash Bounce" for only $30, so that I can use my flash indoors, but have the light diffused to create a more pleasant photo. There is also a "Gary Fong Puffer Diffuser" for $35 that directly softens the light from the pop-up flash.

I love taking photos of cats, so I can understand your circumstances if you plan on taking a lot of photos of your dog indoors. Some tips:
  • If light is an issue and you need to use your pop-up flash, diffuse it somehow. OR turn on a few extra lights and lamps in the house so you don't have to use the pop-up flash. Otherwise, you get that ghostly effect and the light bounces off animals' eyes in an unpleasant way.
  • Think about your dog's personality and photograph him/her in a way that shows it. This will create a more interesting photo, as well as a great keepsake of a beloved pet. For example, I took care of a cat, Harry, for a few months and he loved going inside bags, especially when I did laundry. One day I was putting clothes inside a duffel bag when in a quick second I found Harry snuggled up inside the bag with the cover over his head... Photo-op! I used a standard lens with the "Pop-up Flash Bounce" attachment and got as close as I could.
    20120228-DSC_3374.jpg
  • Where an animal looks is just as important as when you take photos of people. Generally, you want the subject looking at the camera, but slightly off to the side works too. Side profiles shots are also great. I worked in a portrait studio and honestly, I use the same techniques to get babies' attention on my cat. I make weird noises, wave my hand around, jingle a toy. You might feel silly, but it's a great way to get your pet's attention and stay still and it makes a nice photo!
 

r_benavides

EdChat™ Nomad
Aug 8, 2012
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Try angles that show different perspectives. Some way yo make your do look different. You get a nice touch if you add somebody in the picture. The dog will start interacting with the person and it will give more chances to capture the dog's real essence. Just make sure to focus on the dog.. so it can really tell the picture its all about the dog.

Good Luck! And I can't wait to see your latest work. lol
 

meryliz

EdChat™ Nomad
Aug 9, 2012
15
1
1
33
Ontario, Canada
I just remembered another tip, since I was doing it this morning: try to photograph side profiles of your dog looking out the window during the day. This is one of my favourite pet poses- and best for cats, really, but it would also work for dogs. What I really like about it is the use of natural light on the subject's face, while there are still some interesting shadows. Also, there's obviously something that is grabbing their attention outside the window, so there's a look of curiosity or excitement in their faces.
 

Bloomatic

EdChat™ Nomad
Jul 17, 2012
44
2
1
Argentina
This is one of my great pleasures outstanding: take the time to photography. Not yet I have a camera that is good enough (they are expensive around here). When I have a little more money I can invest in this small pleasure. I think it's one of the most authentic art, and a small part of it is really interesting. The advice that I have read are useful. Without doubt, take pictures of our pets is fun. I do it with Tommy, my dog, but with a camera not so good. :)
 

SirJoe

EdChat™ Esquire
Nov 22, 2015
175
9
1
Try to bring yourself to your dogs level, you are shooting down at him and you don't get the best angle. The background is very important, so if you could take him outside to a park it create a much better backdrop.
 
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Emerson

EdChat™ Nomad
Aug 14, 2016
7
0
3
Dogs and animals are great subjects but somewhat a hassle sometimes. Sometimes they don't keep still and they would rather lick you or ask for a pat rather than pose for you. If you are a dog lover then I would suggest that you go out of the house instead of shooting indoors. Always find natural light instead of using a flash.

If you really have not figured out yet on what photography you really want to do, then go for a photowalk. A park where there are people, plants, flowers, landscapes and other subjects. This would help you identify what you want to do in photography. You can also bring your dog to the park and take pictures of him there.

Experiment with your camera as well. Put everything into manual mode and see what each setting does for you. You can read on these but I assure you, experimenting will teach you more about your camera.
 

SirJoe

EdChat™ Esquire
Nov 22, 2015
175
9
1
Dogs and animals are great subjects but somewhat a hassle sometimes. Sometimes they don't keep still and they would rather lick you or ask for a pat rather than pose for you. If you are a dog lover then I would suggest that you go out of the house instead of shooting indoors. Always find natural light instead of using a flash.

If you really have not figured out yet on what photography you really want to do, then go for a photowalk. A park where there are people, plants, flowers, landscapes and other subjects. This would help you identify what you want to do in photography. You can also bring your dog to the park and take pictures of him there.

Experiment with your camera as well. Put everything into manual mode and see what each setting does for you. You can read on these but I assure you, experimenting will teach you more about your camera.
That's exactly why they are considered by many as such a difficult subject matter. Animals are unpredictable, so if you don't have a fast lens and a fast camera it can be nearly impossible to take a good picture of them.
 

Alumno

EdChat™ Nomad
Aug 16, 2016
43
3
1
All I can recommend you is to watch tutorials of how to take good photos and video tapes, you definitely have to make your way through the basic stuff so you'll see what it is all about, once you dominate the basics you can move to the next level and start doing greater things, of course. It's all about patience and dedication.
 

Guy

EdChat™ Nomad
Jul 31, 2016
47
1
1
Imagine what you want the picture to look like, and the message that you want to send. All pictures can have some type of message, doesn't matter what it is, but as long as people look at it and understand what the point was, it's a good picture.

There are so many other things that you should consider when taking pictures, if you really want to get good at it, I recommend finding an online course to becoming a photographer on the internet.