How to shoot creative canine photographs: Composition and dog behavior

Introduction

As a professional animal photographer who does studio work, I hear dog owners ask, 'How do you get a dog to pose for you?' The short answer is, 'I don’t.' Photos of a dog staring straight into the camera go nicely into a high school yearbook. Dogs I know don’t go to high school and wouldn’t want such a photo hanging in their living rooms.

A successful dog photo captures the natural beauty and personality of the dog. Dogs I photograph don’t pose.  I capture them being themselves. Accomplishing this goal isn’t difficult, but requires two important things: familiarity with your dog’s behavior, and patience. Lots and lots of patience. To those of you who want to give it a try, I offer some pointers to help you get the most out of photographing your 4-legged best friend and have some fun doing it.

Sleeping beauty

It’s hard to imagine anything more relaxing than to look at a puppy snoozing away, little legs treading air, chasing bunny rabbits in her dream. A sleeping puppy offers a photographer the best opportunity to observe and photograph a dog in her natural, relaxed state. The dog is stationary but isn’t posing. Perfect. Walk quietly around the dog and find an angle that will best showcase your intention for taking this photo. If you want your audience to say, 'Awww I want to kiss that cute little puppy nose,' get down to the puppy’s nose level, as close to the nose as your camera will allow. If you want to show off the harmonious geometry of a dog curled up in a ball, take a shot from the top down to display the circular shape that the puppy makes.

A sleeping puppy offers a photographer the best opportunity to observe and photograph a dog in her natural, relaxed state.

Once you have a few good shots, try giving the dog a gentle belly scratch or a little tickle behind the ear. Your dog will change body positions. She might stretch her legs out. She might roll over and stick her legs up in the air, or she might curl up into a tighter ball. Have your camera and creative thinking ready to capture those moments. Don’t worry if your dog wakes up. Dogs sleep a lot. Your next photo opportunity will come along soon.

Since the dog isn’t moving, you can use a low ISO with no flash regardless of the lighting condition. However, a tripod is useful to avoid camera shake at slow shutter speeds. Remember to turn the flash off. Put your camera in Aperture Priority Mode and set it to the largest aperture (smallest F-number) available. This will give you an image with low noise, natural lighting and, at least on a DSLR, lots of background blur.

Make it fun

The next good opportunity to photograph your dog is when she’s playing, especially with another dog. By photographing your dog while she plays, you get great action shots, at the same time conditioning the dog to associate photos with fun. This association will help you take better photographs in other situations. If a canine playmate isn’t available but your dog likes to fetch or tug, enlist a friend or family member to play with your dog while you take some photos. It may take a little practice to capture the actions, but it’s worth the effort.

A good opportunity to photograph your dog is when she’s playing,
especially with another dog.

This is where the advantage of an SLR over a point-and-shoot camera becomes really apparent. You will encounter much less shutter delay on an SLR. This doesn’t mean you can’t get good action photos using a point-and-shoot. By pressing and holding the shutter button half-way to pre-focus the camera, you will be able to take a shot when the action happens with considerably less delay. This holds true for both point-and-shoots and SLRs. You’ll also want to use a fairly fast shutter speed to freeze the action. Setting the shutter to 1/1000 second on Shutter Priority is a good place to start. You may be able to use a slower shutter speed if you want to incorporate a little bit of motion blur to convey motion.

Your dog, the supermodel

Now that you’ve mastered photographing your dog staying perfectly still and playing full-tilt, it’s time to learn how to get your dog to model for you. Note that I used the word 'model', not 'pose.'

Start by letting your dog sniff the camera in your hand to get her used to being around a camera. Praise the dog as she sniffs. Once she’s determined that the camera is nothing to be afraid of, press the shutter button a few times without raising the camera to your face so she’ll be used to the sound of the shutter. Again praise the dog as you fire off the shutter. Once the dog gets used to the sound of the shutter and ignores it, start acclimating her to having the camera aimed in her direction. You will notice that your dog doesn’t want to look directly at the camera. The dog perceives the camera lens (especially a big SLR lens) as a large eye ball staring at her and instinctively avoids staring back. This is not a bad thing since we rarely want the dog to stare straight at the camera anyway. (Remember we’re not taking a school yearbook photo.)

Next make your dog sit. The purpose of this isn’t so you can take a photo of your dog posing in a sitting position. This provides the dog with some mental exercise. It takes a dog a lot of concentration to obey a command. Your dog will look tense and a little confused at first. She will want to get up and walk away. Do not let her. Calmly place her back in the 'sit' position. Be sure to praise her as soon as her rear end touches the floor. If your dog already knows the 'sit' command, try something a little more difficult such as 'down' or 'shake'. Do not get upset at the dog if she doesn’t obey the command. Be patient and keep at it. After 15 minutes of this exercise, she will be mentally exhausted and her body will relax naturally. Often your dog will do something interesting at this point. 

One of the most common behaviors is a 'stress yawn' where the dog closes her eyes, lets out a huge yawn with the tongue curled up.

One of the most common behaviors is a 'stress yawn' where the dog closes her eyes, lets out a huge yawn with the tongue curled up. A dog does this to relieve the stress of being in a situation she can’t get out of. It’s difficult to anticipate when this happens so be sure to have your camera pre-focused to the dog’s eye as often as you can so you are ready to capture the moment when it happens. Once the dog settles into a relaxed state, her body position will look much less strained whether she’s standing, sitting or lying down. I often place the dog facing one direction and have an assistant call the dog from the opposite side of the camera so the dog will turn her head and look, creating more interesting lines in the composition. Good photographs can also be taken when the dog moves from one position to the next. It’s not the mere shape of the dog we want to record, but the spirit and personality we want to capture. These movements convey the dog’s personality. 

Focus on what’s unique about your dog

When it comes to capturing the personality of your dog, her face, especially around the eyes, is one place to start. But there are many other parts of the dog that uniquely represent her. A Pug’s tightly curled tail, a German Shepherd’s pointy ears, a Rhodesian Ridgeback’s ridge crown, just to name a few examples.  Close-ups of these body parts often work better as framed artwork than traditional full-body portraits of your dog.

Close-ups of body parts often work better than traditional full-body portraits.

This article provides you with an overview of the process involved in taking great photos of your dog and have fun doing it. Future articles in this series will address specific techniques, equipment choices, lighting and exposure, as well as more dog behavior tips.


Andy Sheng is the owner of Otis & Lucy Photography in El Segundo, California. Andy worked in the motion pictures industry for nearly 13 years as a digital FX artist before turning his passion for photography and animals into a new business in 2008. He has photographed the pets of many celebrities and his commercial photography work can be found in pet-related magazines and product packing. Andy is an active volunteer at spcaLA, where he photographs shelter animals in need of new homes. He is currently working on an art photography project featuring photographs of Pit Bulls and is co-authoring a new book on life-lessons people learn from their dogs. To see more of Andy’s work on animal photography, please visit www.otisandlucy.com.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions held by dpreview.com or any affiliated companies.

Comments

Total comments: 81
g persi
By g persi (Nov 12, 2011)

ank you for taking the time to write this article, looking forward to putiing the tips to good use!!!

0 upvotes
nada_baghdad
By nada_baghdad (Oct 31, 2011)

very helpful thank you

0 upvotes
GKC
By GKC (Oct 24, 2011)

I like the two closeups at the end. The rhodie's ridge is an excellent figure study, looks like a desert landscape to me :) Also people on here need to lighten up... This is a basic tutorial for the hobbyist on how to get better dog photos, not an exclusive seminar giving away professional secrets...

Comment edited 17 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
fireplace33
By fireplace33 (Oct 20, 2011)

Here is a guide to help all you dog photographers to identify the emotions of your dog (and/or cat)

http://lisalessingcounselor.wordpress.com/2010/04/29/identifying-emotions-of-your-cat-andor-dog/

0 upvotes
Capture-my-Nikon
By Capture-my-Nikon (Oct 15, 2011)

Its weird being a dog. My people keep pointing that black box at me. Dont know what it does but makes em happy. I always smile! Its part of my job to take care of them ya know. Woof!

The Dogs Eye View on photography. Otis & Lucy have cool friends.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Gale Bizet
By Gale Bizet (Oct 6, 2011)

Thank you very much. Great article. Look foward to more:>))

0 upvotes
WhitInVa
By WhitInVa (Oct 6, 2011)

Thank you, Andy! This was a great article and I look forward to the next installments.

0 upvotes
Shade
By Shade (Oct 5, 2011)

This article and images is in line with contemporary pet portraiture, and I'm glad to see it here on DPreview. I'm looking forward to the next installment.

0 upvotes
RickBuddy
By RickBuddy (Oct 4, 2011)

I like reading this. It is good to get a distinct point of view for shooting dogs.

It's not the approach I take necessarily, because I have clown dogs -- Dachshunds -- and when they are playing they go all Norma Desmond the moment the camera comes out.

Each breed has its own idiosyncrasy. And, of course, every dog has its day.

Rick

0 upvotes
Paul _B 1959
By Paul _B 1959 (Oct 4, 2011)

Great article. Thanks for the tips. I love my dog and am always looking for new and interesting ways to photograph him. I'll be checking out your website for sure!

0 upvotes
inevitable crafts studio
By inevitable crafts studio (Oct 3, 2011)

action canine shots rule :)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/40992064@N07/6128709078

anyway i would also like that dpreview comes back to reviews instead of articles, at least not on the front page, every time i see new entries in your rss feed, iam like "yeah probably a d4 announcement or some other cool news" like it was the last years. now is all about articles and amazon ads

i will delete the rss feed now, get to another news page, but i promise i will come back if i want to read a review

i mean i like the article because someone will probably learn from tgem. but this was never the intention for me to join dpreview. i dont like to read about photography all the time also iam in no forum or stuff like that. i liked on this page that it only was a knowledgebasefor cams and news.

this is too much "social" for me ^^

0 upvotes
B1ackhat
By B1ackhat (Oct 4, 2011)

No one cares.

4 upvotes
Kenneth
By Kenneth (Oct 3, 2011)

Great article.
Very creative photographs, love them! Thank you for posting.

0 upvotes
obeythebeagle
By obeythebeagle (Oct 3, 2011)

This should be a no snark zone, even when the content concerns canine candids. My dog takes me to dog park daily, and I credit the Sony A33 for making me the Ace Ventura of dog photography. Specifically the seven shots per second setting. Add the 500mm autofocus mirror lens and blast away. Out of seventy shots in ten seconds, one usually approaches William Wegman status. Do not approach dog photography like Ansel Adams--waiting for the one perfect shot. Max out your frames per second, and erase the rest.

0 upvotes
inevitable crafts studio
By inevitable crafts studio (Oct 3, 2011)

you are kidding, right? ^^

0 upvotes
RickBuddy
By RickBuddy (Oct 4, 2011)

You've seen all his popular beagle calenders and posters on the wall of every 7th grade girl's wall haven't you?

And the coffee table book that's been on the best seller list three years running?

0 upvotes
PerfectPoms
By PerfectPoms (Oct 4, 2011)

Beagle - you are absolutely correct. The max frame rate your camera can shoot at IS YOUR FRIEND.

Very few people realize the HUGE advantage of taking zillions of shots to pick out the few truly great ones.

But I'm even more extreme than you. Whenever my dogs are doing anything interesting I shoot away at 9 fps and an average day for me is 5,000 photos. It's the sorting through them to find the best photos that is all the work.

1 upvote
steshaster
By steshaster (Oct 10, 2011)

I hope nothing is wrong with your eyes!

0 upvotes
jclayhaus
By jclayhaus (Oct 3, 2011)

The level of petulant, petty, opinionated and acrid snarkiness on this forum is unsettling. It seems the religious/political wars exist no matter the topic. How unfortunate. Thank you Andy for writing and DP Review for publishing the article. Even if I don't agree with every dotted 'i' and crossed 't' I appreciate the work you have shared.

3 upvotes
orendanger
By orendanger (Oct 3, 2011)

im sorry but lots of what is here is not right i have taken many dog and puppie pictures and this is not how you do it

1 upvote
orendanger
By orendanger (Oct 3, 2011)

and i would like to add more how toes ^^

0 upvotes
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (Oct 4, 2011)

There's more to come from Andy, so stay tuned. In the meantime, why don't you publish any of your canine photography tips in our content management system?

2 upvotes
orendanger
By orendanger (Oct 4, 2011)

i dont know how im new to the site.

0 upvotes
GKC
By GKC (Oct 24, 2011)

What works for one photographer may not necessarily be the best way for another. There is not "right" way to take dog photos, or any other kind of photo for that matter.

0 upvotes
Jon Lawpaugh
By Jon Lawpaugh (Dec 7, 2011)

"this is not how you do it" does not a critique make.

1 upvote
nikonboi
By nikonboi (Oct 3, 2011)

Great article Andy. Love your fresh approach to the subject in question. Too often we see the same boring staid shots of dogs and cats looking at the camera. Your photography is a breath of fresh air and I love it.

2 upvotes
bzlassie
By bzlassie (Oct 3, 2011)

Enjoyed the article--a nice change of pace. Sure, it may not be of interest to everyone, but I agree with a previous comment-- if you're not interested in a topic, don't read the article!

0 upvotes
snake_b
By snake_b (Oct 3, 2011)

THis article is hysterical.

so, what are the other good forums out there?

0 upvotes
LarryPhoto
By LarryPhoto (Oct 3, 2011)

Good article, we need more like this, "how to" articles are just as (or more) important then "gear" stuff.

PS - I love the gear stuff too........

1 upvote
inevitable crafts studio
By inevitable crafts studio (Oct 3, 2011)

on a review page?^^

0 upvotes
dholl
By dholl (Oct 3, 2011)

I've been a DPR member for over 5 years and I don't think it's ever been as pathetically spiteful and resentful as it is now, especially to be seen in the reader comment areas of the new articles.

You all should take a break and wonder why you are being so negative. Take a look at your own photographs and wonder how you can pass such negative comment when your own work remains inferior.

12 upvotes
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (Oct 3, 2011)

That's it, dpreview has jumped the shark.

I have nothing against dogs, pictures of dogs, or people taking pictures of dogs, but I personally have no interest and, more to the point thats not what I come to dpreview to read about.

Keep the front page to camera reviews.

1 upvote
IcanHazPics
By IcanHazPics (Oct 3, 2011)

Some of us *do* come here *also* for these articles.
Perhaps dpreview could add a profile preference so "how to's" articles are not shown to everybody.
Then again, if this kind of article does not interest you, perhaps you could just not read it...

4 upvotes
wexie
By wexie (Oct 4, 2011)

While I appreciate the technical information on dpreview, since I don't have the funds to frequently upgrade or buy new equipment, I do come to this site for articles like this, as well as other tips on how to use the equipment I have to take better pictures. From that perspective, I often skip the equipment reviews.

Whether or not this particular set of pictures is your cup of tea, it's an article about being creative, thinking outside the box, and I take it as a starting point for generating new ideas about how to look at things in my photographs. And while there are many wonderful photographers posting on this forum, there's plenty more people with less excellent photos who could benefit from some creative thinking.

I also specifically appreciate the tips about dog behavior, and am looking forward to the additional segments.

Finally, although I like having these articles on dpreview, not all of them are as good, or interest me, a problem I solve by just not reading them.

2 upvotes
B1ackhat
By B1ackhat (Oct 4, 2011)

Surely, DPR would love to design the site to suit you personally. Idiot.

1 upvote
wexie
By wexie (Oct 5, 2011)

No, I was just pointing out my own opinion that a lot of the content is useful with the content they've been including. It wasn't meant to be critical of other points of view, mostly it's a message to dpreview that I like it.

The name calling is a little silly.

0 upvotes
camper415
By camper415 (Dec 26, 2011)

so skip the article and read something else,us dog owners may want to learn.

0 upvotes
Mike Ronesia
By Mike Ronesia (Oct 3, 2011)

Many people use this site and the skill levels go from, just starting out and I don't have an artist's eye to pro's making bookoo bucks. This makes it hard for articles to appeal to everyone. My thought is read it if you're interested and see if you can glean an idea or two from it. If you don't there are worse ways to spend your time.

I get very disappointed at how people can say bad things about someone for no good reason. If Andy can make good money with these types of shots then great for him and I thank him for sharing what he's found to work for his career. I know it gives me something to think about the next time I shoot the dogs. Will it work for me? Maybe, maybe not, but what more do you want for free.

11 upvotes
Photo-Wiz
By Photo-Wiz (Oct 3, 2011)

You are right. I apologize for my last comment. I'm sure the article is useful for some. I guess many of us are close to our dogs, and try in vain to take pictures of the dog that look as cute and natural as what we see visually. The article title "how to take beautiful pictures of your dog" looked like it would give tips to help people take "cute" pictures of their dogs. We didn't expect the "artsy" photos that obviously went in a different direction than what was expected. (especially the first three pictures). Perhaps the article should have been titled "How to use your dog to take artsy pictures."

1 upvote
Photo-Wiz
By Photo-Wiz (Oct 2, 2011)

I thought I had trouble taking dog pictures! These are awful.

2 upvotes
yassarian
By yassarian (Oct 2, 2011)

Hmm, I clicked on the link and I guess these photos really aren't my cup of tea. I'm not sure that my aim for some artsy doggy photo is a photo of a dog's left eye, or a butt. However I am looking forward to subsequent articles about specific techniques, etc. While individual taste may differ, fundamental techniques I hope are a bit more universal.

2 upvotes
Torgny Dellsen
By Torgny Dellsen (Oct 2, 2011)

Terrible, unnatural pictures. Try to be more natural

3 upvotes
CharlieDIY
By CharlieDIY (Oct 2, 2011)

I like the article, but, unfortunately, it won't work with my dog. She can be sleeping, but as soon as I pick up a camera, she's up and moving. For her, though she's old and a bit tubby, action photography may be essential.

She settles down nicely when she's on my lap--small dog, even with extra avoirdupois. There are some great shots there, but my wife doesn't like to shoot even with her P&S and won't touch my K20D.

Thanks for the article.

1 upvote
win39
By win39 (Oct 2, 2011)

I have read about four of these articles and I like this one the best. What they have all had in common is the nasty comments by people who want the article to be something other than what it is or by the competitive people like to denigrate the work of others. The nastiness of people is disheartening and even worse than on the forums.

My thanks to Amazon and dpreview for the article and the charmingly different pix used as illustrations.

My only suggestion is to put the comments on another page. It is too easy to scroll down and get a bad taste in your mouth and a click over is more easily ignored.

17 upvotes
faroutfella
By faroutfella (Oct 2, 2011)

Cats please................

10 upvotes
bigdaddave
By bigdaddave (Oct 2, 2011)

Noooo

4 upvotes
Peter Galbavy
By Peter Galbavy (Oct 3, 2011)

snigger

0 upvotes
Ashley Pomeroy
By Ashley Pomeroy (Oct 2, 2011)

"Close-ups of body parts often work better than traditional full-body portraits"

Is it me, or does the image on the left look like a dog's... well, it looks a bit cleft-y, doesn't it?

0 upvotes
taotoo
By taotoo (Oct 2, 2011)

Human maybe. Dog no.

0 upvotes
richardplondon
By richardplondon (Oct 2, 2011)

In some dogs, there's a distinctive way that the hair grows in an opposite direction, along the spine - for example, there are established "Ridgeback" breeds. that is what this shot looks like. A shot showing an unusual characteristic of a particular dog will definitely mean something to the owner, even if it's a bit cryptic to others.

One thing the article did not touch on, was how to address the dog owner's wishes and requirements from the session...but maybe, you can do no more than promise to bear them in mind.

1 upvote
JDorko
By JDorko (Oct 2, 2011)

Nice article, I love taking photos of my pets.

3 upvotes
Adventurejess
By Adventurejess (Oct 2, 2011)

Probably one of the best posts I have read on pet photography. Thanks!

Although, I am confused about your comment " use a low ISO with no flash regardless of the lighting condition" when your aperature is wide open. I have a Nikon D80 and even with the aperature wide open I can't take anything indoors in low lighting condition without being on at least ISO 1600. Am I doing something wrong?

2 upvotes
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (Oct 2, 2011)

As it's mentioned in the article, you should use a tripod when shutter speeds get too slow.

2 upvotes
Adventurejess
By Adventurejess (Oct 2, 2011)

I understand how that would get rid of the blurriness but not how it keeps the photo from turning out really dark. I am new at using a DSLR so still down't understand how some of those things work.

0 upvotes
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (Oct 2, 2011)

Iso, aperture and shutter speed determine the Brighntess of your picture, so at a given iso and aperture you need a slower shutter speed to get a brighter image. That's where the tripod comes in handy.

1 upvote
Ann Chaikin
By Ann Chaikin (Oct 2, 2011)

A tripod won't help if the dog is moving. I use a high ISO with my cats and get some fine photos that way. It all depends on what the light is like, how active the dog or cat is, and where you are. My cats are indoor only and that limits how much light is available.

0 upvotes
Ann Chaikin
By Ann Chaikin (Oct 2, 2011)

Forgot to add it also depends on the speed of your lens and what depth of field you want.

1 upvote
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (Oct 3, 2011)

Yes, correct, this method only works when your pet is asleep and this not moving.

0 upvotes
TOF guy
By TOF guy (Oct 2, 2011)

Maybe the author takes pics of celebrities pets. I'm no celebrity but if this is what he does he will never have my business.
The composition of most images is boring (the worse being the one of the left under "Focus on what's unique on your dog". There is also a well-known rule in animal photography that animals rarely make for attractive pictures when they are yawning. So it's quite amusing that the author recommends do this (and yes the picture he took is not attractive). Another issue regards the lighting in particular for the studio shots. Lighting is always critical, of course, but is really difficult for animal with plain fur, and even worse for white or black furs. It is very difficult to get a little contrast which gives a picture its 3 dimensional look.The author totally fails in this department. Maybe the article "should be entitled how to not take pictures of your dog". In fairness the shot of the playing dogs is a great capture, much harder to get than it looks.

0 upvotes
ccoyne77
By ccoyne77 (Oct 2, 2011)

I'm no celebrity, but I am a dog lover and I like all the compositions. Very refreshing. And the yawn photo is great. What a weird rule.

12 upvotes
taotoo
By taotoo (Oct 2, 2011)

Actually I disagree with your last point. The playing dog shot looks like he took a thousand shots and got lucky with one. The camera is too high, and the focus/dof is less than ideal. It's no better than what I (an amateur) would get in that situation.

1 upvote
TOF guy
By TOF guy (Oct 3, 2011)

To coyne77:
You're right: the shot of the fighting dogs is not focused properly: looking at the bottom of the shot, ie. the ground in front of the dogs: this is clearly the sharpest part, where the focus point is. So I stand corrected: no good picture to look at.
To taotoo:
Not taking pictures of animals while yawning: it is not so much a rule than an observation that such a picture is rarely attractive. A very same observation applies for humans. You don't take pictures of your relatives while they're yawning, do you? Same for dogs.

0 upvotes
Shade
By Shade (Oct 5, 2011)

There is no rule against loving an image of your dog making a cute yawn face. If a client wants images to cherish long after the dog has died, a big Yawn, the distinctive ridge of the Ridgeback or the curl of the Pug or Elkhound (etc.) tail, , the playful tussles with a dog friend can be treasures to a dog lover such as I who has only photos to remind her of the many years spent with a departed buddy. Well done studio portraits are wonderful, and well-done lifestyle and photo-journalistic images are also wonderful. DOF that concentrates only on the nose or paw is a popular trend in pet photography. Styles change, and clients often want something similar to something they have seen - OR something Different from all the others they have seen. This is one article - it doesn't cover ALL of pet photography. If you can learn something from it - great, if not, move on... quietly, I hope.

2 upvotes
Nikonworks
By Nikonworks (Oct 2, 2011)

This article is written to appeal to the reader's emotions rather than the reader's need to learn pet photography.

The decision to web publish this type of article reveals more about DPreview's new owner's approach to covering photography than the author's knowledge of pet photography.

A big disappointment.

3 upvotes
qwertyasdf
By qwertyasdf (Oct 2, 2011)

Might simply be a commercial decision...
BTW, who's the owner of DPreview now? A businessman or a photographer? or something in between???

0 upvotes
CAClark
By CAClark (Oct 2, 2011)

Perhaps it's helpful to some people to get pointers on how to get in to the position of taking the picture, rather than over whelming them with all the technical photographic details that can be the next consideration in the process. Why shouldn't articles be aimed at those who simply want to take a photo, rather than technically minded photographers? In an ideal world there would be a follow up article to cover the technicalities of the photography itself.

0 upvotes
Scott Fennell
By Scott Fennell (Oct 2, 2011)

God, you people are such joyless saps. I've never seen a more consistently morose, critical, arrogant group of people than the commenting on this site. Remember why you got into photography in the first place? Fun? Beauty? Enjoyment? The preservation thereof?

These are fun pictures of fun animals. Shut up.

28 upvotes
jakekira
By jakekira (Oct 3, 2011)

Good for you Scott. Couldn't agree more.

0 upvotes
Isaaclam
By Isaaclam (Oct 2, 2011)

As an ower of a 2-year-old doggy, I shot a lot of pictures for her although it is much lesser after she was 1-year-old. I agree with qwertyasad that there is no WOW pictures here but I can't agree any more that most of the advice from Andy are very practical. Especailly, the "unique" of the dog and the way to change the doggy position when she is sleeping.

Will done! Look forward to seeing more articles from Andy in DPR.

PS. May be the way of a pet owner has a difference perspective to look at the picture.

1 upvote
qwertyasdf
By qwertyasdf (Oct 2, 2011)

Thx very much for the understanding!!!
I'm here to share my views, not for stirring up fights!!!

0 upvotes
Isaaclam
By Isaaclam (Oct 3, 2011)

You are welcome! Difference people has difference perspectives. This is the beauty of cyber world! Everyone has their right to share what he/she thinks. ; )

0 upvotes
qwertyasdf
By qwertyasdf (Oct 2, 2011)

Sorry...no beautiful pictures here
also "Put your camera in Aperture Priority Mode and set it to the largest aperture"
THIS IS NOT A GOOD ADVICE!

0 upvotes
chriszzz
By chriszzz (Oct 2, 2011)

Actually, I felt some of the pics are pretty good.

And if you don't think using large aperture is good advice, perhaps can explain why this is so, instead of just blasting the author's contribution without any justification.

6 upvotes
qwertyasdf
By qwertyasdf (Oct 2, 2011)

I'm not saying that the pictures are bad, but none is special...
I just visited the website, the photographer charges $750 for a 1.5 hour session, I rly expect much much better results..........
I also do dog photography, and used to use the largest aperture possible...but then I found out that although the BG is pleasingly blurred, some parts of the dog are also blurred (eg. the left eye is in focus but the right eye is OOF). One or two such photos might be OK, but in an advice point of view, using the largest possible aperture is simply an irresponsible advice....Wt if I just a Canon 85L and take a picture of a chihuahua??? I bet not even a single eye will be in focus. This example is a bit extreme...but it demonstrates the problem of using the largest aperture

0 upvotes
jorepuusa
By jorepuusa (Oct 2, 2011)

Funny conversation. A PRO writes about photography and instantly someone gets mad because he cannot get exact advise. We are living in a society, that is used of having everything immediately for free. Andy, the PRo here has been training himself years, shooting millions of frames and then someone reads the article for FREE and gets mad. Unbelievable.
Why should Andy give away exact ways of practicing his profession, when getting back bu.......it from amateurs. The more these these pseudonyms write hate messages, the less PRO`s want to give.
Andy´s story is a way of starting thoughts, not as a course of taking million dollar dog pictures.
Photography is not easy but amateurs who would like to come professionals nowadays want to put aside the years it takes to practice hard before earning money.
Shame on You Nikonworks. No reader here is paying anything for Dpreview so eat Your "soup" nicely and learn from what the pros tell You.

12 upvotes
jorepuusa
By jorepuusa (Oct 2, 2011)

I think it would be a good idea that everybody tries to be brave enough to use their own names rather than pseudonyms. And it would be specially good idea to write about photography and not about others writers only.
Jore Puusa
Photograpeher
Helsinki
Finalnd

8 upvotes
CarVac
By CarVac (Oct 2, 2011)

If you understand that with a really fast lens, you shouldn't necessarily open up the aperture all the way, then don't follow that. This is for the people with kit zooms that only open to f/3.5-5.6 who otherwise wouldn't know how to get a clean picture in the dark.

1 upvote
Managarm
By Managarm (Oct 2, 2011)

>> Top Dog Imaging: I would have been thrilled to share my experience and knowledge. For the real deal check out my blog and website at www.abcdef.net. <<

What's worse than a self promoting article? Some guys jumping on the bandwagon without actually contributing anything at all...

1 upvote
flightdoc
By flightdoc (Oct 3, 2011)

Top Dog Imaging, while I'm not a professional photographer and enjoy the craft for my own personal enjoyment, I find your photos of dogs boring, uninspiring and cliche. So, rather than contributing constructive comments, I see your post as nothing more than link bait to your blasé gallery.

0 upvotes
jorepuusa
By jorepuusa (Oct 3, 2011)

These comments ( flightdog etc) full of hate, are something I do not understand at all.
If I as a professional photographer was asked to write something about my job for dpreview I would say NO. These pictures which come with the articles are for starting conversation, not to be shot down by coward pseudonyms.
What has happened in our society when photography, which is nothing political or about race etc starts these black desires to mock other people.
If I was in charge of Dpreview I´d stop all articles and stuff which give a change for hate messages and stay in original formulae.
PRO`s do not have to take this kind of bashing.
Jore Puusa
Helsinki
Finland

0 upvotes
Toddles
By Toddles (Oct 3, 2011)

I think the whole point of this article and others is to show people esp. amateurs and even pros there is more that one way to shoot subjects and scenes. Even with pros (wedding photography comes to mind) the same old stale portraits and set-up. Except for the occasional dog photographer they are all the same also. Get daring, get creative try a tight crop or obscure part of the subject.
As for pros taking this kind of bashing, I think a self-confident pro will just let the comments with a chuckle.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 81