How to Up Your Pet Photography Game

(upbeat pop music) – I’ve always been interested
in the visual side of things, I think art and drawing
was one of my first loves, and then of course
music, this is something, just another way to express myself. (laid back pop music) Photography is just something that I think always just kind of came
easy to folks in our family, ’cause, ever since I can
remember, there’s been a camera pointed in my face, so
I know what I look like at every single stage of life, and I guess I have my
Dad to thank for that, but, later in life, when I
was able to do it for myself, I found it’s actually something
that I actually quite enjoy. It’s just amazing that animals
actually have a personality, I mean, he’s like a little
boy, he’s our little boy, and it’s so interesting to see him grow from one stage of life to the next. When it comes to pet photography, you want to try to keep
the flash to a minimum, and actually, I tend to
just use natural light, or if you are going to use light, you kind of want to use
continuous lighting, so it’s constant. I mean, strobes are cool and everything, but honestly, for a dog, or, even if you happen to be using this for a cat or something,
they’re easily startled, and sometimes it can be distracting, he might be doing something really cute, in a moment you might have captured, but then you have to reset, and get them back to being engaged. I’ve used techniques to show him how to look at the camera, I’ve associated it with food, all about the positive reinforcement, so you can capture these moments, because he’ll never be this size again. All right guys, so just real quick, for the tutorial piece, I just want to show you
how to up your photo game, using in this example, a
program called Adobe Lightroom. However, you can do
this on your smartphone with certain apps, the
concepts still remain the same, you’ll see similar terms. Up on the screen you’ll see
a photo that I took of Disney using a 50 millimeter prime lens, 2.8 for the aperture reading,
that was kind of wide open, allowing a lot of light to come through, but it also allows for
that nice blurry background that you see here. So I’m going to go a
little bit into the details about pet photography real quick here, as far as the lenses, as
far as some of my favorites, I’m not going to get
into brand wars, however, I would say that the top three
lenses for pet photography would be the 24-70mm, that
allows for some flexibility with it being a zoom lens, with that, you’re able to kind of stand
a little bit more stationary, with the prime lenses,
if you want to change the composition, you physically
have to move your feet, and if you have a young dog
who’s not sitting still, you’re going to be doing
a lot of walking around, so a 24-70 adds a little bit
of flexibility with that range. Also, 35mm prime lens,
I wouldn’t go below 2.8 for pet photography, but
definitely that’s a great aperture for a lens for pet
photography, and then also, the 50mm which is what
I took this photo with. So this was the raw file
that I took of Disney, and I’m going to basically
show you how we got here, this is the after, after
all my initial edits, so before, straight,
raw, out of the camera, and I tell you to always shoot raw, when you do that, using
that setting on your camera, you allow for the photos to maintain, the vast majority of this dynamic range which is going to allow
you more flexibility when you’re using your editing software. So, just to recap, I’m just
going to hit a few highlights, some things specific to pet photography. One of the first things that
I did, when I looked here, I thought that the highlights
were just a little bit too much for me, so what
I went ahead and did, was darken those up just a bit, so you can tell that,
just from here to here, it’s a big difference with the highlights, sitting at around -22, and then I also tackled the shadows, and I
went ahead and boosted those, so you can see the difference
the shadow slider makes, so I had it at about 33, and
that was a good balance for me, and I left the whites
alone, but for the blacks, I lighten those up a bit, you can see the effects of the blacks with his coat and everything, see if we go extreme, and then again, I settled in right here on 33. Now, I’ll get into the
present sliders later, but this is something that I like to typically do in the end, as a topping, same for the tone curve. Now what I do is I go straight down the Hue, Saturation, Luminance,
you can pick each of these, but I like the HSL slider, ’cause it puts them all here together. So, what this is basically showing is, I use the Selector tool,
basically to kind of just show me a, what’s the color range
that this is affecting, hm, what is this, okay I see the blue and purples are moving. Here, et cetera, so what I want to do is, I want to exaggerate his
features a little bit. So, basically, I took the
lighter portion of his fur, and I boosted the oranges and the yellows, while at the same time, decreasing the blues and the purples, which are the darker portions of his coat, adding a little bit more contrast, and just really bringing out his fur. Now, after that, I want
to show you something kinda specific to pet photography, but also common to human photographs, and that is focusing on the eyes, so as you can see in the before,
straight out of the camera, this is kind of a flat image, not much luster coming off of his eyes, but once we edited them, it looks a little bit more polished, and the reason for that is, I’ll kind of show you, what I
did with the brush tool here, this red area is basically
showing you the affected areas, and basically what I did, was I boosted the clarity in his eyes, and raised the exposure
just a tad, just .5, to add a little bit, and then
also, on those catch lights, on the catch lights in his eyes, I also boosted the
exposure just a little bit to add a little shine. So, before and after. Additionally, for his fur,
you can see the red area is the affected area, and essentially, it’s something specific
for pet photography, with all of their fur,
you want the details to shine through, so
I boost the sharpness, by 33, a lot here, and a
little bit on the clarity, not much, you can take this too far, to just add to this image, and one of the last things that I did with regard to filters anyway, was I added a radial filter, and basically what that is
doing, this big circle here, basically everything in here’s a filter, so it’s not affected,
but I wanted the focus to be on his face, so this
red area is showing you what I basically affected out here, so everything outside of his face, I added just a little bit
more, I reduced the sharpness, so basically I made it
more blurry down here, and then I dropped the
shadows, so right away, you’re just going to
just gravitate towards the center of his face, and
then by boosting the exposure and the clarity in the
eyes, definitely hopefully the viewer would want to
be drawn to that as well. So, that’s what I did there,
I also lightened the shadows a little bit in his
tongue, you see before, it’s just a little bit dark,
and then after if you want you can kind of take your time
and take this into Photoshop, you can remove some of
this stuff right here or any weird things on the photo, like a little bit of his collar and leash are shining through here
if that bothers you, but this is just a basic overview, of some of the things I do, so in the end, after all those
corrections, I go back down to my overall presence, I
boosted the vibrance just a bit, you can see what difference
that makes, overall, I mean if you reduce it all the way, it’s almost like it’s black and white, I think I had it about 19, there, and I reduce the saturation just a little bit so you
can see what happens, if you have a little bit
too much, so, like so, so that’s kind of extreme. So I had it at -4, there we go. And then I have a safe tone curve, so basically generally speaking, you want to kind of do
like an ess curve here, this is my Disney point curve, to just kind of get him right and for me, that’s it,
that’s a quick edit, that’s what I would do to make
this photo, and from there you can just export this image
low-quality for the internet, it’s fine, but definitely you want to look into your settings if you want to print this out, but that’s basically how
I would edit this photo. Thanks so much for
tuning into this channel, please like, comment and subscribe, and we will see you in the next tutorial. (happy pop music)

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3 Responses

  1. Dingle Days says:

    Let me know in the comment section below if you thought this series was beneficial to upping your pet photography game 🙂

  2. Gerald White says:

    Great vid. Thanks for sharing!

  3. a freeman says:

    Hi again! Just revisiting one of your past vids! Hope you had a good week and have a lovely weekend! : D

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