Dog Photos with EPM-1

Started Apr 18, 2012 | Discussions
sarabrianne86
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Dog Photos with EPM-1
Apr 18, 2012

Hello! I'm a beginner looking to get some nice shots of my dog (among other things). I have the EPM-1 with the kit lens and I was wondering if anyone could suggest some settings that I should try to get ideal photos (inside and out).

Also, should I be using a different lens, or should the kit lens be adequate?

I plan on trying to find some kind of photography course when after I take the bar exam in July, but I'd love some help in the meantime. Thanks!

Bitslizer
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Re: Dog Photos with EPM-1
In reply to sarabrianne86, Apr 18, 2012

Dog move around quickly, if using pre-set mode try the sport or kids mode, other wise go for Shutter priority mode 1/250 or even faster to keep them from becoming blurry due to motion. Bump the auto iso up to 3200 upper limit if indoor.

The kids lens should be adequate to get you started

Don't be afraid to lay down or crawl to get a different perspective for a good shot. You can also set your lens to the wide angle end and stick the camera right in their face for some interesting shots, assuming they let you

sarabrianne86 wrote:

Hello! I'm a beginner looking to get some nice shots of my dog (among other things). I have the EPM-1 with the kit lens and I was wondering if anyone could suggest some settings that I should try to get ideal photos (inside and out).

Also, should I be using a different lens, or should the kit lens be adequate?

I plan on trying to find some kind of photography course when after I take the bar exam in July, but I'd love some help in the meantime. Thanks!

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sarabrianne86
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Re: Dog Photos with EPM-1
In reply to Bitslizer, Apr 18, 2012

Thanks! I will have to play around with these settings. He still seems to come out blurry even when I use the sports and kids modes. I don't know if I should be using something other than the lens that came with the camera.

Here's one of my favorite pictures of him - it was one of the first pictures I took when I got the camera back in December.

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sarabrianne86
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Re: Dog Photos with EPM-1
In reply to sarabrianne86, Apr 19, 2012

Just wondering if anyone else has any suggestions..

Thanks!

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lambert4
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Re: Dog Photos with EPM-1
In reply to sarabrianne86, Apr 19, 2012

Kit lens is incredibly slow typically, which make keeping up with amoving pet or child difficult indoors. The previous poster was spot on higher ISO will make it easier for your system to capture the light, and the shutter priority would make capturing easier. If your pet is your primary muse and you have a bit of room in your house the 45mm f1.8 is possibly one of the easiest and fun lens for the system, or if space is limited and you are close to the subject the 20mm panasonic lens is also reasonable and incredibly fast and bright indoors even without use of a flash. Right now there aren't many native fast zoom lens for the m4/3. Just a side note are you using the flash? No matter the lens if you can add light to the subject without spooking your pup it will make it easier to capture the shots. Just my two cents, I have gone to the PanLeica 25mm for almost all my indoor shooting of my brood, and gotten remarkable results over the 14-42 kit lens that came with each of our cameras.

good luck and keep on playing with the settings you'll find a sweet spot of settings that'll work for you.
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jalywol
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Re: Dog Photos with EPM-1
In reply to sarabrianne86, Apr 19, 2012

It kind of depends what you are trying to photograph...Are you trying to get active shots of them running around, or are you trying to do portraiture? Are you going to be photographing in low light or in bright situations?

Your kit lens is fine for active shots in bright light. It's going to be less suitable in low light both indoors and out.

For portrait type photos indoors, you will probably need a much faster lens. The focal length you prefer for dog portraiture will be up to you; the 45mm f 1.8 is a great lens but might be a little long for your purposes. The 20mm f1.7 or the 25mm f1.4 would both be good choices for low light work.

You might want to experiment with your current kit lens and look up what focal lengths you tend to use the most to give you the look you prefer on that lens. Then, get the faster prime lens that corresponds to that focal length.

You would not go wrong with the Oly 45mm f 1.8 as a place to start for portraiture, but you may want to get a wider lens; it may work better if you want to get the whole dog (or more than one dogs) into a single picture.

-J

This was with 40mm at f4.0

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This was 50mm legacy lens, not sure what f stop

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These two 12mm

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This was 55mm legacy lens; not sure what f stop

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liza wallis
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I do a lot of dog and cat photography
In reply to sarabrianne86, Apr 20, 2012

Hi there...

You've gotten some good replies already but I thought I would add my 2 cents as well. I spend a fair amount of my life photographing dogs both in portrait and moving around. I like the coy shot you got of your pup.

Low light (indoor lighting) might be difficult with that camera and lens combo. I don't know the camera well enough to know how high you can bump the ISO? Also, you should be shooting in aperture priority if possible. The only problem you are going to encounter with a larger aperture (anything below f8) is that either the dogs nose or else his eyes may well be out of focus. At f4, if you focus on a dog's eyes (which is where you are supposed to focus for most animal shots unless you are doing something artsy), his nose will likely appear soft particularly if your dog has a longish snout. I can't ell if you've got a poodle or a labradoodle there but the snout is a bit long.

jalywol has some beautiful shots

The other thing to look for is whether your camera has something called "servo" mode. This comes in VERY handy when photographing fast moving objects. Basically it tracks the object so that you don't have to keep refocusing on a dog that is running. Normally if a dog is running towards you and you keep your finger depressed on the shutter, only the first shot or maybe two will be in focus, but in certain servo modes you can hold your finger down on the shutter and the camera will keep refocusing for you. Likewise with certain servo modes when you are tracking an animal as it runs from side to side.

For pure portraits outside, your lens/camera combo should be fine. Its inside where you might need something more.

Good dog photos really require you to be down on your knees or crawling on your belly to get some great angles.

And my secret weapon for all animal photography is a large collection of whistles to get their attention.

Okay, that's enough for now. Post back if you have other questions.

good luck,
liza

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Aleo Veuliah
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Re: I do a lot of dog and cat photography
In reply to liza wallis, Apr 20, 2012

liza wallis wrote:

Hi there...

You've gotten some good replies already but I thought I would add my 2 cents as well. I spend a fair amount of my life photographing dogs both in portrait and moving around. I like the coy shot you got of your pup.

Low light (indoor lighting) might be difficult with that camera and lens combo. I don't know the camera well enough to know how high you can bump the ISO? Also, you should be shooting in aperture priority if possible. The only problem you are going to encounter with a larger aperture (anything below f8) is that either the dogs nose or else his eyes may well be out of focus. At f4, if you focus on a dog's eyes (which is where you are supposed to focus for most animal shots unless you are doing something artsy), his nose will likely appear soft particularly if your dog has a longish snout. I can't ell if you've got a poodle or a labradoodle there but the snout is a bit long.

jalywol has some beautiful shots

The other thing to look for is whether your camera has something called "servo" mode. This comes in VERY handy when photographing fast moving objects. Basically it tracks the object so that you don't have to keep refocusing on a dog that is running. Normally if a dog is running towards you and you keep your finger depressed on the shutter, only the first shot or maybe two will be in focus, but in certain servo modes you can hold your finger down on the shutter and the camera will keep refocusing for you. Likewise with certain servo modes when you are tracking an animal as it runs from side to side.

For pure portraits outside, your lens/camera combo should be fine. Its inside where you might need something more.

Good dog photos really require you to be down on your knees or crawling on your belly to get some great angles.

And my secret weapon for all animal photography is a large collection of whistles to get their attention.

That is a really good tip, to capture good expressions, nice idea

Okay, that's enough for now. Post back if you have other questions.

good luck,
liza

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liza wallis
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blowing whistles and making noise.....
In reply to Aleo Veuliah, Apr 20, 2012

yes, its shameless at times but it works!
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Bitslizer
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Re: Dog Photos with EPM-1
In reply to sarabrianne86, Apr 20, 2012

Here are some of my shots with the E-PM1 and the kit lens, nothing special at all, just some quickie pictures for the black shih tzu mix's online profile (he's a foster dog, recently got adopted out) the brittany spaniel mix used to be a foster dog, but he's so perfect we end up adopting him

another trick is to have 1 hand hold a treat right above the camera/lens to get their attention, that's a great way to get them to look straight at the lens, that's what I did in a few of the photos

The indoor photo, granted they are stationary and near my patio door for better lighting, if at night and you want to photograph them while they are running around, its better to use a flash, otherwise I doubt even a 45mm/1.8 will be fast enough

note that the shots were a little over exposed due to this was a black dog so I dialed up the exposure compensation to try to get more detail from the black dog.

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